AGU Science & Society Section Member Spotlight

AGU Science and Society is excited to feature our section's members -- from students and early career to more established members. If you would like us to highlight your work (or know someone who should be highlighted), please contact the AGU Science and Society President and President-elect (see contact list here).



June 2024: Kayla Smith

Working towards inclusion of indigenous thought in understanding the process we call Earth

Kayla Smith

Name: Kayla Smith
Contact:  kayla_x60[at]yahoo.com
Affiliation:  University of Arizona
Title:
Rising First-Year Graduate Student
Tell us about your science and society experiences: I am a rising first-year graduate student at the University of Arizona and have just graduated undergrad at Central State University. My research interests lie within planetary science and astrobiology. During my undergraduate career, I mainly studied the atmospheric chemistry of Mars and how that can lead to potential detection of current or past life. In my graduate studies, I will take what I have learned from Mars and apply it to exoplanet atmospheres and prepare for future missions such as the Habitable Worlds Observatory. I am extremely passionate about the intersection between society and astrobiology. In a recently published paper, my coauthors and I attempt to redefine what an ‘Earthlike’ planet is by incorporating multiple worldviews and relational ontologies, utilizing Indigenous perspectives as an example. The primary objective of this work was to emphasize that Earthlikeness is a process-based phenomenon that requires multiple perspectives to accurately identify and characterize. 



May 2024: Outstanding Student Presentation Awardee

Get to know a bit more about the 2022 winner of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).

Jacklynn Beck

Name: Jacklynn Beck
Contact:  beck.746[at]osu.edu
Affiliation:  The Ohio State University
Title:
Ph.D. Candidate
Links: https://asp.osu.edu/people/beck.746

Tell us about your science and society experiences:
I am a Ph.D. Candidate in atmospheric sciences at The Ohio State University. My research interests are in applied meteorology and climatology specifically in biosphere atmosphere interactions. Beyond the equations I am passionate about connecting research with education and policy contexts to make people climate informed. The past few summers I have worked with NOAA’s Climate Program Office to develop and update an inventory of climate programs across the federal family. The goal of this work is to pull together resources and best practices across departments and agencies to build a climate informed society. In the future I hope to continue integrating education and policy components into my research to build climate aware communities.



April 2024: Science & Society AGU Fellow

The Science and Society (SY) Section celebrates Kristie L. Ebi. Thank you for your inspiring work at the science-society interface! Learn more about SY awards and awardees here.

Kristie Ebi

Name: Kristie L. Ebi
Contact:  krisebi[at]uw.edu
Affiliation:  University of Washington
Title:
Professor, Center for Health and the Global Environment
Links: 
https://deohs.washington.edu/faculty/kristie-l-ebi; @krisebi.bsky.social; @krisebi@mastodon.green
Tell us about your science and society experiences:
I have been conducting research on the health risks of weather, climate variability, and climate change for more than 30 years. I focus on quantifying current and projecting future health risks; designing adaptation policies and measures to reduce these risks in multi-stressor environments; and quantifying the health co-benefits of mitigation policies. I’ve had the privilege of working with multiple countries in Africa, Central America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific in assessing their vulnerability and implementing adaptation measures. I also co-chair the International Committee On New Integrated Climate change assessment Scenarios (ICONICS) that coordinates development of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). Further, I contributed to all rounds of the U.S. National Climate Assessment and to multiple Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment cycles, including the special report on warming of 1.5°C and the human health chapter for Working Group II in the 6th assessment report.



March 2024: Science & Society AGU Fellow

The Science and Society (SY) Section joins the Global & Environmental Change Section in celebrating Connie Woodhouse. She is the first-ever AGU Fellow with a SY affiliation. Congratulations Connie and thank you for your inspiring work at the science-society interface! Learn more about SY awards and awardees here.

