The 2024 prize applications will be due April 15, 2024


DPS-Sponsored Prizes

The Gerard P. Kuiper Prize honors outstanding contributions to the field of planetary science.

The Claudia J. Alexander Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in planetary research by a mid-career scientist.

The Harold C. Urey Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in planetary research by an early-career scientist.

The Harold Masursky Award acknowledges outstanding service to planetary science and exploration.

The Carl Sagan Medal recognizes and honors outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public.

The Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award recognizes and stimulates distinguished popular writing on planetary sciences.

Previous Winners

Kuiper PrizeUrey PrizeMasursky AwardSagan MedalEberhart AwardAlexander Prize
2023William B. McKinnonQuanzhi YeDale CruikshankTracy BeckerMarina KorenAmy Simon
2022Bonnie BurattiJuan LoraJim GreenCaleb ScharfMichael GreshkoMartha Scott Gilmore
2021Therese EncrenazLynnae QuickMark ShowalterNicolle ZellnerCamille CarlisleElizabeth Turtle
Adam Frank
2020Wing-Huen IpRebekah DawsonHeidi HammelRay JayawardhanaChristopher Crockett
2019Maria ZuberKelsi SingerPhil NicholsonCarrie NugentRebecca Boyle
2018Julio Ángel Fernández AlvesFrancesca DeMeoFaith VilasBonnie J. BurattiAlexandra Witze
2017Margaret KivelsonBethany EhlmannLouise ProckterMegan SchwambJosh Sokol
Henry Throop
2016Stanton PealeLeigh FletcherMark SykesYong-Chun ZhengNadia Drake
2015Yuk YungGeronimo VillanuevaChristina RicheyDan DurdaStephen Battersby
2014Peter GieraschMatija CukAthena CoustenisGuy ConsolmagnoJames Oberg
2013Joseph VeverkaAnders JohansenRonald GreeleyDonald K. YeomansRichard A. Kerr
2012Darrell StrobelAlberto FairenSusan NieburPatrick MichelMichael Carroll
2011William WardEric B. FordBenton C. Clark IIIJames BellEmily Lakdawalla
2010Jeffrey N. CuzziJonathan J. FortneyAlan TokunagaCarolyn C. PorcoGeorge Musser
2009Tobias C. OwenSarah T. Stewart-Mukhopadhyayno awardSteven W. SquyresJ. Kelly Beatty
2008Michael A’Hearnno awardJon D. GiorginiG. Jeffrey Taylor
2007Andrew P. IngersollFrancis NimmoTom Gehrelsno award
2006Dale P. CruikshankTristan GuillotGentry LeeDavid H. Grinspoon
2005William HubbardDavid NesvornyJ. Kelly BeattyRosaly Lopes
2004Carle M. PietersJean-Luc MargotAlexander BasilevskyDavid Morrison
2003Steven J. OstroRobin M. CanupReta F. Beebeno award
2002Eberhard GrünBrett J. Gladmanno awardHeidi B. Hammel
2001Bruce HapkeMichael Brownno awardAndre Brahic
2000Conway B. LeovyAlessandro MorbidelliGeorge E. Brown, Jr.Larry A. Lebofsky
1999Armand H. DelsemmeDouglas P. HamiltonWesley T. HuntressClark R. Chapman
1998Carl E. SaganErik I. AsphaugJurgen H. RaheWilliam K. Hartmann
1997Irwin I. ShapiroRenu MalhotraJohn T. Trauger
1996Barney J. ConrathHeidi B. HammelWilliam Quaide
1995Michael J. BeltonEmmanuel LellouchWilliam Brunk
1994James A. Van AllenKaren J. MeechJoesph A. Burns
1993James R. ArnoldRoger V. YelleMildred S. Matthews
1992Peter GoldreichJack J. LissauerHarlan J. Smith
1991Edward AndersRichard P. BinzelCarl Sagan
1990Viktor S. SafronovDavid J. Tholen
1989James B. PollackChris P. McKay
1988Rudolf A. HanelJonathan I. Lunine
1987Donald M. HuntenSteve W. Squyres
1986George W. WetherillJack L. Wisdom
1985Fred L. WhippleLarry W. Esposito
1984Eugene M. ShoemakerDavid J. Stevenson


The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society awards its named prizes annually (or less frequently).

All DPS members are encouraged to submit nominations for DPS prizes.

For purposes of these prizes, planetary science shall be understood to refer to the multidisciplinary study of our Solar System, as well as other planetary systems, excluding work dealing primarily with the Sun, Earth, or other stars.

The final responsibility for determining the award frequency and for selecting the recipients lies with the DPS Committee.

Anyone (except DPS Officers, Committee members and Prize Subcommittee members, as defined in the DPS Bylaws) may submit a nomination.

DPS officers, DPS Committee members, and members of the DPS Prize Subcommittee may not submit nominations or supporting letters. Sitting members of the DPS Prize Subcommittee are not eligible for awards. Such nominations will be considered submitted once that member has rotated off the Subcommittee.

The DPS expects that a candidate for nomination follows the AAS Code of Ethics and actively promotes AAS core values.

A complete nomination submitted by the deadline will be considered by the Prize Subcommittee for three (3) years (i.e. for this year’s award, next year’s award, and the year after that), or for the duration of a candidate’s eligibility, whichever is less.  Past nominees may be re-nominated after the expiration of a prior nomination.

Though DPS Prizes are primarily intended to honor living people, a posthumous nomination (except for the Sagan Medal) may be submitted within the nomination period containing the first anniversary of the date of death of the nominee, and will be considered for three years.  In the case of the Urey Prize, the nominee will be considered for three years, or until the nominee would have reached the time limit following receipt of the Ph.D. as specified for living recipients, whichever is smaller. Posthumous nominations are not renewable. Only living nominees will be considered for the Sagan Medal.

In the case of a posthumous recipient, there generally will be no cash award, but reasonable travel expenses will be offered for an appropriate survivor to attend the DPS meeting and receive the prize certificate and citation.

Please fill out the nomination form, and it will be submitted to the Prize Subcommittee.

The Eberhart Award has different rules and procedures than the other DPS Prizes; please see its page for more information.

Prize Subcommittee Rules and Procedures

Selection Procedure

The Prize Subcommittee assists the DPS Committee in selecting recipients by reviewing all nominations received, verifying eligibility, and preparing a slate of approximately three candidates for each award.

All the nominations and selection procedures will be carried out in a confidential manner.

Prior to the annual meeting of the DPS, the Prize Subcommittee shall provide the DPS Committee with an ordered slate of approximately three choices for each prize, unless there are fewer than two valid nominations for a prize, in which case all valid nominations shall be included in the slate. One of the choices may be a recommendation for no award, which may be placed in any order in the slate of choices. The Subcommittee shall also provide the DPS Committee with all documentation supporting each nominee on the slate.

Final selection – or the choice not to make an award – will be made by the DPS Committee. At an appropriate time, the prize and award recipients will be publicly announced through the DPS Press Officer.

The Eberhart Award has different rules and procedures than the other DPS Prizes; please see its page for more information.

Prize Details

For Prize details, see individual listings (Kuiper Prize, Alexander PrizeUrey Prize, Masursky Award, Sagan Medal, Eberhart Award).

Prize Subcommittee Membership

The DPS Prize Subcommittee nominally consists of seven members.  The procedure for appointing new subcommittee members and lists of current and past members can be found here.