Donald Whorton Writing Award

WhortonBannerThe Donald Whorton Writing Award is offered by the Northern California Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. The award program strives to honor the late Dr. Whorton by encouraging and recognizing important new voices in occupational and environmental research. Students and recent alumni (within 5 years of graduation) from any of the COEH-affiliated programs are eligible to submit a manuscript for consideration for the Donald Whorton Writing Award. Papers may be co-authored; however the student/alumnus must be first author. To be considered, papers must be recently published or accepted for publication.


  • A nominating cover letter should be submitted stating the title, name of author(s) and author contact information. Both self-nominations and nominations by others will be accepted.
  • An electronic copy of the paper must be attached.
  • Submissions are due to COEH Deputy Director Julia Buss ( by
    March 22, 2018.

Process for Review
The paper will be evaluated by an impartial panel designated by COEH. The papers will be judged based on the following criteria:

A. Addresses a significant issue/problem in the field of occupational and environmental health (20 points)

The significance should be illustrated by one or more of the following:

  1. Number of people/communities affected
  2. Severity of the hazard addressed
  3.  Economic impacts
  4. Contribution to understanding and addressing health disparities
  5. Sheds light on an underappreciated problem or emerging issue in occupational or environmental health

B. Strength of findings (30 points)

  1. Quality of research design or approach
  2. Quality of data
  3. Supported by other relevant research

C. Analysis by author makes a significant contribution to the field of occupational and
environmental health, indicated by at least one of the following: (25 points)

  1. Provides new insights
  2. Suggests new strategies for occupational and environmental health practice

D. Quality of writing (25 points)

  1. Well organized
  2. Use of clear, concise writing style

Notification: The winner will be announced in April 2018.

The award $500.00

Recognition on the COEH website and social media and an invitation to present at a COEH event.

Julia Buss
Deputy Director, COEH
University of California, Berkeley
School of Public Health
50 University Hall, #7360
Berkeley, CA  94720-7360

COEH Honors Dr. M. Donald Whorton

Donald Whorton was an internationally-recognized occupational health physician and workplace epidemiologist, with long ties to COEH. He graduated with honors from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine’s first graduating class in 1968 and went on to receive his masters degree in public health with a focus in environmental medicine from Johns Hopkins University. He completed his internship in internal medicine at Harvard Service Boston City Hospital and his residency in internal medicine at Baltimore City Hospital. He was board certified in occupational and internal medicine, an elected member of the National Academy of Science Institute of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Donald Whorton advanced the field of occupational medicine through epidemiological studies that led to a greater understanding of workplace exposure. Notably, he discovered the link between workplace exposure to the nematocide DBCP and male infertility. He was the founding director of the COEH’s Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at U.C. Berkeley, where he worked until he went into private consulting in 1978. Donald continued his involvement with COEH, through teaching and serving on the COEH Advisory committee.

Donald continued his important work in occupational and environmental health until his untimely death.