How the Cryosphere Sciences Section Will Celebrate 100 Years of AGU


Lora Koenig, President-elect, AGU Cryosphere Sciences Section

AGU’s Centennial is just around the corner, officially kicking off at the 2018 Fall Meeting in Washington, D. C., and running through the 2019 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. I look forward to a celebration marked by a variety of elements that will highlight the talents and drive of both our scientific sections and our membership. The Centennial offers us the opportunity for a coast-to-coast celebration of scientific achievement. But how, specifically, should we mark this occasion?

I put this question to the Cryosphere Sciences Executive Committee and our Centennial subcommittee. Their response was, “Celebrate everything!” Realizing that we had to be more strategic in our efforts, we then asked committee members, “What if everyone in our section gave 100?”—either 100 minutes of their time or $100 from their pocketbook to endow the Cryosphere Sciences section for our next 100 years. With some 1500 primary members and 4500 secondary members, this type of celebration would have a concrete, visible impact. We created a hashtag, #CryoGives100, and were off and running.

CryoGives100 will be a multifaceted campaign designed to document achievements in cryospheric sciences, provide outreach and education materials, change policy as it relates to cryospheric sciences, and engage our membership to ensure that our next 100 years will continue to advance and share our science. Throughout AGU’s Centennial, we will provide five engagement opportunities for our section’s members, to empower them to pitch in and donate their 100 minutes of time:

  1. YouTube Videos: We will solicit 20 members to each make a 5-minute video on snow and ice science that will be shared with the public on YouTube to help demystify and promote the importance of cryospheric science.
  2. Letters to Elected Officials: To better engage our local and global policy leaders, committee members will draft letters that speak to the pivotal role cryospheric research plays in better understanding our changing climate.
  3. Cryospheric Photos: We will solicit individual photos from section members to create “100 Faces, 100 Places, 100 Years of Cryospheric Research,” which we will use to illustrate cryospheric change and research.
  4. Mentoring the Next Generation of Cryospheric Scientists: We will organize mentoring sessions at Fall Meeting for members to participate in to help develop our talent pool of cryospheric scientists for the next 100 years.
  5. Special Sessions at the 2018 and 2019 Fall Meetings: For Fall Meeting in both 2018 and 2019, we have organized special sessions, “100 Years of Cryosphere” and “The Next 100 Years of Cryosphere,” respectively, to help share our past history and shape our goals for the future.

We are slowly ramping up our efforts to turn our ideas into reality for AGU’s Centennial. I encourage all sections to consider how they will celebrate and to share their celebration ideas throughout the kickoff and duration of Centennial.

Centennial is a time to celebrate the scientific achievements of our past; marvel at scientific, global, and social change; and set our vision for the future. It is an opportunity to document our section’s collective history while avoiding the pitfalls of nostalgia and past biases. As we kick off Centennial, I hope that all Cryosphere Sciences section members will actively contribute to the CryoGives100 campaign. I would also encourage AGU’s other sections to consider what they can do to celebrate Centennial in a manner that reflects their hopes, goals, and aspirations for AGU’s next 100 years. Let us join together to celebrate the work of all of AGU’s member scientists, who work every day to ensure a more sustainable future for us all.

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