Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

JEDI Questionnaire 2022

Taking our Call to Action to heart and following up on our 2021 JEDI Note-Taking initiative, the Science and Society section has launched JEDI Questionnaire 2022. During Fall Meeting 2022, we request audience members and conveners to ask JEDI-related questions in their sessions (see "JEDI Ideas" below) and to fill out the questionnaire form after each session. This is a voluntary effort led by the Science & Society Section and supported by members in the Hydrology and Education Sections of AGU. 

To open questionnaire, scan or click QR code or copy and paste into browser the URL address: https://tinyurl.com/JEDIQuestionnaire2022

JEDI Questionnaire 2022 QR Code

JEDI Note-Taking 2021

Photo by Andrew Ly (unsplash)

JEDI Reflections at the AGU Fall Meetings

by Kripa Jagannathan, Christopher Hyun, Anna Wilson, Jeanne Fernandez, Julie Vano, Kate Semmens, Kristen St John, Lindsey Middleton, Ryan Meyer, Thushara Gunda, Vincent Tong

The Science and Society Section, with support from AGU members from Hydrology and Education sections, piloted a “JEDI note-taking” activity at the AGU Fall Meeting held in December 2021 (in a hybrid: in-person + virtual format). The main goal of this effort was to encourage active reflection and conversations about JEDI issues in the AGU community, and gather insights into the question: What are the various ways that AGU's members and presenters currently engage in JEDI issues? How can we improve and move forward?

Ten AGU members undertook two tasks; (1) they asked a JEDI related question in a Fall meeting session that they attended, and (2) they summarized their reflections on the ways in which JEDI issues were discussed (or not) in the session using a semi-structured note-taking template. The captured observations highlighted many examples of JEDI-relevant efforts being undertaken in the AGU community. Below, we synthesize these notes organized around key questions related to JEDI considerations in the geosciences.

  1. How diverse, equitable and inclusive is the AGU community
  2. Does the Fall Meeting format allow for effective JEDI-related discussions?
  3. Are geoscientists and geoscience agencies building institutional mechanisms/frameworks that systemically address JEDI issues?
  4. To what extent are geoscientists engaging with different communities in their work?
  5. Are geoscientists using data, methods, tools, literature, or approaches that are specifically developed to study JEDI issues?
  6. Who benefits (or is harmed) by the work that geoscientists do?

How diverse, equitable and inclusive is the AGU community?

Our note-takers highlighted that the 2021 Fall Meeting presented an opportunity to observe who the AGU community consists of, and called for more active reflections and acknowledgement on the diversity (or lack thereof) of our members, presenters, session convenors and overall session attendees. While they acknowledged that a visual observation was insufficient to ascertain who was in the room, and whose voices were missing, the note-takers acknowledged the need to reflect on how diverse the session participation was.

Does the Fall Meeting format allow for effective JEDI-related discussions?

The activity also highlighted the need to assess whether and to what extent the Fall Meeting format allowed for conversations on JEDI-related issues. Some note-takers suggested that when sessions included discussion time, it allowed for presenters and audience to reflect on and discuss broader issues related to the impact of geosciences work. While recognising that the hybrid format was a new learning experience for AGU, some note-takes also highlighted that some of the technical issues with maneuvering the complicated hybrid format could have exacerbated existing inclusivity issues. Overall, there were suggestions that there is room for improvement in actively encouraging sessions to allow for broader discussions beyond just presentations.

Are geoscientists and geoscience agencies building institutional mechanisms/frameworks that systemically address JEDI issues?

The 2021 Fall Meeting highlighted many burgeoning institutional efforts being undertaken by the AGU community to address JEDI issues. These included several efforts to develop anti-racist and JEDI curricula and training, as well as specific programs to increase diversity in geosciences by removing barriers to participation in geosciences. However, challenges were not absent. For example, our note-takers noted that the presenters would often bring up the lack of funding for long-term sustainability and scaling-up of these efforts.

To what extent are geoscientists engaging with different communities in their work?

One of the most prominent ways in which AGU scientists engaged in JEDI issues was through working with different communities as part of their science, research, practice or art. Direct engagement with communities that may impact or might be impacted by geosciences was seen as extremely valuable. Fall Meeting presenters shared many examples of geoscientists actively collaborating and co-creating knowledge with local communities, decision-makers, traditional knowledge holders, etc. Yet it was also noted that there are still barriers to appropriately and effectively engaging different communities especially those traditionally marginalized.

Are geoscientists using data, methods, tools, literature, or approaches that are specifically developed to study JEDI issues?

Some JEDI relevant approaches highlighted by presenters during their Fall Meeting sessions included integrating indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge (ITEK) into geosciences, forming equitable research-practice partnerships with communities, and using service learning approaches. Within quantitative-oriented sessions, there was increased emphasis on social vulnerability data or indices, and approaches such as participatory modeling. Other JEDI-related concepts and approaches that were mentioned include place- and culture- based geoscience practices, and also using art to make science equitable. Few note-takers reported discussions on framings such as anti-colonial or feminist approaches or practices, and also highlighted that there was room for improvement in further highlighting such approaches in geosciences.

