Lake with trees and reflection of stars

Who we are

Learn about our history, our mission, and our plans for the future.

Our history

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is an international nonprofit scientific association with 60,000 members in 137 countries.

Our organization was established in 1919 by the National Research Council and operated as an unincorporated affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences for more than 50 years. We were independently incorporated in 1972.

Our existing headquarters building was built in 1994, and in 2017 we undertook a major renovation of that building with the goal of living out our mission and becoming DC’s first net zero energy commercial renovation. Learn about AGU’s building renovation project.

Our vision

Our vision

We galvanize a community of Earth and space scientists to come together in advancing and communicating science for a sustainable future.
Strategic plan

Strategic plan

Learn about our strategic roadmap to help us achieve our mission and goals.
Annual reports

Annual report

Our annual reports outline our achievements over past calendar years.
Our mission

Our mission

Our purpose is to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.
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Discover your career at AGU

We’re at the center of exciting scientific advancements and are looking for curious, resourceful, and collaborative individuals to join our growing team.
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Who we are

AGU is an innovator among scientific organizations. We strive to lead in myriad ways: pioneering new approaches to growing the exchange of scientific knowledge through publishing and meetings. We encourage and facilitate new and transdisciplinary fields of study, transforming our programs and operations as we anticipate the changing needs of our worldwide community. We promote excellence in scientific research by setting and promoting standards and best practices, strengthening the integrity of published and presented research, and leveraging our science to help society worldwide.

As we approach the celebration of our Centennial, we step into the next era of scientific discoveries prepared to connect, inspire and amplify the voice and contributions of our community for the coming decades.

Learn more about the exciting new ways in which we’re working every day to support and extend the reach and impact of Earth and space science.

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AGU's new digital experience

Read about current highlights for the new platform, what's coming in the future, and how to get involved. We're continuously improving the experience with your feedback!
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Through our publications we are accelerating the exchange of knowledge and facilitating new connections among researchers through our commitment to opening up access to scientific research. Scientists will be able to discover and build upon diverse and relevant scientific research, and the media, public and decision makers will be able to learn about relevant science more often and quickly.


Talent pool, diversity, and ethics

We are committed not only to advancing the Earth and space science workforce but also to creating ethical, inclusive and diverse work environments. Having more diverse voices at the table leads to new perspectives and unique ways of thinking which in turn leads to better science and novel solutions. To achieve this, we are developing strategies, programs, studies, partnerships, and policies to cultivate and sustain a diverse, inclusive and dynamic Earth and space science talent pool. This includes establishing codes of conduct to address harassment and promoting ethical leadership practices through our ethics programs. We’re also working with historically under-served communities to ensure that science is equitable in both its participation and application.

Our workforce programs help scientists, and aspiring scientists, learn and advance in their Earth and space science careers. Through programs that improve the workplace and support the workforce, we not only strengthen the global Earth and space science community but also its impact on society.

talent pool diversity and ethics


We are experimenting with new formats and experiences for scientific meetings that foster learning and interactions. In physical and virtual venues, we’re committed to making AGU meetings available to broader participation by scientists worldwide, while streamlining and making our meetings experiences more productive conducive to major questions and solving societal problems through Earth and space science.


Science and Society

Earth and space science have an impact on everyday life and contributes to solving the pressing challenges facing society today. Together, we can use science to ensure that feasible, evidence-based solutions are developed to improve the lives of people and the welfare of communities around the world. Through our programs like the Thriving Earth Exchange and Sharing Science, and our authoritative, visible voice in science policy and science communications, we can increase the public’s appreciation and understanding of science. By working to evolve our science culture to embrace communications and engagement in all its forms, we enhance the well-being of communities and preserve the health of our planet.

science and society

Data leadership

Through our data initiatives, we are leading the Earth and space science community in embracing data practices and policies that will accelerate the speed and transparency of science. We are working with researchers, publishers, and data repositories to develop and formally commit to best practices in open and FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) data on a large scale. By making scientific data open and accessible, the pace, integrity, quality and value of science will grow.

people using terrestrial laser scanning, or TLS, to gather detailed topographic data in the Trinity Peridotite of northern California

Leadership and governance

AGU is governed by bylaws and a governance structure, and led by volunteer member leaders, all of which play a vital role in strengthening AGU for the future. Together, they work together to advance our mission and vision.

Our primary leaders are the president, who chairs the Board of Directors; the president-elect, who chairs the Council; and the executive director/CEO, who leads our staff. All three participate in Board and Council meetings to ensure consistency, continuity, and communication.

our leadership



The Council is responsible for the organization's scientific affairs.


Volunteer committees work with AGU's Board, Council and staff to advance the organization's mission, vision, key programs and activities.


Sections foster scientific discussion, collaboration, and engagement by connecting scientists within and across scientific disciplines.
Board of directors

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall health of the organization and handles its business affairs.
Dive deeper into how we work

Dive deeper into how we work

For more information on how the organization operates learn about our bylaws, information on our volunteer leadership, and our conflict of interest policy that ensures our leaders meet the ethical standards we have set forth. Read our past annual reports and more about structure and roles.

How we operate


AGU’s community of 60,000 members is a robust and global network of scientists working across disciplines in Earth and space science. One of our greatest strengths is the ability to facilitate networking and collaborations between our members, allowing you to meet with colleagues, and participate in vigorous discussion around issues in Earth and space science.

AGU Connect is our open networking and collaboration platform to help you exchange knowledge and build new connections with researchers across diverse fields. Join conversations that interest you, browse events and announcements, or discover colleagues with shared interests.

Join AGU Connect

AGU Connect

Have dynamic discussions with your peers about important issues in Earth and space science.
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