Centennial Steering Committee

Tim Grove, Chair

Tim Grove is a geologist interested in the processes that have led to the chemical evolution of the Earth and other planets including the Moon, Mars, Mercury, and meteorite parent bodies.  His approach to understanding planetary differentiation is to combine field, petrologic, and geochemical studies of igneous rocks with high pressure, high temperature experimental petrology. On Earth his research focuses on mantle melting and subsequent crustal-level magma differentiation at both mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones. For mid-ocean ridges, he is interested in the influence of mantle convection and lithospheric cooling on melt generation and modification.  In subduction zone environments, he is interested in understanding the critical role of H2O on melting and differentiation processes.  On the Moon, his work focuses on understanding the chemical differentiation of the early lunar magma ocean and the subsequent remelting of its cumulates to create lunar mare basalts.  He applies his experimental approach to meteorites from the earliest formed planetesimals in our Solar System to understand the melting and chemical differentiation processes that occurred in these asteroidal bodies.

Chris Ballentine

AGU member since 2010. Professor of Geochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. Volunteer experience includes Vice President, President, and Past President, European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) (2011–2016); member of Board of Governors, Oxford Museum of Natural History (2013–present); Goldschmidt conference, Florence, Italy; co-convener (2013) (4200 delegates); co-director of Deep Energy Directorate, Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) (2011–2012); Goldschmidt conference, Davos, convener and Science Committee Chair (2009). I am a strong proponent of diversity, science communication, and in ensuring support for early-career scientists.

James Burch

Dr. Burch is an experimental space plasma physicist specializing in the physics of the aurora, dynamics of the Earth’s magnetosphere, magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, global imaging of the Earth’s magnetosphere, and plasma transport in Saturn’s magnetosphere. He was P.I. of the NASA IMAGE Explorer mission, which was the first mission dedicated to imaging the charged particles in the Earth’s magnetosphere. His current research involves analysis of data from the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer and the Rosetta Ion-Electron Sensor. He is leading a comprehensive study of magnetic reconnection as P.I. of the Instrument Suite Science Team for the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission to be launched in 2014. For MMS he designed a new generation plasma composition analyzer that will greatly improve the accuracy of minor ion detection in space plasmas.

Grant Bybee

Grant's passion for geoscience focuses on using the chemistry of rocks (and other Earth materials) to understand and explain aspects of Earth’s evolution, magmatism and geodynamic framework. These interests have led me to investigate the origins of enigmatic ultramafic bodies in Madagascar during my  and the controversial petrogenesis of Proterozoic anorthosites. This work used petrology and a variety of geochemical methods to investigate and understand the genesis of these rocks in a global geodynamic context. The geochemical tools that I use frequently include major and trace elements, but more importantly I rely on the particularly powerful radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry of rocks to track and date geological processes in the solid Earth. Chemical geodynamics, however, does not only relate to understanding the mechanisms operating within the solid Earth, but involves understanding how solid Earth processes and consequent chemical cycles relate to surficial processes and society. While maintaining a strong focus on solid earth geochemistry/petrology and geodynamics in the future, I have begun to develop research thrusts that will link an understanding of geochemistry with surficial processes (be it natural or human processes) and the impacts on individuals and society. See more

Jim Doumas

Jim Doumas is the Deputy Executive Director of the National Archives Foundation and in this capacity he is responsible for coordination, development and implementation of the Foundation’s programs, strategic plans and policies as well as the execution of the strategic vision for the organization and providing executive leadership to the Foundation’s staff.

An accomplished executive with more than 25 years of organizational development, communications, development, human resources and campaign experience, he served as vice president of PCG, where he led client teams working directly with trade associations, professional societies, corporations, and government officials developing communication strategies, enhancing community outreach, and delivering marketing plans and media training.

John Farrington

Following completion of bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southeastern Massachusetts University and a doctorate at the University of Rhode Island, John Farrington joined the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1971 as a postdoctoral investigator. He held successive positions in the Chemistry Department for 17 years, and simultaneously served for six years as director of the WHOI Coastal Research Center. In 1988 he was appointed Michael P. Walsh Professor and Director of the Environmental Sciences Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. In 1990, he returned to WHOI to become Associate Director for Education and Dean of Graduate Studies in 1990. In 2002, John was named Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean.

His research interests include marine organic geochemistry, biogeochemistry of organic chemicals of environmental concern, and the interaction between science and policy. He has served on committees and panels for international, national, and local organizations, including the UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Lloyd Center for Environmental Studies. He has participated in four major field programs and 18 oceanographic cruises (eight as chief scientist), and he has supervised 13 graduate students or postdocs.

