Announcing AGU 2020 Presidential Citation recipients

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As AGU’s president, I have the opportunity to award Presidential Citations, in consultation with the board members, to recognize those who have helped advance Earth and space sciences and increased the understanding and appreciation of its value to society since 2012.

This year, we are honored to announce the recipients are the teams who created “Call for a Robust Anti-Racism Plan for the Geosciences” and “No Time for Silence.” There are a number of geoscientists of color on both teams. The first was led by Dr. Hendratta Ali, Associate Professor, Geosciences, Fort Hays State University, Geolatinas Advisor. The latter was led by Dr. Vernon Morris, member of AGU Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences and Director, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary arts and Sciences, Arizona State University and Emeritus Professor, Atmospheric Sciences Program, Howard University .

When we saw George Floyd’s murder in May, we were horrified. We continue to see persistent systemic racism that permeates every aspect of our society and disparately treats Black and Brown people in the U.S. and around the world.

AGU was one of the first scientific societies to publicly support the call to make significant and meaningful changes throughout our communities, but we also knew we needed to do more. Even though AGU has removed a lot of barriers, there is so much more work to do. We recognize that we must focus on diversity, equity and inclusion holistically since geosciences remains one of the least diverse sciences.

The two teams, led by Dr. Ali and Dr. Morris, shared their framework recommendations for steps our community should take to make meaningful changes. Their teams’ words served as the framing documents for change from institutions small and large around the world including at AGU, where we committed to eight strong and meaningful actions to change and improve the scientific enterprise.

As Susan and I wrote earlier this year, these eight actions demonstrate our commitment to “making systemic changes to address racism and fostering an inclusive culture. They impact where we invest our money; how we select our leaders; how we share our science; what work we do, honor and reward; and how we foster the next generation of scientists and leaders.”

We are grateful for the leadership of Dr. Ali and Dr. Morris as well as their respective teams for creating a dialogue so we can make meaningful change in our respective communities.

Call for a Robust Anti-Racism Plan for the Geosciences” launching team:

  • Dr. Hendratta Ali, Associate Professor, Geosciences, Fort Hays State University, Geolatinas Advisor
  • Erika Amir-Lin, Geoscientist, American Water Works Association, Denver, CO
  • Dr. Jennifer Bauer, Research Museum Collections Manager, University of Michigan, Museum of Paleontology
  • Dr. Rocío P. Caballero-Gill, Co-Founder & Executive Officer – GeoLatinas
  • Julia Cisneros, Graduate Student, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Leadership Council – GeoLatinas
  • Dipa Desai, Graduate Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Maitri Erwin, Microsoft Corp., Houston SEG (exploration) Foundation Board, and Women’s Network Committee Advisory Board
  • Dr. Lis Gallant, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Leadership Council – GeoLatinas
  • Dr. Nicole Gasparini, Associate Professor, Tulane University, New Orleans GSA Fellow
  • Kiara Jeannelle Gomez, Graduate Student, University of Texas at Austin, Austin
  • Dr. Benjamin A. Keisling, Postdoctoral Fellow, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades
  • Dr. Julie Libarkin, Professor, Michigan State University, GSA Fellow
  • Dr. Robert Mahon, Assistant Professor, University of New Orleans, New Orleans
  • Dr. Erika Marín-Spiotta, Professor; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Leadership Council – Earth Science Women’s Network
  • Dr. Blair Schneider, Associate Researcher and Science Outreach Manager, University of Kansas, Kansas geological Survey
  • Dr. Sarah Sheffield, Assistant Professor, The University of South Florida, Florida, GSA Fellow
  • Dr. Kalynda K. Gonzales Stokes, Neuroscientist, SACNASista, McNair Fellow
  • Leiaka Welcome, Graduate Student,  Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
  • Dr. Jane Willenbring, Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, GSA Fellow
  • Darryl Reano, post doc, Florida International University

No Time for Silence” launching team:

  • Dr. Vernon Morris, Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences and Director, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary arts and Sciences, Arizona State University and Emeritus Professor, Atmospheric Sciences Program, Howard University
  • Dr. Lisa White, Director, Education and Outreach, Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Jose D. Fuentes, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Pennsylvania State University
  • Dr. Christopher L. Atchison, Associate Professor and Executive Director, The International Association for Geoscience Diversity, University of Cincinnati
  • Dr. Wendy F. Smythe, Assistant Professor, American Indian Studies and Earth & Environmental Science, University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Dr. Melissa Burt, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering; Research Scientist, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
  • Dr. Leticia Williams, Postdoctoral Fellow, NOAA Cooperative Science Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Howard University
  • Dr. Aradhna Tripati, Director, Center for Diverse Leadership in Science; Associate Professor, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, American Indian Studies Center, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Dr. Belay B. Demoz, Professor of Physics, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and Adjunct Professor, Atmospheric Sciences Program, Howard University
  • Dr. Roy A. Armstrong, Professor of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
    Tracy Perkins, Assistant Professor, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University
  • Alan Gunn, Executive Director, Aspiration

Past Presidential Citation for Science and Society recipients are listed on our website.

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