June 22, 2016

June 2016 AGU Meetings Committee

Posted by Laura Guertin

Last week, the AGU Meetings Committee met at AGU headquarters in Washington DC. This is my second year serving on the Meetings Committee. We meet face-to-face at least once year, and then continue to connect via conference calls and email. Last year, I blogged about the June meeting here on GeoEd Trek for the pre-meeting, Day 1, and Day 2. Here, I present an overview of our topics and some highlights from this year’s meeting.

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 desired outcomes of our 1.5 days were defined as:

  • Understanding of roles, work plan, and progress toward specific goals of 2016
  • Discuss progress and provide feedback for alignment and achievement of goals and objectives
  • Receive an update on the development of a meetings strategy by the Meetings Strategy Task Force. Discuss early themes, progress and provide feedback for the task force for strategy refinement
  • Explore the transition of strategy to implementation for the meetings portfolio
  • Identify guidelines and provide suggestions for developing new and strengthening existing partnerships in relation to the meetings program
  • Consider alternative meeting partnership models and provide feedback for model development and refinement
  • Discuss and identify ways to improve alignment between the Fall Meeting and the strategic objectives and directions from the AGU Board and Council.

I include here an image that showcases the priority objectives determined by AGU leadership.


Monday, June 13th, started with Meetings Committee Chair Rick Murnane reviewing our goals for this meeting, and then Chris McEntee (AGU Executive Director) and Frank Krause (AGU Chief Operating Officer) provided an AGU governance update and summary of program highlights. Rick continued with a review of the development of the efforts of the Meetings Strategy Task Force, and Brooks Hanson (AGU Director of Publications) summarized an exploration of geohealth at AGU. After lunch, Fall Meeting Program Committee Chair Denis-Didier Rousseau provided fall meeting updates, including the newest addition of invited authors for abstracts. Frank was joined by Lauren Parr (AGU Meetings Director) for a discussion of new international partnership and potential collaboration models. We wrapped up the day discussing the AGU Centennial (mark your calendars now for 2019!) and technology used at and in support of AGU meetings. The next day focused on searches for AGU meeting chairpersons, opportunities for growing the Chapman conferences, and discussing how to grow the small-to-mid-sized meetings for the AGU meeting portfolio.

I continue to be amazed at just how much goes on behind-the-scenes at AGU, and how many AGU members donate their time without hesitation in advancing the mission of the organization. I am always impressed by not only the level of professionalism by the AGU staff, but their passion for carrying out AGU’s mission and vision. There is much thought put into the composition of AGU committees, as evidenced by the balance of global geography, career stage, and career track. The connections and joint meetings with the Japan Geoscience Union will be exciting to see develop. Based upon our committee’s input, the additions to the Fall Meeting app I’m sure will be welcomed by conference attendees. And that the planning has begun for the 2019 Centennial celebration demonstrates that AGU is always looking to the future to celebrate and continuously advocate for the Earth and space sciences.

But first… it is time to get that 2016 Fall Meeting abstract submitted!