October 2020 Newsletter

Greetings from the Biogeosciences Section,                                                  

Here at the B-section, we’re thrilled to congratulate the 2020 Biogeosciences Section awardees and wanted to take a moment to tell you a bit more about them.

This year, the Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring has been awarded to Dr. Nandita Basu, from the University of Waterloo. Nandita is a highly accomplished researcher and leader who studies the role humans play in modifying water availability and quality through changing land use and climate, providing innovative solutions to water sustainability challenges. She has made strong contributions through her leadership activities, including serving on AGU committee and as Editor-in-Chief or associate editor for four journals.  Widely recognized for her mentoring excellence, Dr. Basu embodies the spirit of the Sulzman award by "lifting as she climbs".

Dr. Kelly Wrighton, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Colorado State University, is this year’s winner of the Thomas Hilker Early Career Award for Excellence. An active member of AGU and the B-Section, Dr. Wrighton studies the mechanisms of microbial carbon cycling in two major methane emitting systems: wetlands and shale gas wells.  She has made ground-breaking advances in using metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics, pure cultures, and geochemical approaches to understand the function of the microbial community in the subsurface.

Along with the Planetary Sciences Section, we warmly congratulate Compton James Tucker III, of NASA’s Goddard Space Center, who will present the Carl Sagan Lecture at this year’s AGU Fall Meeting. Dr. Tucker developed and deployed the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in 1970s and was the first to show the role of vegetation in the cyclic variations of atmospheric CO2.  His research has helped us understand land cover/change, droughts, early warning for famines, and ecologically-coupled disease outbreaks. Be sure to attend Dr. Tucker’s lecture at the Fall Meeting!

Outstanding Student Presentation Awards from 2019:

Madison Flint                                                            Carolyn Anderson

Emily Ury                                                                   Maurizia De Palma     

Jeremy Rapp                                                             Christopher Linscott Kibler

Hadley McIntosh Marcek                                          Mingfei Chen 

Minkyu Moon                                                             Josué Andrés Rodríguez-Ramos


Lastly, props to our new web-designer, Derek Pierson, who has done a complete revamp of our Section website: https://connect.agu.org/biogeosciences/home. Contact him at drk.pierson@gmail.com if you have website suggestions or ideas. And if you haven’t, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @AGUbiogeo.


As always, we welcome your suggestions and questions and participation in YOUR AGU.


Elise Pendall (President), Margaret Torn (President-Elect), Jennifer Pett-Ridge (Secretary)