February 18, 2021

Ten Years of Ignite@AGU

Posted by Laura Guertin

AGU Fall Meetings have a portfolio of fun science communication events, from an open mic night to the Up-Goer 5 challenge (see 2020 presentations). I first discovered Ignite@AGU in 2015 (see my recap on GeoEd Trek) and have always enjoyed hearing these fast-paced talks that allow the speaker only 20 slides to present within 5 minutes (the slides automatically advance every 15 seconds).

When I saw the announcement that Ignite@AGU was soliciting applications for speakers in 2020, I decided that I wanted to jump in on the fun and submitted my application.


I was elated when I received the email that my proposal was accepted! I couldn’t wait to be a part of this event,
sponsored by NASA’s Earth Science Division and held in partnership with Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP). And I was so appreciative that ESIP brought the speakers together virtually to practice our talks and to support each other with everything from suggested edits to cheering each other on. Some of us even shared on Twitter our process of pulling our talks together (see Share with students your sticky notes and storyboards). Being an Ignite speaker was a unique experience I will always remember.

And one special part of our Ignite session in 2020, besides being completely virtual, were messages of thanks to the science community for the past, present, and future of our work. My talk was right after this video played – it wasn’t easy to follow such a collection of inspiring messages from leaders in the earth and space sciences!



If the video below is not showing up correctly or will not play, please view on YouTube.


Being a part of Ignite@AGU has me motived to expand even further my science communication efforts in fun and creative ways. I think the next expansion for me would be to think about organizing an Ignite-format evening on my own campus, for students to see and hear from faculty. I believe the Ignite format will not only help humanize scientists to students through this fun presentation style, but also do an excellent job showcasing our passion and excitement for our work.



If you want to view Ignite@AGU talks from previous years, explore the YouTube playlists for 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. You can access the tweets from this year and previous years with a search on the #IgniteAGU hashtag. Dawn Wright created a wakelet of the tweets from Ignite@AGU 2020.

To check out other Ignite events and recorded talks, visit: http://www.ignitetalks.io/

If you are curious to view my talk from Ignite@AGU 2020, here it is!