TOTY Online Nominations Process Streamlined

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Another one bites the dust – another paper trail, anyway.

We’re talking about how the AAPG Foundation receives nominations for its Excellence in the Teaching of Natural Resources in the Earth Sciences awards (more commonly called the “Teacher of the Year” award, or TOTY).

Award nominations are solicited from local societies, which provide material and information about a teacher in his or her geographic area deemed appropriate for this honor.

Until now this was one long paper trail of attachments, faxes and other traditional conveyances.

But now the Foundation website has launched an Application Wizard to facilitate the receiving of nominations. According to Natalie Adams, AAPG Foundation manager, “Providing an easy process with stress-free, anytime access is our goal.

“Applying for funding can be a lengthy process,” she said. “We want to make it as simple as possible.”

Jane Terry, Foundation program coordinator, observed how “the Foundation would like to increase the applicant pool, and an online link is easier to market and promote.”

She also noted this online application will be faster in providing access to information for the national judges.

It also builds a consistency in the applicant data they didn’t have before – and this consistency should help the judges in their evaluation of the candidates.

Why a “wizard,” you ask?

Well, it isn’t fantasy. In the software world a wizard is a type of user interface that leads a person through a series of dialog boxes, leading them to the completion of a task.

Do Your Homework

If you are the one completing the nomination, you need to gather your information and materials before you visit the TOTY wizard.

All of this is spelled out on the wizard landing page at, and includes four critical documents:

  • A document highlighting the nominee’s teaching philosophy and methods.
  • A description of the unit taught.
  • Two letters of recommendation – one from a colleague and one from an administrator.

Once these materials are gathered you are ready to continue through the seven steps.

This wizard does not save your information along the way, but if you gather your materials before beginning you should find yourself completing the process in about 10 minutes.

Good browsing! 

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