US Capitol building in Washington, DC

Local Science Partners


Launched in 2022, AGU's Local Science Partners program seeks to cement sciences' place in decision-making by empowering selected AGU members to build trusting, sustainable partnerships with their federal legislators. AGU provides Partners with the resources and training to build long-term relationships with their legislators and to become effective science policy advocates. Local Science Partners bring scientific expertise, passion, and a diverse range of interests to their work integrating the sciences with decision-making. Together, the Local Science Partners will help advance AGU’s policy agenda and diversify the sciences’ Congressional champions. 

The Partners range from early-career scientists to distinguished professors’ emeriti; from biologists to geologists to oceanographers; and from those working in academia to nonprofits to the private sector. Critical issues of climate change and environmental protection feature prominently among their myriad interests, as does supporting STEM research and education as well as promoting science literacy. With the skills and training from the Local Science Partners program, AGU members will leverage their know-how to influence legislation to benefit humanity and the environment. 

Local Science Partners receive workshops on science policy and communication skills, participate in legislative and policy updates, and contribute to open-forum discussions. Partners also have the opportunity to attend a congressional visits day in Washington D.C.

Applications for new Local Science Partners will be open through 9 November, 2022.

Learn more about the Local Science Partners

Learn more about our Local Science Partners program, the application process, eligibility, requirements, and time commitment. Join this group of AGU members focused on building relationships with their federal legislators to advance the Earth and space science community’s policy priorities.

Applications for a new cohort of Local Science Partners will close Wednesday 9 November 2022  

To apply, please fill out our application by 9 November. Selected applicants will be notified by late November and have until early December to confirm their involvement.

Earth scientists from all career stages based in the U.S. are eligible. Local Science Partners range from early career scientists to distinguished professors' emeriti, come from a range of scientific backgrounds, and work in academia to non-profits to the private sector.

This program is right for you if you:

Believe policy is a powerful tool in advancing science and creating change

Are highly interested science communication and in becoming a science policy advocate.

Recognize that science is important but not the only factor in policymaking

Are persistent and willing to push for something important

Want to partner with AGU’s science policy team to help advance AGU’s policy agenda

Expect to live in the same district and state throughout 2023

Are willing to remain nonpartisan when talking to legislators and maintaining a nonpartisan public/media presence The American Geophysical Union is a 501 nonprofit organization of geophysicists, consisting of over 62,000 members from 144 countries

Our Local Science Partners are onboarded yearly as a cohort, but there are no term limits. We expect selected Partners to remain ambassadors unless they no longer wish to participate, with a minimum commitment of one year. The American Geophysical Union is a 501 nonprofit organization of geophysicists, consisting of over 62,000 members from 144 countries

Partners typically devote around 2-4 hours per month to the program and/or with their legislator depending on what is happening in Congress. Each month, Partners will receive updates about federal legislation, policy action items, and other engagement opportunities to act on. Each year, we will also set up several training opportunities, regional calls, and office hours that can be attended virtually.

We will be holding a 2-day Congressional Visit Day and workshop in Washington, D.C. We receive great feedback on this in-person, two-day event, and hope that our Partners do their best to attend in person but understand if it is not feasible with other commitments. The American Geophysical Union is a 501 nonprofit organization of geophysicists, consisting of over 62,000 members from 144 countries

Orientation for new Partners will be held virtually on January 24 from 12-1:30pm EST.

We will be hosting our Local Science Partners in Washington, D.C. for a workshop and Congressional Visit Day. Hotel and travel are covered for those attending.

To support AGU member partner engagement and satisfaction, we will have a robust recognition and rewards initiative. This will include:

  • Letters to department heads or organizational supervisors applauding the participant’s program involvement;
  • Funding for participants to attend a congressional visits day in Washington, D.C. in summer 2023 (may be virtual dependent on COVID-19 and security concerns); and
  • Fall Meeting registration (dependent on being an active participant throughout the year)

Questions about AGU’s Local Science Partners can be directed by email to AGU staff.

Apply for the Local Science Partners

Apply to be a new Local Science Partners by 9 November 2022.
Apply here

"I feel like I've gained a skillset in sharing why my legislators should support specific legislation. I had a meeting recently with my legislator's office and surprised myself with how I was able to tell this short story of why they should support legislation - I think it was the best narrative I've given! LSP helped me get to this point."

"I have previously worked with policymakers before[,] but I did not understand the full legislative process. Through some of the AGU meetings I have learned much more about what happens "under the hood" [of] policy making."

Meet our Local Science Partners

Ben Alterman Southwest Research Institute 

Kristina Bartowitz University of Idaho  

Dr. Bennett Bearden Geological Survey of Alabama 

Rebecca Bearden Geological Survey of Alabama 

Julia Brodsky Blue Marble Space Institute of Science 

Emily Cardarelli NASA-JPL 

Anamika Chatterjee Washington University in St. Louis 

Ian Cohen Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory 

Ginny Cousens University of Rhode Island 

Kyle Disselkoen Stanford University 

Quincy Faber University of Florida 

Kristi Rasmusson Fink Texas Educational Seismic Project 

Douglas Foster University of Texas at Austin 

Ben Gold Vanderbilt University Medical Center 

Paul Gruber The Aerospace Corporation 

Lauren Haygood Oklahoma State University 

Lisa Hlinka Queens College, CUNY 

Zoe Kanavas University of California, Davis 

Brendan Kelly Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey 

Jisoo Kim Arizona State University 

James Kubicki Chair  University of Texas at El Paso 

Thea Louis University of Michigan School 

Mila Lubeck Massachusetts Institute of Technology  

Hannah Mast University of Virginia 

Kayla Mathes Virginia Commonwealth University  

Carrie McIntosh University of California, San Diego  

Sierra Melton Pennsylvania State University 

Jerry Miller Science for Decisions LLC 

Kim Moreland University of Texas at San Antonio 

Li Murphy BioBus, Inc 

Yanelli Nunez Columbia University  

Katelyn O’Dell George Washington University 

Hannah Palmer University of California, Merced 

Indrani Pal Columbia University 

Michael Phillips Illinois Valley Community College 

Kristina Pistone Bay Area Environmental Research Institute 

Henry Pitts Gap Year Student 

McKenna Price-Patak University of Alabama in Huntsville 

Nabila Riaz Dartmouth College 

Aradhana Roberts Center for Science Teachisng and Learning, NAU  

Alyssa Rosemartin USA National Phenology Network 

Dork Sahagian Lehigh University 

Meghan Salmon-Tumas Northland College 

Christine A. Shields National Center for Atmospheric Research 

Kamini Singha Colorado School of Mines 

Arshdeep Singh University of Nebraska, Lincoln 

Joel Singley Colorado School of Mines 

Reggie Spaulding Sunburst Sensors 

Anne Tamalavage University of Montreal 

Amy Townsend-Small University of Cincinnati 

Maria Tzortziou City College of New York 

David Valentine University of California, Santa Barbara 

Joseph Wartman Natural Hazard and Disaster Reconnaissance Facility 

Michael Wiltberger National Center for Atmospheric Research