If you don’t know the person you’d like to nominate, and don’t yet have much experience with such things, it might feel awkward to email about nominating them. In general, being nominated for things like this is an honor, and it doesn’t need to be a surprise. In fact, we’re much more likely to convince busy scientists to visit if we reach out early! Here is an example of one way that could be done. 

Dear Awesome Ecologist,
I (or we if this is a group nomination) would like to nominate you to speak in Colorado State University’s Distinguished Ecologist seminar series, run by our interdisciplinary Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. The seminar series has been running for over 40 years, and we have hosted an amazing group of ecologists and evolutionary biologists from around the world.

It might be nice to then have a few sentences about your research and/or particular interest in getting to talk to them about their research, or about others who you think they might be interested in. You could also mention the honorarium of $500.

The nomination process is competitive, and I think you would be a great fit. Would you be interested in (and could you fit in) visiting CSU next spring (a year from now) for a talk if the nomination is successful? Again, I think you are very competitive for a spot, but if we’re not successful this year, we could try again next year!

Please let me know what you think. I’ll eventually need a CV to attach to my nomination if you’re game.

Best wishes,
Awesome host