Connie Woodhouse

Name:  Connie Woodhouse
Contact:  conniew1[at]arizona.edu
Affiliation:  University of Arizona
Title:
 Professor Emerita
Links:  https://sites.arizona.edu/conniew1/
Tell us about your science and society experiences:
My background is in the physical sciences, specifically climatology, paleoclimatology and dendroclimatology. In the early part of my academic career, I focused on using tree-ring data to reconstruct and understand past climate, particularly in the semi-arid western US. However, severe drought conditions that impacted surface water supplies in the early 2000s provided me with a window of opportunity to do collaborative work with water resource managers. Questions being asked by water managers at that time (How bad is this drought in a centuries-long context? Is this drought part of natural climate variability or due to climate change?) could be addressed with the research my colleagues and I were starting in the Colorado River basin and elsewhere. While my research career has included the investigation of basic science questions, collaborative work with resource managers and water stakeholders has continued to be one of the most interesting and rewarding aspects of my career.



June 2022: Meet the AGU 21 OSPA Winners

Get to know a bit more about the 2021 winners of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).

Morgan DiCarlo

Name: Morgan DiCarlo
Contact: morgan.dicarlo[at]gmail[dot]com
Affiliation: North Carolina State University
Title:
PhD Candidate 
Links: Website and TEDx Talk
Tell us about your science and society experiences: I am a civil engineer and PhD candidate in the sociotechnical systems analysis lab at NC State. My research integrates people’s decision-making processes with information from large, technical datasets to gain operational insights about how to manage water hazards, such as floods and pipe failures. My first project involved collaborating with local communities and the volunteer rescue organization Cajun Navy to collect resident’s social media behaviors during hurricane Florence and develop a sociotechnical model in Python that simulates individually led efforts to seek and provide hurricane assistance. These outcomes are published in the journals of Smart Cities and Sustainable Cities and Societies. Currently, my research works with a water utility in North Carolina data to better understand trends in water use from smart meter data. Additionally, I developed a national survey to collect data on customer complaint management practices from more than 500 water utilities. I am very passionate about science communication, including founding a curriculum to introduce girls to civil engineering and serving as an American Geophysical Union’s Voices for Science Policy fellow.

Robby Goldman

Name: Robert ("Robby") Goldman
Contact: rgoldma3[at]illinois[dot]edu
Affiliation: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (PhD Candidate); U.S. Geological Survey, Volcano Science Center (NSF Graduate Research Intern)
Title:
NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Tell us about your science and society experiences: As an alumnus of a liberal arts institution (Pomona College), I have an innate curiosity for learning and exploring a variety of subjects. Accordingly, I have pursued an interdisciplinary PhD program in both geology and the social sciences, with the support of my National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. My current research explores two distinct aspects of volcano hazard mitigation: understanding the behavior of large basaltic shield volcanoes and identifying successful in-person and social media public communication strategies for volcanologists during eruption crises (more information can be found here). I first became involved with AGU’s Science and Society section through AGU’s Voices for Science program in 2018 (more information can be found here), where I learned how to build relationships with local, state and federal policymakers to encourage the legislation and enactment of policies either supporting scientific research or guided by scientific knowledge. After completing my PhD next year, I plan to continue conducting research at the intersection of science and society and providing guidance for a variety of stakeholders involved with hazard mitigation, public policy, information systems and/or human behavior.



December 2021: Meet the AGU 20 OSPA Winners

Get to know a bit more about the 2020 winners of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).

Chris Jadallah

Name: Chris Jadallah
Contact: ccjadallah[at]ucdavis.edu
Affiliation: University of California, Davis, School of Education
Title:
PhD Candidate and NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Tell us about your science and society experiences: As a learning scientist, I study how biophysical scientists, conservation professionals, and broader publics learn from each other through joint participation in collaborative and community-based approaches to scientific research. Drawing primarily on ethnographic and participatory methodologies, my current research specifically examines the knowledge co-production processes that occur through these initiatives as they relate to dam removal and watershed restoration efforts at multiple sites throughout the Western United States, with special attention to how power asymmetries between groups structure and mediate opportunities for community participation and engagement. Practitioner resources on this topic created with colleagues at the UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science can be found here. Ultimately, my work carries the dual goals of honoring and leveraging the expertise found within communities as an important resource for environmental problem-solving, as well as informing the design of collaborative learning environments that value multiple knowledge systems to cultivate just, resilient, and thriving social-ecological futures.

