Jory Lerback

AGU Council Student and Early Career Positions

Early Career Scientist II


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles, 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.

I am a mixed-race queer woman who grew up in California and who has lived in many parts of the U.S.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

I founded and lead Inclusive Earth, a graduate student-led organization aiming to increase diversity and inclusivity in Earth science. With this organization, we developed programs and curricula geared towards professional development, skill sharing, near-peer mentoring networks, and community more broadly. I trained three subsequent student generations of Inclusive Earth leaders. 

I was on the board of a nonprofit, Friends of the Great Salt Lake, where I was on the Arts and Science Committee, and environmental justice advocate.


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?

I will create dialogue with early career and student scientists to explore the ethical and practical nuances of AGU’s initiatives. For example, I use forums at AGU conferences (such as Frontiers in Hydrology) and at my local institutions to implement activities exploring the social fabric of research and to understand the benefits and potential harms of different research structures. In particular, AGU’s focus on open science and open data are interesting subjects that are worth critically exploring. Science should be accessible; to do this we must value community partnerships by giving (particularly marginalized) partners sovereignty over data and products generated with AGU and other Earth scientists. We will build guidelines to build trust and clarity for all parties engaging in environmental justice. 

As geosciences become more aware of the importance and dignity associated with representation, we need to embody the idea that ethical science is diverse science. I am excited about these aspects of AGU’s strategic plan, emphasizing that representation and broad diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are critical to ethically designing and contextualizing the environmental research we need to have a just and sustainable global future. To accomplish this, I will use my experience leading writing and policy workshops, where these creative spaces help students and early career researchers design the projects and work environments that transform the geosciences, benefiting both individuals and communities. I would also work with my community to use AGU’s data-driven insights on demographic diversity to continue to be a leader in inclusion and accountability.

Section affiliations:

Global Environmental Change; Hydrology; Science and Society; Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology