December 20, 2023

Dr. G’s #AGU23 Spotlight – Open science, mentoring and more

Posted by Laura Guertin

An official definition of open science for use across the U.S. government: “The principle and practice of making research products and processes available to all, while respecting diverse cultures, maintaining security and privacy, and fostering collaborations, reproducibility, and equity.” — FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Advance Open and Equitable Research (The White House)

This year, the AGU Fall Meeting returned to San Francisco and celebrated with ~27,000 people in attendance (at least that is the number I heard!) and the theme “Wide. Open. Science.” This theme is an extension of the White House declaring 2023 the Year of Open Science. See this quick video below and read the AGU press release on celebrating the year of open science.

Be sure to check out AGU’s YouTube channel for some highlights of the Fall Meeting through the press events and additional meeting videos (no doubt more to be posted soon). There is also a YouTube playlist for AGU Open Science.


But there were two areas that had most of my focus during this year’s Fall Meeting – the Career Center, and Exhibit Hall.

I participated in the Mentoring365 Live program, which is the on-site, in-person mentoring opportunity for those attending the Fall Meeting. I signed up online through the Mentoring365 portal and selected the topics I would be willing to discuss – navigating the conference, preparing for a job interview, etc. Within a day of signing up to be a mentor, I had three people request to connect with me – a graduate student, a post-doc, and an early career researcher. The requirement was only to meet with the mentee for 30 minutes, but all of my meetings lasted much longer than that, and I didn’t mind spending the extra minutes discussing important topics. It was so rewarding to be able to pay forward the incredible mentoring I received so early in my own career. I look forward to continuing conversations with these professionals and others at future meetings. I encourage everyone to offer then own experiences and expertise to Mentoring365 Live!

The other significant event for me at the Fall Meeting was having a quilt display in the Exhibit Hall! I had the amazing opportunity to share 10 of the quilts that are a part of my Stories from the South Atlantic Ocean collection, based upon my two months sailing on the scientific research vessel JOIDES Resolution in 2022.

Below is a quick walk-through of the display (no audio). A full description of all the quilts in the collection can be found at: and I’ve written a more detailed blog post about Expedition 390 quilts at AGU23.


Although I didn’t get to attend as many of the talks and posters as I had hoped, the networking, connections, conversations and mentoring are important outcomes of the meeting to acknowledge. There is never a shortage of science being shared and sessions that inspire and expand our knowledge. But I would like to think my own activities at AGU this year mapped on to the theme of wide open science – opening opportunities for others through mentoring, and opening the possibilities for helping scientists think and embrace that quilts (or any creative art) can be a tool for expanding the science literacy of those outside our science circles.

I’m already looking forward to the opportunities for engagement at AGU 2024 – see you in Washington D.C.!