Rachel Lamb

Name: Rachel Lamb
Contact: rachlamb[at]umd.edu
Affiliation: University of Maryland, College Park; Maryland Department of the Environment
Title:
Post-Doctoral Associate; Maryland Sea Grant State Science Policy Fellow
Tell us about your science and society experiences: I am a geographer with a long-time interest in improving connections between science and policy. Using high-resolution forest carbon sequestration data, my doctoral research focused on advancing strategic reforestation in support of climate mitigation and other social and environmental goals alongside member states of U.S. Climate Alliance and partners at NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System. In this work, I focused on the potential applications of this new science to state climate action planning and the design and implementation of tree planting commitments. I continue to lead a project looking at how this same forest carbon science could be used to advance climate action planning and monitoring among universities, especially those with land-grant designations. As a Maryland Sea Grant State Science Policy Fellow, I currently work with the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Climate Change Program to advance coordination and integration of carbon sequestration science within the State’s climate action plan, greenhouse gas inventory, and other relevant climate policies. I focus specifically on natural and working lands, including forests and blue carbon ecosystems such as tidal salt marshes. More details about my recent work can be found here, here, here, and here.

Vinicius Perin

Name: Vinicius Perin
Contact: vperin[at]ncsu.edu | viniperin.com
Affiliation: Center for Geospatial Analytics, North Carolina State University
Title:
PhD student
Tell us about your science and society experiences: I am a geospatial scientist with a background in agronomy, geography, and environmental science. As part of my PhD work, I am investigating how on-farm reservoirs are impacting surface hydrology. The freshwater stored by these reservoirs is essential to global irrigation. Farmers use on-farm reservoirs to store water during the wet season for crop irrigation during the dry season. There are more than 2.6 million on-farm reservoirs in the US alone. Despite their importance for irrigating crops, reservoirs can contribute to downstream water stress by decreasing stream discharge and peak flow in the watersheds where they are built, thereby exacerbating water stress intensified by climate change and population growth. We are developing methods and algorithms to leverage a multi-sensor satellite imagery approach to improve on-farm reservoir monitoring, with the aim of supporting more efficient management of the reservoirs and mitigation of their downstream impacts. Upon successful implementation, this study can help policymakers and water authorities further understand the on-farm reservoirs’ water storage changes in space and time. Therefore, this study has the potential to enhance water conservation plans by allowing better assessment and management of water quantity. The last two years of my PhD will be funded by NASA through the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology fellowship. More information on this project can be found here (including related publications).

Maro Pontiki

Name: Maro Pontiki
Contact: mpontiki[at]udel.edu
Affiliation: University of Delaware
Title:
Graduate Research Assistant
Tell us about your science and society experiences: I am a Ph.D. candidate in Civil Engineering and my research investigates the response of natural flood defense systems to extreme events. I designed two laboratory experiments and, in the summer of 2019, I scaled and constructed dunes from Mantoloking, N.J., at O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Lab, OR, in collaboration with scientists from Texas A&M and Oregon State University. We discretized a segment of Hurricane Sandy recorded between October 29-30 in 2012 in smaller test intervals and examined the impact of the waves and the rising water levels on the beach profiles. These near-prototype physical models allowed circumvention of challenges involved in intra-storm field surveys and provided high-quality data across the dune structures. I analyze the collected records to identify the fundamental hydrodynamic and morphodynamic processes that lead to dune erosion. My overarching objective is to develop a fragility framework to assess the failure probabilities of dunes and improve risk-based decisions for coastal infrastructure damage. I am excited to make all the datasets accessible to the public as they will be an asset for coastal managers and engineers to evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of hurricane-induced coastal inundations. This research effort is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1756714, 1756477, 1756449.



July 2021: Art @ the Science

We invite ARTISTS and CREATIVES both at the AGU 2021 Fall Meeting and in the periphery to experience the science presented at the conference and to gain inspiration for new works or recall related works they have already created. 

Promoting wider sharing and openness, ideas that are celebrated in the arts and design communities, has inspired us to launch AGU Art @ the Science. This collaborative initiative is a new provocative way of engaging media and art to accompany and enrich science. A coalition of the Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST), the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS), and Flourishing Salons are working with scientists and artists worldwide to create a model for engaging artists through scientific conferences and facilitating the convergence of art and science.  

