Eleanor Robson

AGU Council: Student and Early Career Positions

Student Representative


Research and Policy Officer, Future Earth Australia (Australian Academy of Science), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 


Volunteer experience that relates to this position: 

I served for three years on the National Executive of the Labor Environment Action Network (environmental advocacy group within one of Australia’s major political parties). I was responsible for maintaining relationships with branches of the organisation, strategic decisions on policy and campaigns and liaising with other parliamentarians. I served for 1.5 years as a state campaign manager for the Oaktree Foundation, a youth organisation concerned with increasing Australian foreign aid in Oceania and Asia.


Council members play a critical role as communication conduits among AGU members and leaders. How will you engage with other students and early career scientists to share, and solicit input to, the important strategic conversations being held by the Council? Relating to AGU’s new strategic plan, what features of the plan do you think are most exciting for the student and early career communities to mobilize around?  How might you consider mobilizing this community to be most effective?


The three goals outlined in the strategic plan will enable each other’s success. While each is important in its own right, together they spell out a course of action which will make the science pursued and advocated for by AGU relevant, responsive and suited to the kinds of complex problems we must confront. From an early-career perspective, this will create fertile ground to attract and retain young scientists and practitioners, building a generation of specialists well equipped to engage in the broader science-society agenda. Encouragement of such science is currently limited and patchy at the early and mid-career level.


Engaging early-career scientists and students would first involve mapping existing activities being undertaken by the Council, as a primary concern is to avoid consultation fatigue in the current online-working context. If possible, it would be valuable to do a mapping exercise of early-career members to better understand their background, priorities and representation. At a base level, outcomes and forward actions from each quarterly Council meeting would be disseminated, as a blog piece and/or podcast episode, inviting input on questions of particular importance. I would also aim to hold a virtual town hall meeting twice per year to give insight into the role and decision-making of the Council, and in collaboration with other early-career representatives, this would consist of three sessions to ensure all time zones are covered. Should areas of particular interest emerge, we could consider establishing working groups to garner greater insight to input to Council.

Section affiliations: 

Education; GeoHealth; Global Environmental Change; Ocean Sciences; Planetary Sciences; Science and Society