The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is honoring Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) with a Presidential Citation to recognize their bipartisan work on science policy.

The two senators worked to pass the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, which was signed into law last year. The bill’s aim is to reform several science agencies, promote diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs and lessen the administrative burden placed on researchers.

Additional co-sponsors included Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD).

“Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance important science-related policy initiatives, including landmark legislation with Senator Peters – The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act,” Gardner said. “Solutions for our most serious issues, such as climate change, will require bipartisan action and resolve, and I look forward to continuing to work with the American Geophysical Union to tackle and promote research on issues like climate change, natural hazards, and space. I thank the leadership and their 60,000 members across the globe for this great honor.”

Sen. Peters emphasized the success both parties had in cooperating to ensure passage of the law.

“Scientific research seeds incredible new opportunities for economic growth, whether we’re pushing the boundaries of basic science research or traveling farther into space than ever before. I’m proud to work with Senator Gardner to highlight bipartisan support for federal investments that will drive groundbreaking discoveries, create new jobs and new industries, and yield tremendous benefits for our future. I’m honored to receive this award, and I look forward to continuing to work with the AGU to see where our discoveries take us next,” Peters said.

AGU faced pushback by some of its members in giving an award to Gardner.  According to E&E News, several AGU members circulated a letter that cited Gardner’s 10 percent voting score with the League of Conservation Voters and a 2015 vote against a resolution that stated “human activity significantly contributes to climate change” as reason to denounce honoring Sen. Gardner with the award.

Reportedly, “dozens” of unverified members had signed the list, out of an estimated 60,000 members across 139 countries.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) congratulated Gardner and Peters.

“Senators Gardner and Peters are to be congratulated for winning the AGU Presidential Citation,” said UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi. “They have provided exemplary leadership and support for major aspects of Earth system science and helped to maintain funding levels for research that is essential for the nation’s long-term economic and national security.”

According to UCAR “[t]he legislation strengthens the nation’s STEM education pipeline, increases the number of women and underrepresented minorities within STEM fields, and sets robust authorization levels for the National Science Foundation, while avoiding congressional interference in the allocation to NSF’s directorates, including Geosciences.”