Sybil Seitzinger

College of Fellows



Executive Director and Professor, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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.

International, multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and cross-scalar are key themes that characterize my research perspective and work experience. I have lived and worked for short periods in Malaysia, Portugal, and France, and multi-years in Sweden (7 years), U.S. (>25 years), and Canada (6.5 years). I’m a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada. As Executive Director of International Geosphere Biosphere (IGBP) I traveled and worked with scientists around the world and developed an even deeper appreciation of the incredible scientific expertise outside of North America and Europe, the importance of encouraging and creating opportunities for their involvement on their terms in the global scientific community, and also the incredible work they were doing in their own countries. As a female graduate student in oceanography and an early career scientist in the 1970s and 80s I experienced being a minority. I bring a perspective of working across systems —- land, rivers, coastal, open ocean, and atmosphere, and from microbial to local to global scales. I get great joy in creating opportunities for new teams of people to work collaboratively with those they have not worked with before, watching them learn from each other and create new knowledge.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

AGU committees I’ve served on – — relevance I believe is self-explanatory (years are approx.): Biogeosciences Section Fellows Committee– (2020-2021); Meetings Committee – (2015-2019); Climate Communications Prize Award Committee (2015-2019); AGU Ethics Committee (2019)
International volunteer positions: U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), Steering Committee (2015-present); International Sustainability Advisory Board, Utrecht University, Netherlands (2018-present); International Geosphere Biosphere (IGBP) Scientific Committee (2003-2008); President of American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) (2006-2008)


The College of Fellows provides expert and strategic advice to AGU on global scientific issues and supports the professional development and engagement of people within the Earth and space community at all career stages. How will you facilitate engagement with scientists, partner organizations, other leaders and people outside AGU to support our mission?

The College of Fellows (CoF) has done amazing work already and in such a short time. CoF’s committees are well aligned with our mandate and AGU’s strategic plan. We need to continue to support these committees. At the same time, there is considerable room to further build the power of the CoF in supporting AGU’s mission, multiplying the impact of the CoF inside and outside of AGU. Growing the number of Fellows participating in CoF activities can increase our impact. We need to more actively reach out to recently elected Fellows, including early career Macelwane medalists, to explain what the opportunities are to participate and explore what resonates with them, what new ideas they might have. Send the CoF newsletter in all Fellows. New people bring new ideas and new passion. The CoF Mentoring subcommittee is doing great work in reaching out to early career scientists. The developing Global Hub Committee can further build diversity and inclusivity and reach scientists at all stages of their career, especially in under-represented countries. Society’s environmental challenges are huge. I would like to support an initiative in the CoF to support AGU’s strategic initiative to move our science from “usable” to “used.” This is consistent with the transition that I led in the climate solutions institute (PICS) which I directed the past 7 years. As a last point, we need to be careful that AGU Fellows are not see as an “exclusive club” but rather a community of highly successful scientists who are supporting and promoting AGU’s mission.

Section affiliations:

Atmospheric Sciences; Biogeosciences; Global Environmental Change; Ocean Sciences