Matthew Preisser

AGU Council Student and Early Career Positions

Student Representative


Ph.D. Candidate, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

AGU embraces the global community and welcomes diverse leaders from around the world, representing various identities, voices, and perspectives. List any identities, voices, and perspectives you would bring, including but not limited to nationality, regional representations, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and any other identity you feel comfortable sharing.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been central to my research of intersecting the social sciences with hydrology. I have had the opportunity to live and work in numerous ideologically juxtaposed communities across the U.S. and can bring multiple geographic perspectives to the table. As a white male, I am sensitive to the barriers and challenges others face in our field, and I strive to continually improve my ability to listen to, communicate with, and lift up other voices.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

I currently have two volunteer positions within AGU: as a Community Science Fellow through the Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) and as a member of the Hydrology Section Student Subcommittee (H3S). Through TEX, I have put together a team of interdisciplinary scientists to address flooding and lead concerns in Georgetown, Seattle. Prior to moving to Austin, Texas, I was a volunteer for three years at the Auburn University Office of Sustainability working on sustainability engagement.


This leadership position is a liaison role; it aims to catalyze community and build AGU as envisioned by the strategic plan. How will you engage with other students and early career scientists to share, and solicit inputs to, important strategic discussions and actions being undertaken by the Council? Relating to AGU’s strategic plan, what features of the plan do you think are most exciting for the student and early career communities to engage with and advance?

My experiences of joint social-technical research, a necessary skill as AGU strives to emphasize solution-based science, will be of great value to the Council as a specific example of how younger scientists can, are, and will continue to perform interdisciplinary work. I will be able to draw on my educational background in engineering and public affairs to illustrate the importance of supporting early career scientists to pursue diverse educational opportunities to become more holistic researchers, scientists, and engineers. I also recognize that this is a fantastic opportunity to voice my own thoughts on the direction of AGU as influenced from my involvement elsewhere within the organization (H3S and TEX), again providing an outlet for more early career scientist activities to be represented on the Council.

The actions from the strategic plan that excite me the most are the moves toward and desire to cultivate a culture of trust in solution-based science. I believe that this will better foster a scientific community that is centered on applying emerging solutions to the threats society faces today and in the future. Advancing accessible evidence-based science will require us to directly work with those outside of the AGU organization and to do science with our communities, not just for them. Study after study has shown that the generation that encompasses the student and early career communities of today is more science curious and climate conscious than any other group before, and I believe the strategic plan represents this sentiment.

Section affiliations:

Hydrology; Science and Society