Who benefits (or is harmed) by the work that geoscientists do?

The note-takers also highlighted discussions on the role of geoscientists and AGU in understanding where funding and research need to be focused, in order to benefit the most marginalized and those historically impacted. For example, perspectives and responsibilities related to ‘loss and damage’ in climate funding came up in some sessions, while in others the more philosophical question of “What is the role of science in society” was also brought up. As one of the session presenters stated; “Science can and should help drive equity and justice” but “Science can also amplify injustices and drive equitable solutions.”

Overall thoughts

The six questions that we extracted from the synthesis of the JEDI notes reiterated the embeddedness of the geosciences within society and the social structures around us. Our reflections on how JEDI considerations are discussed (or not) within AGU also highlight how we as geoscientists are maneuvering ourselves as a community within the social process with which our work and our institutions intersect. This simple effort of actively and intentionally reflecting on JEDI within each session and asking a JEDI-related question, allowed for conversations that do not otherwise happen naturally in all AGU sessions and highlighted the challenges in fostering JEDI attention and discussion. We believe that creating platforms that allow for JEDI discussions to happen in many AGU sessions (and not only in specific JEDI-focussed sessions) will help to better integrate these practices into overall geosciences work (rather than seeing it as a separate activity). Towards this intent, we have devised a simple JEDI questionnaire for the Fall Meeting 2022, that we hope can be more broadly used by the AGU community to reflect on JEDI-related issues in their sessions. We believe that such a reflection would be an important zero-order step for deeper discussions and furthering our commitment to JEDI values at AGU.

Calling on AGU members to help us broaden JEDI reflections at the Fall Meeting 2022

If you are convening or chairing a session or are an audience member attending an AGU session, please help us encourage JEDI reflections and conversations by (1) asking a JEDI-related question in the session (see "JEDI Ideas" below for a few examples) and (2) filling out this simple questionnaire on your reflections (see QR code and link above).

Call to Action


“To elevate geosciences in diverse communities… create a welcoming community for all” — Statement of Purpose, Science and Society Section

AGU Science and Society (SY) section leadership strongly echo the sentiments of the AGU endorsed Call to Action: “Scientists should... act out against racism and police violence as a matter of basic humanity.” Going forward, we commit to explicitly building an anti-racist science community. We urge all Fall Meeting conveners to thoughtfully plan on integrating justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) into your sessions. Please use the JEDI Ideas for SY Session Conveners below.

JEDI Ideas for SY Session Conveners

Fall 2020 SY Social Science Session

We strongly encourage all Science and Society session conveners to prioritize JEDI in their events during the Fall Meeting. Below are practical ways to incorporate JEDI into a session agenda.

1. Ask presenters how their research intersects with JEDI considerations:

  1. How does (or could) your research or work intersect with JEDI considerations? Can you tell us about who is conducting the research, who the research is being shared with, which populations or geographies you are working with (or working in), etc.?

  2. What communities are impacted by, or potentially involved in, this work? Are there related issues or opportunities for JEDI considerations?

  3. Are there some types of JEDI relevant data, literature or experiences that may be relevant to your work, and you are drawing (or could potentially draw) from?

  4. Do you face any challenges in including JEDI considerations (such as working with social vulnerability data or engaging with marginalized communities) within geosciences?

  5. In your opinion, how can geoscientists (as individuals, as institutions, and as a community) do better in terms of integrating JEDI considerations into our work and practices?

  6. Do your learnings on JEDI translate to other countries’ contexts? When, where, and how? Are there different perspectives for looking at JEDI issues that we should consider as we move over country borders? How can we learn across regions on JEDI issues?

2. Consider JEDI during Q&A
Who are you focusing on? Are you leaving out unfamiliar or younger attendees, people whose names you cannot pronounce?

3. Evaluate JEDI representation amongst presenters and audience members
Are there key groups that we are missing out?

JEDI Questionnaire 2020

Why a survey?

In 2020, Science and Society section leadership desired input on addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion from section members to inform actions that would live beyond just a statement. The survey invited people into the conversation and prompted conversations and resource sharing. The key takeaways of the survey provide the section leadership with a baseline of how we should define diversity, equity, and inclusion and what we should do. This survey was an initial step toward creating a JEDI action plan for our section.

What does "diversity, equity, and inclusion" mean?

  • “build safe space,” “fair and free space”
  • “diversify,” “bring multiple viewpoints”
  • “no difference in how we treat people”
  • “access to underrepresented communities,” “provide equal opportunities”

What should we do?

  • Deepen engagement with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs)
  • Mentoring opportunities for underrepresented groups
  • Allocate resources for underrepresented groups to attend AGU
  • Diversify speakers and invited talks