Jonathan Ajo-Franklin

Near Surface Geophysics



Professor, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Rice University, Houston, 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.

I identify as a Jewish American hailing from the Midwest but seek to welcome voices and ideas from across our diverse scientific community. I bring the perspective of an active parent of young children in a two-scientist family, an increasingly common but important group within AGU. AGU has been at the leading edge of supporting families in science, particularly at the annual meeting, and I hope to further this goal. I am also among the 1 in 10 of our population with a hidden disability that impacts their daily life; this experience provides me with a different perspective on accessibility/accommodation challenges.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

As a member of AGU, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), and the Seismological Society of America (SSA) I've endeavored to build links across these societies. I co-chaired the SEG/AGU joint workshop on distributed acoustic sensing (2021) and worked on the SEG/AGU collaboration committee (2019-2022). I have spent considerable time in volunteer editorial roles (Geophysics [associate editor 2009-2016], The Seismic Record [associate editor 2020-2022], The Leading Edge [guest editor, 2017], Seismological Research Letters [guest editor, 2021-2022]). Lastly, I've worked to support data accessibility (IRIS Data Services Standing Committee).


This leadership position is a liaison role; it is one that aims to catalyze community and build AGU as envisioned by the strategic plan. How will you engage with members of your section to advance AGU’s strategic plan? How will you facilitate engagement with other sections and people outside AGU to support our mission?

The AGU strategic plan seeks to catalyze scientific discoveries and solutions, promote an inclusive culture, and broadly partner with other societies and sectors to achieve these goals. The core scientific focus of the Near-Surface Geophysics (NSG) section occurs at the interface between geological, hydrological, and biological systems (within the critical zone) and thus particularly benefits from collaboration across organizational and disciplinary boundaries. As president-elect of the Near-Surface Geophysics section, I will seek to (1) further connect NSG/AGU to the broader NS community affiliated with related organizations, particularly SEG & SSA, (2) ensure effective representation of NSG members in AGU decision-making to promote the health of the section, and (3) work to support the diverse NSG community, particularly early career scientists, through targeted activities and workshops. Past experience working on joint AGU/SEG research activities has convinced me that cross-society collaboration provides significant benefits to the section, exposing both communities to new ideas, particularly new methodologies and computational approaches.

Section affiliations:

Biogeosciences; Cryosphere Sciences; Hydrology; Mineral and Rock Physics; Near Surface Geophysics; Seismology