Claudia Benitez-Nelson selected for TOS Mentoring Award


Presented for excellence and/or innovation in mentoring the next generation of ocean scientists


Credit: Julia Benitez-Nelson

The Oceanography Society (TOS) congratulates Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson for being selected as the inaugural recipient of The Oceanography Society’s Mentoring Award. The citation on Dr. Benitez-Nelson’s certificate recognizes her for her tireless and remarkably successful efforts to engage, mentor, and imbue underrepresented students with her passion for science while also making outstanding contributions to research.

The Selection Committee noted that her extraordinary mentoring efforts are both deep and broad, spanning undergraduate and graduate education, development of national (US) and international education programs, increasing opportunities for minority participation in science, and exceptional personal advising of a broad array of students.

Dr. Benitez-Nelson received B.S. degrees in physical chemistry and chemical oceanography in 1992 from the University of Washington. In 1999 she earned a Ph.D. in Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. She is currently an Associate Dean at the University of South Carolina where she handles Courses and Curriculum matters and oversees five departments (Biological Sciences, Mathematics, School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment, Psychology, and Statistics).


The TOS Mentoring Award is awarded for sustained, outstanding, and inspiring mentorship of professional colleagues, early career professionals, and/or students evidenced by impactful contributions as a role model for the next generation of oceanographers. The Mentoring Award also seeks to recognize individuals who have additionally shown outstanding leadership in promoting inclusion, diversity, and equity in ocean science and/or outstanding leadership in promoting capacity and growth of oceanography in less resourceful regions.To learn more about The Oceanography Society and the TOS Mentoring Award visit:

The Oceanography Society (TOS) was founded in 1988 to advance oceanographic research, technology, and education, and to disseminate knowledge of oceanography and its application through research and education. TOS promotes the broad understanding of oceanography, facilitates consensus-building across all the disciplines of the field, and informs the public about ocean research, innovative technology, and educational opportunities throughout the spectrum of oceanographic inquiry. TOS welcomes members from all nations. Any individual, business, or organization interested in ocean sciences is encouraged to join and to participate in the activities and benefits of the society. For more information, visit

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