Debra Gersh Hernandez

Debra Gersh Hernandez is a senior outreach coordinator at KBRWyle, serving as full-time communications lead for NASA’s Earth Science Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. In this role, she works closely with others across the agency to find innovative and effective ways to communicate the story of NASA’s Earth science activities to a variety of audiences. Previously she was director of communications for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coordinator of the national Sunshine Week open government initiative, in partnership with the American Society of News Editors. Earlier, she was the first full-time Sunshine Week coordinator for ASNE. She has served in various communications roles for the Newspaper Association of America and the American Advertising Federation. For many years, Gersh Hernandez was a reporter and editor for Editor & Publisher magazine, first in New York City and later in Washington. She began her reporting career at a small daily in New Jersey. She has worked as a consultant/freelancer for various organizations including the Open Government Partnership, the Student Press Law Center and the National Newspaper Association. A graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, Gersh Hernandez is currently an alumni board representative to The Daily Orange, the independent student newspaper at SU.

Mary Ellen Hannibal

Mary Ellen Hannibal is an author and avid citizen scientist from the Bay Area.  Her work focuses on science, culture, and the important connections between people, species, and ecosystems.  Her most recent book, Citizen Scientist:  Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, was named one of the best titles of 2016 by the San Francisco Chronicle and received a Nautilus Book Award.  Reporting deeply, Hannibal digs into the origins of today’s tech-savvy citizen science movement – tracing it back through centuries of amateur observations by writers and naturalists.  Prompted by her novelist father’s sudden death, she connects the activity of bearing witness to nature today with a broad inquiry into time, place, and purpose. Hannibal’s previous books include The Spine of the Continent, about which Publisher’s Weekly said, “This is what science writing should be: fascinating and true.”   Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Nautilus, and many other publications.  She is a frequent speaker and emissary between science and a general audience.  Stanford TEDx talk

Kristine Harper

Kristine C. Harper received her A.B. in mathematics from University of California, Riverside, her M.S. in meteorology and oceanography from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, and her Ph.D. in history of science from Oregon State University, Corvallis (2003). Professor Harper has also been a postdoctoral fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Harper specializes in the history of the physical environmental sciences in the 20th century, with particular attention paid to the atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic sciences as they relate to science and natural resources policy. Her first book, Weather by the Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology (The MIT Press, 2008) is the history of the growth and professionalization of American meteorology and its transformation into a physics- and mathematics-based scientific discipline in the 20th century. It won the Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) 2008 Choice Award (History Category). Professor Harper is currently finishing a book manuscript on the use of weather control as a tool of the state in mid-20th century America, which addresses issues related to the history of science and technology, and environmental history. Professor Harper’s next project will examine the history of water usage in the United States since the time of the Republic, with a special emphasis on the period since industrialization. Her articles have appeared in Social Studies of Science, Osiris, Annals of Science, and Endeavour.

During the 2007-2008 academic year, Professor Harper was a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellow and a Fellow at the Tanner Humanities Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Prior to coming to Florida State, she was a faculty member at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. In addition, Professor Harper chairs the History of Geophysics Committee of the American Geophysical Union, the largest geophysical professional society in the world.

Betty Johnson

Betty Johnson received a B.S. in Physics from Harvey Mudd College and has nearly 40 years of experience as a geophysicist in the oil and gas industry.  She specializes in potential fields and other non-seismic technologies and is currently Leader for Basin Framework Technology in the Chevron Energy Technology Company.  Betty recently served on AGU’s Affiliation and Engagement Task Force, and has served on the Audit, Budget & Finance, and Development committees. She is a past-president of Association for Women Geoscientists, and has been active in SEG, AAPG, and a variety of community organizations as a volunteer, leader, and speaker. Her non-technical project experience includes Strategic Planning, Organizational Design, and Workforce Development.

Alberto Montanari

Alberto Montanari has a background in civil engineering and holds a Ph.D. in hydrology. His research activity focuses on the estimation of design variables and the development of schemes and theoretical principles for designing infrastructures for river basin management and the mitigation of natural hazards. He authored more than 100 scientific papers published in international journals. He is a consultant for public bodies for environmental restoration and mitigation of flood risk

Alberto Montanari was editor in chief of the scientific journal Water Resources Research, edited by the American Geophysical Union, and is currently president of the IAHS International Commission for Water Resources Systems.

He has taught at the University of Bologna since 1998. He recently adopted an innovative teaching approach by setting the technical application as the driver of the educational process. He uses dynamic supporting documents which are freely available on the web.

