Kathy Reeves

Space Physics and Aeronomy



Senior Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, 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 female, white, mid-career scientist. I grew up in the American West (Denver, Colorado), and I have lived in Oregon, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

I am currently the chair of the COSMO (Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory) Scientific Steering Committee and a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Solar Observatory Council. I have served the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Solar Physics Division (SPD) Hale and Harvel Prize Committees and the AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) Fred L. Scarf Dissertation Award Committee. In the past, I have been a member of the AAS SPD Committee and also served on the Nominating Committee for the SPD.


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 COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we engage with our colleagues, forcing us to find new ways to interact virtually. As the pandemic recedes, the challenge is to retain the best aspects of the virtual experience, while also reacquiring the advantages of in-person interaction. This hybrid approach could entail multiple modes to facilitate participation and interaction during meetings, including on-line presentations and virtual discussion spaces in addition to the in-person experience. Continuing to use these on-line tools as in-person meetings return will broaden participation and engagement from people who are not able to attend the meetings otherwise. 

The last few years have been hard on junior scientists who are trying to build their professional networks, particularly so for those from underrepresented communities and those with young families. These scientists are the future of our field, and we should prioritize their development by facilitating and prioritizing their attendance at meetings, developing robust mentoring strategies and programs, and identifying and eliminating barriers to participation for underrepresented groups.

Space physics is a unique field in that it is considered part of the geosciences, and it also has ties to astronomy. This dual role affords us a golden opportunity to broaden participation in the AGU SPA section by partnering with the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society. The Triennial Earth-Sun Summit meetings are a prime example of successful coordination between these two organizations. As a member of the AAS, I will continue and expand the coordination between the two groups.

Section affiliations:

Education; Space Physics and Aeronomy