The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators has three awards with which it can recognize the dedication and long-time efforts of its members. These are:
The Distinguished Service Award (DS): Established in 1994, this award is given to long-term dedicated workers, those who have put in countless hours and have usually served both on the Board and have coordinated conferences or portions of conferences. The award is given after several years of ongoing service on the part of the member.
The Special Projects Award (SP): Also established in 1994, this award is given for (unpaid or grossly underpaid) major projects, such as the Guild Handbook, Science Insights, or the Guild web site.
The Special Service Award (SS): Created in 2008, this flexible award was developed for long-term dedication to the Guild through efforts of volunteerism, service, teaching, mentoring, or other ongoing and substantial support of the organization.
The Awards Committee began, under the direction of Merri Nelson, in 1993, and the first awards were given in 1994. Karen Klitz and Marlene Hill Donnelly were the first committee members. Karen Klitz served from 1994 to 2000, and Marlene Hill Donnelly served from 1994 to 2009. Trudy Nicholson served on the committee from 2000 to 2009. The Awards Committee duties became part of the responsibilities of the Nominating Committee in 2011, since members of that committee already consider the accomplishments of the Guild's membership as part of their work.
Every effort has been made by the Awards Committee to make awards for actual work rather than simply having a popularity contest. Committee members contact half a dozen or more board members and other active people to get input. Canvassing active members also serves to ferret out the quiet, behind-the-scenes people who are doing an amazing amount of essential work, which leads to occasional surprises.
The Committee also tries to ensure that the intended award recipients are attending the upcoming conference. The award has been deferred for a year when it was determined that the intended recipient could not attend. Sometimes Committee members called a friend of the first-choice recipient to be certain the recipient was coming to the conference. Initially, the first two awards were given every year. This is not a requirement, however. The Distinguished Service Award, for example, has not been given every year.
Selected recipients were contacted before the conference so that they could provide a biography centered on Guild activities. Invariably, prospective recipients had done far more than realized. The President reads the long-form biography at the award ceremony, while highlights are listed on the award certificate.
2011 - Marlene Hill Donnelly (DS)
2009 - Gail Guth (DS), Britt Griswold (SP-Sci-Art.com)
2008 - Leslie Becker (SS), John Norton (SS), John Cody (AMI Literary Award)
2007 - Julie Kulak (DS)
2006 - Gretchen Halpert (DS), Norm Frisch (SP-Newsletter)
2005 - Karen Ackoff (DS)
2004 - Marj Leggitt (DS)
2003 - Dick Rauh (DS)
2002 - Elaine Hodges (SP-Handbook)
2001 - Mary Jane Spring Brush (DS)
2000 - Virge Kask (DS)
1999 - Alice Tangerini (DS), Bev Benner (SP)
1998 - Kris Kirkeby (DS), Taina Litwak (SP)
1997 - Trudy Nicholson (DS)
1996 - Founders Awards: Thomas M. Evens, Elsie Froeschner, *Carolyn Bartlett Gast, *Molly Dwyer Griffin, *Nancy Halliday, *Elaine R. S. Hodges, Jane Hurd, *Larry Isham, Marsha E. Jessup, George R. Louis, *Lily Manning, * Naida Page, Jack Schroeder, Thelma Ford Smith, Helle Starke, *Peter Stone. (*present at ceremony)
1995 - Elaine Hodges (DS), Norm Frisch (SP)
1994 - T. Britt Griswold (DS), Sally Bensusan, (SP-Creative Source Book)