The Ronald Rainger Early Career Award in History of the Earth and Environmental Sciences

This prize will be awarded annually by the History of Science Society (HSS). The Rainger Prize was conceived in the Earth and Environment Forum (EEF), a lively group of scholars interested in histories of knowledge about the land, sea, and sky, and in all manner of physical, human and life sciences as they have been practiced outdoors, in transit, or on a global scale. Ronald Rainger (1949-2016) was a historian of geology, paleontology, biology, and oceanography who distinguished himself equally for his scholarly work and for his generosity to colleagues in the field. The Rainger Early Career Award commemorates Ron’s contributions in both respects. Furthermore, the Rainger Prize reflects HSS’s commitment to supporting emerging scholars and their work, especially digital works.

Eligibility for the Rainger Award:

  • This annual prize will be awarded for a single, specific work such as an article, exhibition, or interactive resource whose primary topic is the history of the earth and environmental sciences broadly construed.
  • Published and unpublished articles are equally eligible, as are any digital or other projects that represent the outcome of original scholarly research in the history of the earth and environmental sciences.
  • The prospective winner(s) must be enrolled in a graduate program or no more than three years past the completion of a relevant doctoral degree. For the purposes of this award, that means that, as of the prize-nomination deadline, no more than three full years have elapsed since the end of the year in which the candidate received the doctoral degree. Works that have been published/exhibited remain eligible (regardless of publication date) for as long as the author/creator remains eligible.
  • Multi-authored works are eligible for consideration as long as the prize committee receives a brief statement describing the role(s) of the eligible author(s). In the event that more than one co-author of the winning submission is eligible for the Rainger Prize, the authors will be considered joint winners and the prize will be split between them according to the discretion of the committee. In any event, the prize will only be awarded to those authors who meet the eligibility requirements above. Works that members of the committee have written or edited, in whole or in part, are ineligible for consideration until such time as those persons are no longer members of the committee.
  • Works in languages other than English will be eligible if they are accompanied by an English translation.

Works are typically nominated by the HSS membership and by publishers. Check the nomination form below for the deadline.

Submit a nomination for the Rainger Award.

Past Winners of the Rainger Award

2019 Leah Aronowsky, “Of Astronauts and Algae: NASA and the Dream of Multispecies Spaceflight,” Environmental Humanities 97, vol. 2 (November 2017)
2018 Owen James Hyman, “Anxieties of the Plastic Age: Cotton Culture, White Supremacy, and Tenant Forestry in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, 1935-1953”