Belle Philibosian




Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Moffett Field, CA, 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.

Cisgender woman, Middle Eastern (Armenian) and mixed European ethnicity, American, Californian

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

I was a member of the planning committee for the annual U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Northern California Earthquake Hazards Workshop in 2020 and 2022. Since 2009 I have amassed a variety of relevant communication experience, including ~2 community outreach activities or media interviews per year (related to earthquake science). Since 2016, I have also mentored several USGS interns, served on thesis defense committees and grant award panels, and provided peer reviews for ~5 publications or proposals per year.


As one of the elected leaders of your section, how will you partner with your president and president-elect to communicate with and engage your members to help implement AGU’s strategic plan including its mission and vision?

Clear communication of science is integral to many aspects of AGU’s mission. Recognizing student scientists who are excellent communicators is the goal of the Outstanding Student Presentation Award (OSPA) program, the administration of which is one of the primary duties of the Tectonophysics secretary. Particularly given the large numbers of student presentations at recent Fall Meetings, the current system struggles to provide consistent and useful feedback for all students. While anyone who receives an OSPA honor undoubtedly deserves it, there are doubtless many deserving presenters who are missed due to a lack of or inconsistency in judging, and for non-winners the feedback is often minimal, limiting the utility of the program for improving students’ presentation skills. If elected, one of my primary goals would be to work with other section leaders to improve the OSPA program, considering more efficient ways to recruit judges, assign judges to presentations, and collect and present more detailed feedback to student presenters.

If elected, I will also work with other section leaders to craft and deliver member communications that are concise, timely, and convenient for members to read. Members have varying preferences for how they receive AGU communications and engage with community forums and I will prioritize surveying and meeting those preferences as much as possible. Finally, I will strive to organize and promote events that encourage innovation toward scientific solutions, such as by bringing together people with a diversity of personal experience, sector of employment, and expertise relevant to a particular topic or challenge.

Section affiliations:

Geodesy; Natural Hazards; Seismology; Tectonophysics