About the Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program

Early-career scientists, specifically at the postdoctoral level, are uniquely positioned to advance the systemic changes needed in the Earth and space sciences as well as other disciplines in science, technology, engineering, arts, math and medicine (STEAMM).

In the years following graduate studies, scientists develop both their identities; and personal values as professionals, researchers, educators and mentors. Often, scholars depict postdoctoral researchers as facing precarious conditions; concerning job security; and diverse personal responsibilities. A small body of scholarship about postdoctoral researchers in and out of the United States poses that this group faces increasing barriers.

The AGU LANDInG-PRFP fills an existing gap of professional learning and development opportunities that offers critical competencies anchored in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and other needed competencies for successful 21st-century scientists at this critical transition. This two-year program is designed to maximize the future success of a national cohort of 60+ STEMM Postdoctoral Fellows as professionals, scientists, mentors and educators.

AGU LANDInG-PRFP program offers 1) a robust curriculum rooted in DEI theory and practice and relevant Earth and social sciences; 2) relationship-building and networking, peer-to-peer support; 3) career and DEI toolkit development, and 4) leadership opportunities. The program includes an orientation, a graduation, regular virtual meetings, a 1.5-day annual hybrid conference, and an AGU Certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

AGU LANDInG-PRFP will leverage the resources and reach of the currently funded AGU LANDInG (ICER 2036823). The program is tailored for the National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships from the Office of Polar Programs and the Division of Ocean Sciences in the Geosciences Directorate. In the future, AGU is looking to expand this program beyond Ocean and Polar Sciences.

Early-career scientists, specifically at the postdoctoral level, are uniquely positioned to advance the systemic cultural shift needed to correct these trends. In the years following graduate studies, scientists develop independent professional identities and their personal values as researchers, educators and mentors. LANDInG-PRFP will fill an existing gap of professional development opportunities that address DEI and other needed competencies for successful 21st-century scientists at this critical transition. For these reasons, AGU is looking to expand the program beyond these two divisions.

Within Earth sciences, the PRFP program may be the only professional learning and development program of its kind.

Teamwork and leadership

How to participate

Applicants for the AGU LANDInG Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program must apply and obtain NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Geosciences Directorate in the Division of Ocean Sciences and Office of Polar Program. Please consult the respective fellowship application websites.

Testimonials from AGU Postdoctoral Fellows

Based on evaluations from 2021-2023 years, Fellows highlighted the following aspects of their participation in PRFP:

  • Gratitude for the fellowship and program leaders, who fostered a network of like-minded individuals focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work.
  • Appreciation for resources such as inclusive mentoring, grant-writing support, and exposure to diversity statements.
  • Strengthening of Resume/CVs, job opportunities, and gain of new perspectives on future career options attributed to PRFP support.
  • Enhanced professional development experience through virtual meetings, interactions with fellow postdocs, and discussions on relevant topics such as anti-DEI laws and inclusive learning practices.
  • Value of connections with other postdocs, both in large and small group discussions, and interactions with NSF program officers

"My new supervisor is… extremely supportive of my commitment to completing the LANDInG program and agreed that my time spent with LANDInG is an important part of my professional development in this new role….Thank you for all your work with LANDInG, this has been a really meaningful training program for me." - Alumni Fellow June 2023

"Aixa, thank you also for the ideas you offered during our check in in early May. Your suggestions of things to think about and talk through with NSF were really helpful as I was negotiating my position [full time job as staff in a university/STEM education research program for historically marginalized groups]  and helped me find a version of this job transition that works really well for me." - Alumni Fellow June 2023

The PRFP allows values feedback for improvement, and we are always adjusting our program to adjust to our fellows needs. Some feedback we have received include:

  • Focus on personal career advancement
  • Desire for more emphasis on DEI learning
  • More constructive feedback provided
  • Suggestions for streamlining communication methods
  • Incorporating more active learning and engagement activities
  • Allocating more time for small group discussions
  • Debrief sessions after emotionally challenging topics
  • Considering time zone variations for scheduling
  • Structured breaks
  • Sessions focused on practical training topics
  • More opportunities for processing and discussing conference content

2022-2024 Cohort

Jordan Abell, University of Arizona

Marion Alberty, Princeton University

Eleanor Arrington, University of California, Santa Barbara

Janet Burke, Michigan State University

Alli Cramer, University of Washington

Josh Cullen, Florida State University

Ashley Dinauer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Kyle Emery, University of California, Los Angeles

Kiefer Forsch, Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Kara Gadeken, SUNY at Stony Brook

Remy Gatins, Northeastern University

Kyle Heine, Auburn University

Jennifer Hoey, California Academy of Sciences

Michael Hudak, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Kaycie Lanpher, Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Astrid Leitner, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Diana Lopez, Florida State University

Selva Marroquin, California Institute of Technology

Christopher Murray, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Aaron Ninokawa, University of Washington

Joshua Sackett, University of Cincinnati Main Campus

Karina Scavo, University of Texas Austin

Benjamin Urann, University of Wyoming

Daniel Utter, California Institute of Technology

Ken Zhao, Oregon State University

Blair Perry, Washington State University

Sophie Wensman, Nevada System of Higher Education, Desert Research Institute

Erin Rooney, University of Tennessee Knoxville

Emily Tibbett, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Lillian Parker, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus

Angela Szesciorka, Oregon State University

Alexander Huth, Princeton University

Anna Ruth Halberstadt, Berkeley Geochronology Center

Angel Ruacho, University of Washington

Katherine Hudson, Stony Brook University

2023-2025 Cohort

Peter Chutcharavan, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Vincent Clementi, Rutgers University

Jason Coenen, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Matthew Confer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cassandra Cassie Ettinger, University of California-Riverside

Andrew Gase, Western Washington University

Mohammed Hashim, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Kira Homola, University of California-Los Angeles

Ariana Huffmyer, University of Rhode Island

Alexander Jaffe, Stanford University

Vadim Karatayev, University of Kansas

Thomas Kelly, University of Alaska Fairbanks Campus

Jordyn Moscoso, University of California-Santa Cruz

Molly Moynihan, Marine Biological Laboratory

Matthew Sasaki, University of Vermont

Sandi Smart, University of Alabama Tuscaloosa

Kelly Speare, Arizona State University

Martine Wagstaff, University of California-Santa Barbara

Jennifer Allen, University of California, Santa Cruz

Kristina Collins, Space Science Institute

Michaela Fendrock, University of Buffalo

Katherine Hayes, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Meghan Helmberger, Colorado State University

Lisa Herbert, Rutgers University

John Hood, The University of Chicago

Astrid Pacini, University of Washington

Marisa Repasch, University of Colorado, Boulder

Kerri Smith, University of Rhode Island

Taylor Van Doren, University of Alaska, Anchorage