The New Zealand Marine Sciences Society (NZMSS) Award is presented to a person who, in the opinion of the NZMSS Council has been instrumental in achieving the objective of the Society to advance knowledge and understanding of marine science in New Zealand. The award recognises “a person’s continued outstanding contribution to marine science in New Zealand”, as well as their role in encouraging young marine scientists, communicating marine science and supporting the values and visions of the Society.
The recipients of the NZMSS award in its inaugural year were considered “founders of marine science in New Zealand” and recognised for their contribution to ocean physics, marine geology and marine ecology. Subsequent recipients of the award have made contributions across a broad spectrum of marine science endeavour.
The award is a bronze sculpture in the form of the internal spire of a gastropod shell (designed and manufactured by Wellington artist Nick Dryden) that comes with an engraved plaque normally presented at the NZMSS annual conference. It carries with it lifetime membership of the Society. Any NZMSS member can make a nomination to the Secretary. Nominations are considered annually, but the Council need not present an award each year. The recipient is expected to give a plenary presentation at an upcoming NZMSS conference. This highly prestigious award was inaugurated in 1985.