UW News

November 18, 2020

Lisa Graumlich, dean of UW College of the Environment, named president-elect of AGU

The American Geophysical Union announced that its members have elected Lisa Graumlich, dean of the UW College of the Environment, as the president-elect starting Jan. 1. After two years in this role Graumlich will begin a two-year term as president of the AGU board beginning in 2023.


Lisa Graumlich, professor and dean of the UW College of the Environment, has been named president-elect of the American Geophysical Union.University of Washington

With more than 62,000 members from 144 countries, AGU represents an interdisciplinary mix of atmospheric, ocean, Earth, hydrology and space scientists. Results of the biannual election were announced on Nov. 12.

“At AGU we had the most diverse slate of candidates ever step forward and offer to serve,” wrote current President Robin Bell in her post-election message to the AGU board. “I’m so proud that we elected Lisa Graumlich, a paleoclimatologist and the first openly LGBTQ+ president-elect of AGU. Lisa, together with the rest of the newly elected board, council, College of Fellows and section leaders, will comprise the most diverse AGU leadership when Susan Lozier takes over as the new president in 2021. We have a chance to continue to lead, and the opportunities for our science and our scientific community are now much more hopeful.”

In 2010 Graumlich was named the inaugural dean of the UW College of the Environment, joining the UW faculty from the University of Arizona. She has announced she plans to step down as dean at the end of the 2020-21 academic year. Graumlich also holds the Mary Laird Wood endowed professorship in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

This month AGU also honored Faisal Hossain, professor of civil and environmental engineering, with the 2020 AGU International Award, and Kyle Armour, associate professor of atmospheric sciences and of oceanography, with the Macelwane Medal.

Graumlich earned her undergraduate in botany and her master’s in geography from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and her doctorate at the UW in Forest Resources. She has held faculty and leadership positions at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Arizona and Montana State University, conducting research using tree-ring data to study long-term climate trends. Graumlich is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, and was previously on the board of the AGU.

“I am honored and, frankly, thrilled to be AGU’s next president-elect,” Graumlich said. “My decade as dean of the College of the Environment was, I believe, the very best preparation for taking the helm of AGU. I will always be grateful to my UW colleagues for giving me a front-row seat to what excellence and innovation in Earth and space sciences looks like. Those lessons are immeasurably beneficial and will accompany me as I move forward to be, I hope, a strong and affectual leader on the board.”

As AGU president-elect, Graumlich will chair the AGU council and serve as vice chair of the AGU board for the next two years before moving into the president’s role as scientific leader for the organization and its public spokesperson. This voluntary role works with AGU staff and board members to advance the organization’s strategic priorities.

“I’m very excited to lead AGU as it implements its new strategic plan,” Graumlich added. “It’s their most ambitious plan to date, asking the larger community to partner globally to work toward a thriving, sustainable and equitable future supported by scientific discovery, innovation and action. There are such incredible opportunities for our scientific community under that umbrella, and I am eager to help find the best pathways forward.”

Other newly announced elected positions include Charles Nittrouer, UW professor emeritus of oceanography, who is president-elect of the Ocean Sciences division. Graumlich’s predecessor, who will become president Jan. 1, is Georgia Institute of Technology’s Susan Lozier, who earned her doctorate in physical oceanography at the UW.