Colleen Hansel




Associate Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

Volunteer experience includes AGU Biogeosciences Fellows Committee, AGU Biogeosciences Canvassing Committee, associate editor for Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (2019-present), chair and member of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource User’s Committee (2013-2016), advisory panel member for Geobiology Journal and Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts Journal (2016-present), chair of Biogeochemistry Theme at 2013 Goldschmidt.


Council members play critical roles as communication conduits among AGU members and leaders. How will you engage with members of your section to advance AGU’s new strategic plan? How might you facilitate engagement with other sections and people outside AGU to support our mission?

AGU’s new scientific mission to inspire discovery-based science in solving emerging world problems requires collaboration and communication within and between AGU sections and with organizations beyond AGU’s borders. The recent coronavirus pandemic has exemplified the utility and versatility of online communication and social media platforms in disseminating information and conducting working groups, particularly with regard to global participation. While virtual programming cannot replace the more personal exchanges experienced during in-person meetings, increasing AGU’s virtual presence has several benefits to our community and environment that include providing increased accessibility to a more diverse socioeconomic community while decreasing our carbon footprint.

As president-elect of Biogeosciences (B), I foresee engaging with B section members via a combination of current communication practices while implementing new strategies to diversify and increase engagement. The Biogeosciences newsletter, Twitter account, and website keep the community up to date but are primarily one-way exchanges of information. Moving forward, enhancing community engagement, particularly members from underrepresented and early-career groups, needs to be a key priority. Engagements could include a Biogeosciences listserv, topical virtual webinar series and/or workshops focused on key issues. To cross disciplinary boundaries within AGU and engage those outside, emphasis could be placed on co-hosting topical workshops and symposia at the annual Fall Meeting and throughout the year via virtual platforms. By taking a proactive approach and with community involvement, we can develop strategies to cross disciplinary barriers, implement programs to increase diversity and inclusion and help AGU serve as an example for the Earth and space sciences community.

Section affiliations:

Biogeosciences; Ocean Sciences