AGU B August 2016 Newsletter

Dear Biogeosciences members,


Virtual Poster Showcase for Students

The Virtual Poster Showcase is an exciting new, affordable, and accessible opportunity that allows students to present their research virtually and receive feedback on their work, alleviating any need for travel. Next abstract submission is open 8 August through 28 September. Presenting a poster is easy. Last year’s winners got their registration covered for the next AGU Fall Meeting.
Volunteers Needed

We are looking for volunteers to help as travel grant reviewers, Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA) coordinators, and student/early-career funding usage for the Fall Meeting. We are also looking for a social media coordinator who can increase our visibility on Twitter, Facebook, and Research Gate. Contact Marilyn Fogel, Ariel Anbar, and Erika Marin-Spiotta if you are interested in helping out.


Biogeosciences Recognition

Congratulations to the new class of 2016 AGU Fellows in recognition of their exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences. We are very pleased to see seven of our nominees honored with this highly competitive award! These Fellows will be recognized at an awards ceremony in San Francisco.

Thure Cerling, University of Utah

Mary Firestone, University of California, Berkeley

Michael Goulden, University of California, Irvine

Timothy Jickells, University of East Anglia

Yiqi Luo, University of Oklahoma

Dar Roberts, University of California, Santa Barbara

Peter Swart, University of Miami


A hearty thank you to the nominators, letter writers, and members of the Biogeosciences Section Awards Committee for their hard work.

In 2016, Biogeosciences will be sponsoring the Carl Sagan Lecture at the Fall Meeting. We are pleased to announce that Nathalie Cabrol, Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Carl Sagan Center, was selected to be this year’s speaker. The Carl Sagan Lecture honors the life and work of astronomer and astrophysicist, Carl Sagan. Trained in astronomy and biology, Sagan was a leader in establishing the field of Astrobiology and a tireless educator, author and space advocate. In even-numbered years, the Sagan Lecture is hosted by the Biogeosciences section, and in odd-numbered years, it is hosted by the Planetary Sciences section.


We are also pleased to announce that this year’s Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring is being awarded to Erika Marin-Spiotta, Secretary of AGU Biogeosciences. This award recognizes significant contributions as a mentor and role model for the next generation of biogeoscientists. Erika serves on the leadership board of the non-profit Earth Science Women’s Network and has taught faculty members at the University of Wisconsin-Madison how to become more effective mentors. A recently tenured faculty herself, Erika has supervised 5 Masters theses and 7 PhDs and mentored more than 30 undergraduates, including many women and members of historically underrepresented groups. Erika has also been a faculty leader for On the Cutting Edge’s Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences workshop. At AGU, she has organized multiple professional development workshops for early-career scientists and is leading efforts to address the problem of sexual harassment in the geosciences. This award comes with a $1,000 cash reward. Thanks to the Sulzman selection committee: Michael Weintraub, Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Heidi Seltzer, and Elaine Matthews.

It’s not too early to start thinking about who you would like to nominate to be considered for next year’s medals and awards. We are pleased to see the visibility of our Biogeosciences section honorees at the Union level and would like to showcase excellence across the diversity of our members.

Here are some useful tips for writing standout nominations and some myths and facts about the nomination process compiled by a workshop panel at the 2014 Fall Meeting. If you have any questions about the nomination process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Upcoming Leadership Elections

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful volunteers who help our section run, from our elected officers, to our committee members who review award nominations and student travel grant requests, to all of you who contribute to the success of our meetings by organizing and participating in sessions and to the many judges who provide invaluable feedback to our early career presenters. We couldn’t do this without you. Thank you!

Candidate slates for the 2016 elections are now available for review. You can read about the Biogeosciences Section candidates here. Polls open 29 August!


Opportunity to Share Your Work with K-12 Educators at the GIFT Workshop during Fall Meeting 

AGU is now accepting proposals from teams of at least one scientist and one education specialist to present during the Geophysical Information for Teachers (GIFT) Workshop at the Fall Meeting. This workshop enables scientists to work closely with an education specialist to develop and share material with K-12 teachers and informal educators. Check out material from our 2015 workshop to get some ideas. Each team of presenters will receive one free full-week registration to the AGU Fall Meeting. Note this is in addition to the free registration to AGU for all K-12 educators. Applications are now open and due 31 August 2016. Questions about the GIFT workshop? E-mail


AGU Centennial Celebration

We are looking for advisers and oral historians of Biogeosciences section history, in addition to mid-career and early career AGU biogeoscientists who are looking to make the centennial an outstanding event. Dork Sahagian has volunteered to help us start this effort.


Give to AGU Biogeosciences (

We need at least 98 of you to give $50+ to reach 5% of our membership participation goal.  At this level, AGU will give $1000 back to the section. If we get 15% to give at least $50, then we get $5000 from AGU! This translates into better event support at Fall Meeting, potentially new support for postdoc travel, increased student support, and new initiatives for the Centennial Project—just to name a few ideas. At nearly 2,000 B-section members strong giving a donation to AGU can help our section achieve some goals that you have raised in the past year.


We look forward to hearing from you!


Marilyn Fogel,

AGU Section President, Biogeosciences


Ariel Anbar,

AGU Section President-Elect, Biogeosciences