Todd A. Harwell

AGU Council Student and Early Career Positions

Early Career Scientist II


Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Community and Citizen Science, University of California Davis, Portland, OR, 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 believe it is vital to acknowledge the common and distinct identities, voices, experiences, and perspectives of leaders — especially leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). In this regard, I identify as a gay/queer white cisgender man who is in a marriage and partnership with a gay/queer Hispanic (of South American origin) cisgender man. As a member of the LGBTQ2SIA+ community, I am deeply committed to pursuing meaningful work that supports and represents all backgrounds and identities, especially those that have historically been marginalized, oppressed, and/or excluded. I believe that diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are an integral part of both my personal and professional identities, which are inherently intertwined with and reflective of my lived experiences as a queer individual. As someone who was raised and resided in the southern United States until my mid-twenties, it wasn’t until moving to the Pacific Northwest to pursue a Ph.D. that I encountered openly queer scientists and academics. I am passionate about acknowledging and validating the great value that diverse identities, voices, experiences, and perspectives contribute to research, organizations, and society at large.

Volunteer experience that relates to this position:

Voices for Science (Media/Communications track) 2022 to 2023 Cohort Member; Community Science Fellow with AGU's Thriving Earth Exchange (2020 to 2022); “Out in STEM PDX” Event Organizer as part of the Community Leadership Project with the Q Center (2019); ComSciCon-PNW Executive Organizing Committee Member (2018 to 2019)


This leadership position is a liaison role; it aims to catalyze community and build AGU as envisioned by the strategic plan. How will you engage with other students and early career scientists to share, and solicit inputs to, important strategic discussions and actions being undertaken by the Council? Relating to AGU’s strategic plan, what features of the plan do you think are most exciting for the student and early career communities to engage with and advance?

Connecting with students and other early career scientists across AGU’s various programs and platforms will be imperative to engage their voices and perspectives on various issues. As a recent Community Science Fellow with AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange and current Voices for Science Advocate, I believe these and other groups of engaged individuals can provide valuable input and feedback. Additionally, I seek to establish and foster an AGU Connect community for students and early career scientists across all sections and disciplines to provide space for open dialogue, networking, and support for professional development.

I believe that many students and early career scientists are passionate to engage and advance the goal to promote and exemplify an inclusive scientific culture. It is greatly important to hold the Council accountable in their engagement and consideration of diverse voices and perspectives on a variety of issues. Additionally, diversifying the broader AGU community will require sustained actions that promote and support accessibility and inclusivity for current and prospective members from underrepresented backgrounds, cultures, and communities.

I aim to work to provide a variety of opportunities and platforms through which the student and early career scientist community can share their perspectives, experiences, and feedback with the Council. I also plan to report back to this community about how their input is received, considered, and implemented as related to Council discussions and actions. These open feedback loops will be vital to establishing and maintaining mutual trust and respect among this community and with other communities in the broader AGU network.

Section affiliations:

Education; Ocean Sciences; Science and Society