• AGU member pursuing an undergraduate, masters, or doctorate degree
  • Must be the lead author of the abstract presented
  • Not eligible: High school students and postdoctoral researchers


  • During the abstract submission process, students must request to be considered
  • Cannot be added after the abstract submission deadline
  • Must confirm participation in October 2014 in the online system.

014_2211_2014 FM OSPA login button

Judging Process

All Presenters:

  • Judges’ scores heavily favor presentation skills. The science is very important, but is not the focus.
  • Whether an oral session or a poster session, the presentation must be orally presented and explained by the student.  The score sheet is exactly the same.
  • The poster itself is not judged without student commentary, just as an oral session’s slides are not judged independently.
  • Do not change the title of your presentation after abstract submission.  This will confuse your judge(s) and they may not be able to find the presentation.
  • Students have the additional option of “checking in” via the online scheduling system in the event that ad-hoc judges are able to fill any open judging slots.  Do not check in prior to the Fall Meeting.
  • Judges will remain anonymous throughout the day, so you must give the same quality presentation to all who inquire about your poster or oral presentation.  Treat everyone as if they were a judge, because they might just be!

Poster Presenters Only:

  • You may not change the time period you selected to remain by your poster after the participation confirmation period has ended.
  • You may not leave their poster at any time during this 2 hour period.  Failure to do so may result in disqualification.
  • It is recommended that the students stay for the entirety of the session, but they must be present during their time slot.
  • Presentations will be judged by several judges; thus, if the student is not there, the judges will simply skip the student.
  • Be respectful of the judge’s time.  Many are well-known scientists- don’t upset them by not being present at your poster or not attending at all.
  • Give the same quality presentation to everyone who inquires about your work.

Judging Criteria

  • The presentation of the poster/oral session is as important as the science itself.  The award encourages preparation and the clear, concise presentation of a student’s work.

Judges will assess the students in the following areas and rate them on a scale of 0–5. 

  • Presentation: Visuals, effective use of allotted time or space, diction (enunciation, volume, and clarity), general style, liveliness, and stage presence.
  • Content: Organization and logic, appropriate comprehension/knowledge of field, clear explanation/ability to answer questions, and significance and originality.
  • Overall Impression Compared to Other Papers Judged:  Bonus category
  • Comments:  Comments from judges are also encouraged in order to distinguish papers with similar scores.


AGU recognizes that scores and judges’ comments are important for students to better their presentation skills for future sessions.   Sign back into the online system after 6 January 2015 to view your scores and to find out if you have won an OSPA.

Questions?  Please contact ospa@agu.org.