Zackary Johnson

Ocean Sciences

Secretary Biological Oceanography


Associate Professor, Duke University, Beaufort, NC, 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.

While I acknowledge that I come from a privileged background, in my research, education and outreach I work hard to ensure that a broad and diverse range of voices are brought to conversations. Extensive international travel, living in variety of locations and a broad interest in history have instilled me with a belief that diversity in thought and background is critical to good science, education and policy - we can all grow by learning from different perspectives. To achieve this goal, I actively work, such as through volunteering with under-represented students or through leadership of anti-racism activities on our campus, to achieve an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

For AGU I have volunteered on the Fall Meeting Program Committee (Ocean Sciences section) and as a judge for student posters. In other organizations I have volunteered as a meeting mentor for students and under-represented groups.


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?

Starting from my first scientific meeting (AGU Ocean Sciences) ~30 years ago to more recent AGU Fall Meetings, I continue to be amazed by the remarkable discoveries, passion, and commitment of my colleagues in the ocean sciences and beyond. AGU represents an incredible assembly of Earth and space scientists who come together to form a powerful voice for the community. With this union comes great responsibility on multiple fronts. First, it is paramount that AGU continues to be the standard bearer of excellence; whether promoting the best science, providing position statements on climate change, advocating for research funding or hosting cutting-edge meetings among many other activities, AGU should be synonymous with quality. Second, AGU can only achieve this excellence if integrity, respect and diversity are core to its activities. Indeed, fostering a welcoming, inclusive and transparent organization is essential to trusted and equitable information and action. Third, while AGU is a large organization with an impressive breadth of membership, it cannot achieve its broader goals alone – it must effectively collaborate with partner organizations (e.g., stakeholders, communities, governments and companies) that have unique insight, abilities and membership. Finally, with its history, position and size, through enhanced education and outreach AGU is uniquely positioned to inspire discovery and application by future scientists and leaders. As a secretary for the Biological Oceanography section, these would be my core values upon which I would work with the president and president-elect to advance science, innovation and action as part of the AGU strategic plan.

Section affiliations:

Biogeosciences; Global Environmental Change; Ocean Sciences