Art @ the Science is a model for engaging creatives through scientific conferences and for facilitating the convergence of art and science, via a social media campaign by creatives posting their works related and in response to the science at the conference. It creates the space, through "living documents," for exchange between the creatives and the scientists and weaves connections along the way. The model recognizes the opportunity of social media to be a different medium of exchange, one outside of the conference meeting rooms where the preconceptions and mindsets are different and perhaps a forum for new discourse. We are in the early stages of planning an in-person event for the AGU 2021 Fall Meeting and welcome your contribution. Please reach out to the Flourishing Salons to learn more, become involved, or to bring this concept to a scientific conference that you will be attending (ryan.mcgranaghan[at]gmail[dot]com).



  • Ryan McGranaghan
    Principal Data Scientist, ASTRA LLC
  • Clio Flego
    Digital Content Curator, Art @ the Science
  • Danielle Siembieda
    Managing/Creative Director, Leonardo/ISAST
  • Kathryn Semmens
    Science Director, Nurture Nature Center
    Art and Science Track Lead, AGU Science and Society Section



September 2020: Ian Bolliger

Bolliger_headshot.jpeg

Institution: Rhodium Group
Position: Climate Data Scientist
Contact Info: ibolliger@rhg.com
Tell us about your science and society experiences: I am an interdisciplinary environmental data scientist with a background in natural hazards, climate change impacts, geospatial analysis, remote sensing, economics, and global health. In my research, I quantify risks from extreme events in a changing climate, and I use this knowledge to evaluate strategies that mitigate and adapt to these changes. I blend large-scale observational data with insights from lab experiments, and I pair geophysical models with econometric estimates and optimization models. In one example, I lead a team of data scientists, hydrologists, and economists forecasting costs from hurricane-driven flooding and wind damage in the 21st century. In another, my colleagues and I develop a machine learning-based feature extraction algorithm that facilitates the use of remote sensing data for efficiently monitoring numerous socio-environmental metrics at a global scale. Learn more about this work here, here, here, and here. Recently, my co-authors and I applied familiar tools to a different field, joining econometric and epidemiological models to quantify the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on the spread of COVID-19.



July 2020: Sarah Alexander

SarahAlexander_headshot.jpg

Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Position: Graduate Research Assistant
Contact Info: salexander6@wisc.edu
Tell us about your science and society experiences: Communities worldwide suffer from variabilities in climate, such as drought or flood. These variations threaten livelihoods, creating food and water insecurity, and prompting public health concerns – particularly in areas with a single rainy season. Scientists have developed ‘seasonal climate forecasts,’ or ways to predict in advance the climate conditions expected the following season (wet or dry), which may assist farmers’ agricultural decisions. Yet, this information is under-utilized. Our research uses multiple methods from engineering, science communication, and sociology to develop a way to communicate climate information to farmers in Ethiopia for integration to decision-making. By engaging directly with our target audience, we developed a highly visual forecast bulletin and public engagement sessions to help potential users understand seasonal climate forecasts. This novel approach bridges the gap between scientific forecast development and integration to decision-making for increased resilience, food, and water security for communities vulnerable to climate variability. This work is part of an NSF PIRE project. More details about my work can also be found at the Water Systems and Society Research group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



May 2024: Outstanding Student Presentation Awardee

Get to know a bit more about the 2022 winner of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).

Jacklynn Beck

Name: Jacklynn Beck
Contact:  beck.746[at]osu.edu
Affiliation:  The Ohio State University
Title:
Ph.D. Candidate
Links: https://asp.osu.edu/people/beck.746

Tell us about your science and society experiences:

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in atmospheric sciences at The Ohio State University. My research interests are in applied meteorology and climatology specifically in biosphere atmosphere interactions. Beyond the equations I am passionate about connecting research with education and policy contexts to make people climate informed. The past few summers I have worked with NOAA’s Climate Program Office to develop and update an inventory of climate programs across the federal family. The goal of this work is to pull together resources and best practices across departments and agencies to build a climate informed society. In the future I hope to continue integrating education and policy components into my research to build climate aware communities.



May 2024: Outstanding Student Presentation Awardee

Get to know a bit more about the 2022 winner of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).

