Allison L. Steiner

Atmospheric Sciences



Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

I have served as an editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres from 2014 to 2018, a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate (2016-present), and a scientific steering committee member for International Land-Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS; 2015-present) and Global Emissions Inventory Activity (GEIA; 2017-present). Additionally, I was a co-founder of the Earth Sciences Women’s Network (ESWN) and board member from 2008 to 2014 and have worked on diversity activities at the University of Michigan.


Council members play critical roles as communication conduits among AGU members and leaders. How will you engage with members of your section to advance AGU’s new strategic plan? How might you facilitate engagement with other sections and people outside AGU to support our mission?

This question takes on an urgent relevance in the COVID-19 world. The events of 2020 will challenge the traditional engagement of AGU and the Atmospheric Sciences section and will require novel ways to maintain and grow our connections with the atmospheric sciences community. It is hard to imagine the 20,000+ person AGU Fall Meeting in the next few years, and future engagement will require creativity across the organization. New ways to interest and support members online, including traditional webinar-style meetings, smaller discussion groups, cross-disciplinary initiatives, and new inroads for community outreach will be needed. While online may not our preferred method of advancing our science, it can provide an opportunity to engage with the global community in a way that may not have been feasible before.

Further calling to this challenge is the current reckoning about race in the United States and its ripples across the globe. As members of the Atmospheric Sciences community, we must look long and hard at our barriers toward creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive place for Black, Indigenous and scientists of color. We must activate the groundswell of support to make long-lasting change.

The zeitgeist of 2020 provides opportunities for the Atmospheric Sciences section to enable this change — the mechanisms may look different than the past, but understanding and improving the climate of the future will not wait. We need to keep moving forward to develop a strong, robust and engaged community that will develop, support and promote the research our members.

Section affiliations:

Atmospheric Sciences; Global Environmental Change