Awards and honors

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Encyclopedia of Earth Wins Best Website Award from the Geoscience Information Society

Houston, Oct. 16 -- The Encyclopedia of Earth (EoE), a bridge between the global community environmental experts and the public, often referred to as "Wikipedia with Quality Control", has been recognized as the Best Website of the Year by the Geoscience Information Society.

Publicly launched in April 2007, the Encyclopedia of Earth has over a thousand expert authors and editors from 60 countries, and 50 partners including the World Wildlife Fund, United Nations Environment Program, and the Centers for Disease Control. The expanding resource includes nearly 4,000 articles, books, reports, speeches and biographies and rapidly increasing audience that now exceeds a half-million unique visitors per day. 

Still in its infancies, leaders of the Encyclopedia of Earth have goals of 1-3 million articles, 100,000 expert contributors working in all major languages, and over five million readers per day. At scale, the Encyclopedia of Earth will be the largest environmental information resource in the world.

The Encyclopedia of Earth is one component of the Earth Portal, a gateway to environmental information, news, discussions and social networking being created an Environmental Information Coalition of environmental experts and Institutions. The National Council for Science and the Environment is the Secretariat for the Coalition. Editorial offices of the Encyclopedia of Earth are based at Boston University.

The Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) is a professional scientific society that facilitates the exchange of information in the geosciences through cooperation among scientists, librarians, editors, cartographers, educators, and information professionals. The GSIS recognized the Encyclopedia of earth for “outstanding standards of content, design, organization, and overall site effectiveness.”

“This award is a great honor and real testament to how the Encyclopedia of Earth is filling an important need for high-quality environmental information on the internet,” said Cutler Cleveland, the EoE’s editor-in-chief and Professor of Geography and Environment at Boston University. “Our authors and editors who volunteer their time should be proud that their efforts have been recognized by such a prestigious award.”

Peter Saundry, Executive Director of the National Council for Science and the Environment accepted the award in Houston on behalf of the Encyclopedia of Earth and the Environmental Information Coalition.

For more information, call Peter Saundry, Executive Director, National Council for Science and the Environment, (202) 207-0002.



October 24, 2008

Top Website Award for 2008 Honors Encyclopedia of Earth

Encyclopedia of Earth (EoE), an open-access electronic resource with thousands of authoritative, objective articles on environment, climate, and general earth sciences, has been awarded the 2008 Best Website Award of the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS).

caption Peter Saundry (National Council for Science and the Environment), at left, accepts the Best Website Award for 2008 from GSIS webmaster Jim O’Donnell (Caltech) at the GSA annual meeting in Houston

The Encyclopedia is a project of the Environmental Information Coalition of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.  NCSE’s executive director, Peter Saundry, accepted the award at the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Houston on October 7.  Saundry stated that “our goal is to make the Encyclopedia of Earth the largest reliable information resource on the environment in history.”

EoE consists of original contributions by individuals who are expert in their fields as evidenced by their research, teaching, publishing, and public outreach, and of content derived from partner organizations and other open content sources.  Articles are written in non-technical language and stress the interaction between society and the Earth’s physical and biological systems.  Quality is maintained through a strict editorial process.

The Best Website Award has been presented by GSIS annually since 2002 to a site which exemplifies outstanding standards of content, design, organization, and overall site effectiveness.  In selecting EoE, the award committee noted the Encyclopedia “offers the educated lay person so much that they can miss by trying to wade through mountains of important but dry [and] confusing journal articles.”  They praised its design concept, which strikes a balance between predetermined editorial content and a free-lance wikipedia style.  EoE is accessible online at

The Geoscience Information Society is an international professional organization devoted to improving the exchange of information in the earth sciences.  The membership consists of librarians, editors, cartographers, educators, and information professionals. Information about the Society may be found at its website

Shaun J. Hardy
Publicity Officer
Geoscience Information Society



Surface, M. (2008). Awards and honors. Retrieved from


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