Jacklynn Beck

Name: Jacklynn Beck
Contact:  beck.746[at]osu.edu
Affiliation:  The Ohio State University
Title:
Ph.D. Candidate
Links: https://asp.osu.edu/people/beck.746

Tell us about your science and society experiences:

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in atmospheric sciences at The Ohio State University. My research interests are in applied meteorology and climatology specifically in biosphere atmosphere interactions. Beyond the equations I am passionate about connecting research with education and policy contexts to make people climate informed. The past few summers I have worked with NOAA’s Climate Program Office to develop and update an inventory of climate programs across the federal family. The goal of this work is to pull together resources and best practices across departments and agencies to build a climate informed society. In the future I hope to continue integrating education and policy components into my research to build climate aware communities.



May 2024: Outstanding Student Presentation Awardee

Get to know a bit more about the 2022 winner of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).

Jacklynn Beck

Name: Jacklynn Beck
Contact:  beck.746[at]osu.edu
Affiliation:  The Ohio State University
Title:
Ph.D. Candidate
Links: https://asp.osu.edu/people/beck.746

Tell us about your science and society experiences:

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in atmospheric sciences at The Ohio State University. My research interests are in applied meteorology and climatology specifically in biosphere atmosphere interactions. Beyond the equations I am passionate about connecting research with education and policy contexts to make people climate informed. The past few summers I have worked with NOAA’s Climate Program Office to develop and update an inventory of climate programs across the federal family. The goal of this work is to pull together resources and best practices across departments and agencies to build a climate informed society. In the future I hope to continue integrating education and policy components into my research to build climate aware communities.



May 2024: Outstanding Student Presentation Awardee

Get to know a bit more about the 2022 winner of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).

Jacklynn Beck

Name: Jacklynn Beck
Contact:  beck.746[at]osu.edu
Affiliation:  The Ohio State University
Title:
Ph.D. Candidate
Links: https://asp.osu.edu/people/beck.746

Tell us about your science and society experiences:

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in atmospheric sciences at The Ohio State University. My research interests are in applied meteorology and climatology specifically in biosphere atmosphere interactions. Beyond the equations I am passionate about connecting research with education and policy contexts to make people climate informed. The past few summers I have worked with NOAA’s Climate Program Office to develop and update an inventory of climate programs across the federal family. The goal of this work is to pull together resources and best practices across departments and agencies to build a climate informed society. In the future I hope to continue integrating education and policy components into my research to build climate aware communities.



May 2024: Outstanding Student Presentation Awardee

Get to know a bit more about the 2022 winner of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).

Jacklynn Beck

Name: Jacklynn Beck
Contact:  beck.746[at]osu.edu
Affiliation:  The Ohio State University
Title:
Ph.D. Candidate
Links: https://asp.osu.edu/people/beck.746

Tell us about your science and society experiences:

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in atmospheric sciences at The Ohio State University. My research interests are in applied meteorology and climatology specifically in biosphere atmosphere interactions. Beyond the equations I am passionate about connecting research with education and policy contexts to make people climate informed. The past few summers I have worked with NOAA’s Climate Program Office to develop and update an inventory of climate programs across the federal family. The goal of this work is to pull together resources and best practices across departments and agencies to build a climate informed society. In the future I hope to continue integrating education and policy components into my research to build climate aware communities.



May 2024: Outstanding Student Presentation Awardee

Get to know a bit more about the 2022 winner of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).

Jacklynn Beck

Name: Jacklynn Beck
Contact:  beck.746[at]osu.edu
Affiliation:  The Ohio State University
Title:
Ph.D. Candidate
Links: https://asp.osu.edu/people/beck.746

Tell us about your science and society experiences:

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in atmospheric sciences at The Ohio State University. My research interests are in applied meteorology and climatology specifically in biosphere atmosphere interactions. Beyond the equations I am passionate about connecting research with education and policy contexts to make people climate informed. The past few summers I have worked with NOAA’s Climate Program Office to develop and update an inventory of climate programs across the federal family. The goal of this work is to pull together resources and best practices across departments and agencies to build a climate informed society. In the future I hope to continue integrating education and policy components into my research to build climate aware communities.