11 October 2018
By Eric A. Davidson, AGU President
As AGU embarks upon its Centennial, both reflecting back on a century of discoveries, innovations, solutions, and collaborations and looking forward to the next century of exciting possibilities, it is clear that our mission to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity will soon rest in the hands of the next generation of scientists. What will that generation of scientists look like, and what challenges will they face?
Mentorship provides a critical opportunity for professionals at any stage to learn from the insights and experiences of established scientists as they navigate their careers and define their professional goals. To help enable a diverse community of Earth and space scientists to succeed in their chosen fields, AGU and its partners, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the Association for Women Geoscientists, the American Meteorological Society, and the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, are proud to announce a suite of new enhancements to the successful Mentoring365 program.
Mentoring That Transcends Boundaries
Mentoring opportunities can often be inaccessible to many because of socioeconomic constraints, limited local scientific networks, or an inability to attend annual society meetings where professional relationships are often forged. Enter Mentoring365.
First launched in 2017, Mentoring365 is a year-round program that brings together early- and advanced-career Earth and space scientists to help facilitate the sharing of professional knowledge, expertise, skills, and insights. So far, the program has already matched 168 mentors and mentees via its online platform. Key to the program’s success is its ability to transcend geographic boundaries. More than half of mentees (51%) and 38% of mentors came from outside the United States. Furthermore, nearly two thirds of mentees chose a mentor from a different country, helping connect scientists from all over the world.
Improved Facilitation of Mentorship
Now, a year after its inception, Mentoring365 is getting an upgrade. The improved platform offers a more diverse mentor pool with expertise spanning industry, academia, and government. The new Mentoring365 platform uses algorithms to match mentees with scientists whose research interests and mentoring goals more closely align with their own. The update also offers in-platform messaging and a mobile app. Additionally, mentors and mentees can track progress toward goals and receive messages from Mentoring365 that help enhance resource sharing and discussion facilitation.
Free to all members of the Mentoring365 partner societies, the improved platform creates a high-impact sharing experience that will prove vital in ensuring that the geosciences promote an increasingly inclusive, interconnected, and knowledgeable workforce prepared to face the challenges of the next 100 years.
Give Back to the Scientific Community
If you are an early-career scientist looking for career guidance in your field or if you are an experienced Earth and space scientist looking to give back to your scientific community, I hope that you will consider becoming a part of Mentoring365. The effectiveness of our science on the world around us, including economic, environmental, and human health conditions around the globe, will depend upon growing a diverse and inclusive community of researchers ready to lead the way. There is more to this transition than simply passing a baton across generations. Effective mentoring can help open doors to new possibilities for a new generation of scientists to lead us into our next century of scientific discovery for the benefit of humanity.