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Guest BLOG from AGU: Increasing Earth and Space Scientists in STEM Jobs Pipeline

February 9, 2012

This is a post in the STEMconnector™ guest blog series, featuring Christine McEntee, Executive Director and CEO, The American Geophysical Union

“As the nation’s need for scientists and engineers continues to grow, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has stepped up its commitment to increase the number of Earth and space scientists in the STEM jobs pipeline.


We use a multi-pronged approach to ensure that our science is accessible and appealing to students of all ages, and to ensure that the geoscience talent pool reflects our nation’s diverse population. For pre-K through grade 12 students, the focus is on providing educational activities that make Earth and space science fun and interesting. For example, at our annual Fall Meeting, AGU offers “Exploration Station”, a series of interactive activities and videos that appeal to all ages, and which is open to the public. We also offer an open-to-the-public lecture that gives non-scientist attendees a new perspective on a particular science topic. At our latest meeting, an AGU member who is also a NASA astronaut spoke about his experiences on two space shuttle missions. And, we salute and encourage the scientific research being done by promising middle and high school students through our Bright STaRS (Bright Students Training as Research Scientists) program, which gives them the opportunity to attend and participate in our Fall Meeting.


AGU also works to educate and encourage students from undergraduate and graduate school through networking and mentoring opportunities, as well as inclusion in the scientific programming at AGU’s Fall Meeting.


In addition to building student interest, AGU works to strengthen the skills of instructors working in all levels of education. For example, primary and secondary teachers can build their scientific knowledge and resources at our Geophysical Information for Teachers Workshop, which we hold in collaboration with the National Earth Science Teachers Association (videos of the workshop can be found on AGU’s YouTube channel.  We also collaborate with other educator groups to offer training and support to college professors. For example, the session we hold with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers is designed to help make undergraduate- and graduate-level instructors more effective. And, the workshop we collaborate on with the Earth Science Women’s Network, provides professional development information to graduate and post-doctoral students, as well as early-career faculty and scientists.


Through these efforts and more, AGU remains committed to filling the STEM pipeline and increasing the diversity of those entering the Earth and space sciences.” -Christine McEntee

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