Joseph D. Ortiz

Global Environmental Change



Professor and Assistant Chair, Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

I served as the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA) marine geoscience councilor and as a member of the Ohio Geologic Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Strickland to provide advice to the Ohio state geologist. I am a member of Environmental Awareness Committee for Hudson, Ohio, providing advice on environmental issues to City Council. I am the assistant chair of the Department of Geology at Kent State and serve on other departmental, college and university committees.


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 new strategic plan including its mission and vision?

AGU seeks to advance basic and applied science to create a more equitable and diverse society by generation of new scientific knowledge and implementation of scientifically sound public policies to advance all members of the global community and our organization. Throughout my career, I have advocated for scientific integrity and social justice. As a first-generation, Hispanic college student, I understand the challenges faced by people of color trying to navigate a system that can seem foreign, with unwritten rules. As a graduate student, I served on the dean’s advisory committee and advocated for student rights. My research transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries, allowing me to bring unique perspectives to my research. As a faculty member, I advocate for women in science and mentor diverse and international students who have successful science careers in academia, industry and government. I have raised millions of dollars in scholarship funds to help hundreds. I am a vocal advocate for science in the public space, authoring essays on climate change and environmental issues, and active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). As the secretary for the Global Environmental Change section of AGU, I can bring these perspectives and my experiences to the president and president-elect to help ensure that the decisions they make for the section are informed by a diverse perspective. I will also work to ensure that the members of the section are kept informed of the projects and direction of the section and will be open to ideas from the community.

Section affiliations:

Global Environmental Change