June 15, 2015

Pre-meeting, June 2015 AGU Meetings Committee

Posted by Laura Guertin

I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to share my voice here on the AGU Blogosphere at GeoEd Trek (13 months and counting!).  Blogging on topics ranging from geoscience education to educational technology to science communication has been personally rewarding (and fun!), and I feel that I have been able to contribute to AGU and the greater geoscience community.  Now, I’m starting another chapter in my involvement with AGU, officially starting my term as a member of the AGU Meetings Committee (it’s because of this prior blog post titled “Time for the fall meeting… and is it time for a new conference format?” that I was invited to join the committee).  I’m dedicating my blog posts over the next few days to sharing a little more about what goes on behind-the-scenes at AGU, specifically when it comes to the work of the Meetings Committee.

The AGU Meetings Committee has a chair and 10 members from across the globe (see member list).  We met for dinner this evening to start “breaking the ice” with each other, as we have a full day-and-a-half coming up of intense work.  As I was reviewing my notes for the meeting, I thought I would pass along a little more about the purpose and role of this group.  It was also helpful for me to dive in and review AGU’s mission statement, vision statement, and strategic plan (think about it… have you ever looked at these statements before?  As AGU members, shouldn’t we be familiar with the direction and drive of our organization?)

The Meetings Committee supports and advances AGU’s strategic plan in the following way (this is our “charge”):

The Meetings Committee works on behalf of the AGU Board and Council to advance the Union’s scientific direction and strategy for disseminating scholarly research presented at meetings.  The committee provides input into the overall strategy for meetings, recommends criteria and policies that support AGU’s meeting goals, ensures the scientific direction and scope of AGU meetings are consistent with AGU’s overall strategy and is reflective of Earth and space science, secures the appointment of program committee chairs, and reviews the annual performance of meetings.

The committee partners with AGU leadership, staff, other committees, and sections/focus groups to accomplish its work. The Meetings Committee plays a key role in communicating and promoting AGU’s scientific strategy for the dissemination of scholarly research, working in conjunction with AGU leaders.


The key initiatives for this committee for 2015-2016 include:

  • Develop a strategic plan for AGU’s meeting program.
  • Recommend criteria for designing Fall Meeting program content encompassing what members value, how science is changing, how the Fall Meeting fits into an overall meetings program and other programs for dissemination of content (e.g. publications) and incorporating new presentation methods and sessions to integrate virtual participation options, and non-traditional topics.
  • Develop and test concepts which enable Fall Meeting attendees to find their community(ies) within such a large meeting and also experience the full breadth and depth of the meeting.
  • Foster a culture of innovation in meetings allowing for experiments and testing of ideas brought forward by members.
  • Utilize the concept of pilots to test new meetings and new meeting concepts.  Specifically, investigate and issue call for virtual Chapman conference.
  • Identify opportunities for new products/packages to extend the reach of the content beyond in person attendees and/or provide content in specific package/products of value to members.
  • Work to ensure diversity and inclusiveness on program committees and in program content.
  • Recommend criteria to Board and Council for:
    • How AGU can best measure success in its overall meetings strategy and for individual meetings
    • Developing partnership options for collaborating with other organizations
    • Selecting and evaluating program committee chairs
    • Establish guidelines and recommend policies for individual meetings, as needed

We certainly have our work cut out for us!

Myself and another committee member are going to try to post updates during our meeting in Twitter with the hashtag #AGUMeetCo.  Feel free to contact me through this blog or myself (@guertin) or Tim (@TimVanEmmerik) on Twitter with any comments/questions over the next couple of days!