The American Geophysical Union is a professional organization for geophysicists which focuses on promoting and disseminating research into atmospheric and oceanic science, geology and Earth science, hydrology, and space science, and to promote greater public awareness of research in these areas. There are currently over 50,000 members of the organization.
– Current Activities and Publications –
The American Geophysical Union publishes several academic journals in physical science, including the Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Research Letters, Earth Interactions, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, the International Journal of Geomagnetism, Paleoceanography, Radio Science, Space Weather, and Tectonics. It also publishes a weekly newspaper, Eos.
The annual convention of the American Geophysical Union, known as the “Fall” meeting, actually occurs in December of each year, in San Francisco, California. The union also participates in the multinational “spring” meeting or “joint assembly” meeting, alongside its partner organizations in Europe (the European Geosciences Union) and Canada (the Canadian Geophysical Union), as well as a pair of allied professional organizations, the Mineralogical Society of America and the Geochemical Society.
The American Geophysical Union also educates and advocates on certain issues of science-related government policy. Since 2003, the union has maintained a public position that climate change is occurring at an accelerating rate and that the acceleration is “best explained” by human industrial activity. It makes information on policy issues available to its members, and on scientific issues available to policy-makers.
– Membership –
Annual memberships in the organization can be purchased online or by mail, and carry with them several benefits, principally the Eos newspaper and discount rates on the Union’s other publications and convention registration. There are three categories of membership: professional members who are actively engaged in Earth and space research; student members (who receive discounted membership); and associate members (members of the public who are interested in the Union’s activities but are not actively engaged in research).
– History –
The American Geophysical Union was established by the U.S. National Research Council just after the First World War, and was originally harboured within the National Academy of Sciences, as a partnership of the preceding American National Committee of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, and the Council’s own Committee on Geophysics.
Since the 1970s it has been an independent, incorporated non-profit organization.
– Sources and More Information –
American Geophysical Union. “AGU – Over 90 Years of Quality Research in the Geosciences” (official website).