Assistant Professor, Columbia University, New York, NY, 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’m a white woman and recent mother. As part of my own identity, it is important to me that AGU continues to create equal opportunities for men and women and that the organization fosters a family-friendly environment that provides support for scientists with young children. I also feel strongly about increasing diversity and amplifying voices from groups that are historically underrepresented, whether within the scientific community or those that form stakeholders. I’ve been involved in several groups and projects in which I’ve learned about the importance of this issue and tried to start addressing it: (1) I have contributed to the GeoContext group in which we have developed short storytelling teaching modules that highlight the complicated social and political backdrop that accompanied past geologic discoveries. (2) I’m part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, in which we co-produce knowledge on past and future sea-level change with native communities around Greenland. (3) I’ve been on multiple university committees that aim to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion including the Equality and Diversity Committee at the University of Cambridge, U.K. (2017), the Lamont Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (2020), and currently our departmental Diversity Committee (2022).

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

For the past four years I’ve been a co-leader (1 of 4) of the PALEO constraints on SEA-level rise (PALSEA) working group, which is the leading organization on paleo sea level and has approximately 300 members. We organize annual meetings, sessions at conferences, and community-driven research. 

I’m involved with the Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG) where I have served on multiple committees. I’m also a principal developer of their mantle convection code ASPECT (Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth’s ConvecTion).


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?

As a big organization, AGU has the potential to reach a large swath of scientists and initiate the important change that is outlined in the strategic plan. However, due to its size I can imagine that it is also challenging to mobilize its members. The most formative experiences for me as an early career scientist occurred in smaller organizations such as PALSEA. This group holds small (~50 participants) annual meetings but also convenes sessions at AGU and organizes social mixers during AGU’s annual meeting. I imagine that subgroups like this also exist within the Tectonophysics division and I believe these groups could provide an efficient way for engaging members. The Tectonophysics leadership could assess what groups exist, work with their leaders to implement AGU’s mission (during the annual meeting and beyond), and identify and fill gaps (both regarding scientific scope and identity). Working with subgroups would also allow targeted implementation of different aspects of the strategic plan and distributing the workload.

Section affiliations:

Earth and Planetary Surface Processes; Ocean Sciences; Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology; Study of the Earth's Deep Interior; Tectonophysics