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12 February 2018

International Darwin Day: Back to the Future – The Continued Descent of Humans

Not many ideas in Western culture have generated as much enlightenment and simultaneous division as the concepts Charles Darwin outlined in On The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. The idea that variation and natural selection drive evolution is the main reason people get flu shots every year or need ramped up antibiotics for recurring infections. Pretty simple stuff really. The division sometimes is revealed during discussions about …

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31 January 2018

Each One Teach One: A Geoscience Call to Action During Black History Month

African American history and traditions are interwoven with themes of resilience, interconnectedness across generations, strength from spiritualty, and learning from direct experiences. As we celebrate Black History Month in February, I welcomed the opportunity reflect on my own personal and professional experiences, as well as those of other African American professionals, that might serve as an inspiration to others. While ongoing efforts to increase the numbers of African American, Native …

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12 January 2018

Eight years After the Haiti Earthquake, Progress and Challenges

By Anne Sheehan, AGU Seismology Section President-Elect, Professor of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, and Fellow, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder Eight years ago, on January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, resulting in over 220,000 fatalities (Source: Munich Re) and displacing hundreds of thousands more. The earthquake occurred as the result of shallow strike-slip faulting …

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3 January 2018

2017 in Review: A Look at the State of Science Policy and What’s to Come

As 2017 began with a new administration in Washington, D.C., there was evidence that we could expect to face serious challenges to science policy and the scientific enterprise; some have come to pass, and others have not. Throughout this tumultuous year, AGU has played a significant role both in addressing these far-reaching issues and supporting the scientists and allies wanting to use their voices to speak up for science. From …

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14 November 2017

Thoughts from the Geoscience Alliance on National Native American Heritage Month

In November, the United States recognizes the significant contributions the first Americans have made to the establishment and growth of the U.S with National Native American Heritage Month. Writing this as members of the AGU and on behalf of the Geoscience Alliance, a national alliance to promote broadening participation of Native Americans in the geosciences, we wish to call attention of the scientific community to consider not only the past …

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9 October 2017

Earth Science and Human Activity: Taking Action to Avert Catastrophe

By Linda Rowan, AGU Societal Impacts and Policy Sciences (SIPS) Focus Group President, and Director of External Affairs, UNAVCO Inc. Earth science captures the public’s attention when a natural disaster strikes, when natural resources are needed or when Earth’s environment faces a threat. As the Earth science community prepares to celebrate Earth Science Week from 8-14 October 2017, with a theme of Earth Science and Human Activity, there has been …

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19 September 2017

World Ozone Day and the Success of the Montreal Protocol

September 16, 2017 was the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. In fact, September 16, 2017 marked the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Montreal Protocol. The protocol was aimed at regulating the production and use of chemicals that contribute to the depletion of Earth’s ozone layer. It entered into force on January 1, 1989, and has demonstrated the ability of the world’s nations to come together to solve an …

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12 September 2017

Taking Radical Leaps in How We Train Early Career Scientists: A Cue from the 25-year Anniversary of Mae Jemison’s Space Journey

By Jasmine Crumsey, Ph.D., AGU Council Member, and Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. “The overwhelming challenges we need to face today can’t be solved through incrementalism . . . What actually holds us back? Why aren’t we doing bigger things? The first answer is people and the perception of who has the solution.” – Dr. Mae Jemison, TEDArchive Talk: Want Interstellar Travel? Build Interdisciplinary …

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5 September 2017

Reflections on Voyager’s 40th Anniversary and the Future of Space Exploration

By Christina Cohen, Ph.D., AGU Council Member, AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy Section President-elect, and Member of the Professional Staff at the California Institute of Technology On the 40th anniversary of the Voyager mission it is impossible not to marvel at how far a human-built machine (with less computing power than the typical smart phone) has traveled. Voyager is the quintessential explorer, going into unknown realms and dutifully transmitting its …

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25 August 2017

Looking to the Past and Looking to the Future: Thoughts on Science and Women’s Equality Day

On 21 August, 2017, a solar eclipse swept across North America. Many AGU members were observing this wonder of our universe using everything from cutting-edge instruments to cardboard glasses ordered online. How different the faces studying the geophysics are now than they were in 1878 when Maria Mitchell of Vassar College was explicitly not invited to join the government supported expedition observing an eclipse. Refusing to miss the chance of …

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