Dork Sahagian

Dork Sahagian is a Professor of Earth & Environmental Science at Lehigh University. His research interests include tectonics, sea level, and the environmental impacts of human activities.  He served as an author and reviewer for the various Assessment Reports of the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Professor Sahagian’s suite of courses taught includes “Scientific Foundations for Environmental Policy Design.” Becoming frustrated with the length and cost of “traditional” environmental science textbooks, he recently wrote a new book for the 21st century that realizes that students have all the facts and figures of the internet in their pockets, but need the intellectual tools to understand it all. It is titled “A User’s Guide for Planet Earth: Fundamentals of Environmental Science.”  His work integrates disparate disciplines in geology, environmental science, technology, policy, and the myriad interactions between people and the environment.

Annie Tamalavage

AGU member since 2013. Graduate student in oceanography, Texas A&M University, Houston. Volunteer experience includes involvement in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Student Council at The Pennsylvania State University. As a member of the executive board, I was a main point of communication for students, faculty, and administration to interact. My duties included meeting with our board of alumni (the Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences (GEMS) Society), our dean and his administration, and many faculty members to ensure that the voice of our student population was represented and heard.

Jyotika Virmani

Dr. Jyotika Virmani joined XPRIZE in 2014 with more than 10 years of experience in the oceanic and atmospheric sciences, including both research and leadership positions. As Senior Director in Prize Operations, she is the Prize Lead for the next Ocean XPRIZE. Prior to this, she was the Director of Technical Operations for the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. To these positions, Dr. Virmani brings her scientific and technical expertise and knowledge of ocean and atmospheric observing systems to help address the challenging problems we face in understanding the Earth’s climate system.

Dr. Virmani has a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from the University of South Florida, where she worked on both blue water and coastal oceanography. She won a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship which allowed her to earn a M.S. in Marine Environmental Science (Atmospheric Science) from SUNY at Stony Brook. She also has a B.Sc. in Physics from Imperial College London and is an Associate of the Royal College of Science and a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. In her spare time she maintains a humorous and informative tropical storm blog.

Tong Zhu

Prof. Zhu is the Chair Professor of Environmental Sciences, Cheung Kong Scholar Program at Peking University (China).

He is also a member of evaluating panel, division of environmental chemistry, Chinese Committee of Natural Science Foundation, 2006-2007; member of the international Committee of Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (CACGP), member of Editorial boards of Chinese Sciences, series B (chemistry), Environmental Chemistry, and Arctic Research, and a member of the Working group of Chinese SOLAS.

His research is focused on air-surface exchange of mass and energy, heterogeneous reactions on the surface of fine particles, atmospheric transport and transformation of persistent organic pollutants, oxidation capacity of the lower atmosphere in the Tibetan Plateau, and the health effect of air pollution.

AGU Staff

Christine McEntee, AGU CEO/Executive Director

Christine McEntee is Executive Director and CEO of the American Geophysical Union (DC), a worldwide scientific community that advances the understanding of Earth and space through cooperation in research. She is the third Executive Director in AGU’s 92-year history.

For more than 25 years she has made her mark as an association leader and innovator, building a steady record of achievement in leading large organizations through changes in governance, membership and the fluid public policies that confront them. McEntee’s previous leadership experience has spanned the fields of aging, healthcare and architecture.

Victoria Forlini, Director, Centennial and Strategic Initiatives

Victoria Forlini has worked at AGU for more than five years, first in publications, and now as director in the executive office. Her current work includes program responsibilities across AGU in addition to managing executive office operations. As a director in publications, she managed peer review for AGU's 19 journals and worked on business operations and strategy in publications. Current projects include task force work on AGU’s centennial celebrations (2019). Previous projects include integrating ORCID into the peer review system, coordinating AGU's new data policy, and working on AGU's publications strategic planning. She has previously worked on product development, conference coordination, and online and print publications for a medical publisher.

Felicita Wight, Centennial Program Coordinator

Felicita recently joined AGU’s centennial team to help coordinate the programs for the celebration.  She came from South Florida where she worked as Naturalist and Educator at the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge and Nature Center where she developed education programs and exhibits, as well as established a communication and outreach strategy.  She received her M.S in Environmental Science from Green Mountain College and B.S. in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from the University of Rhode Island.  Felicita is also a Co-founder and Program Director of Wild Tiger, a nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of India’s Bengal tigers and their habitats.  Passionate and committed to conservation, she has developed an innate ability to communicate scientific information to the public in compelling, and relatable terms.