A hiker at sunrise in the Lechtaler Alps, Venetberg, Austria
Credit: iStock.com/Sabine Hortebusch

On 2 July 2019, 26 AGU member scientists were awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. This is “the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.”

The diverse cohort of AGU awardees hails from across the United States and is working in a variety of Earth and space science fields, including volcanology, astrobiology, and polar science. The 2019 AGU member award recipients are as follows:

Eric Anderson, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira, ForestGEO Ecosystems & Climate Program, Smithsonian Institution

Annemarie Baltay, Earthquake Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Laura Barge, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Whitney Behr, Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich

Lynn Carter, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona

Nicolas Cassar, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

Matthew Dietrich, Argonne National Laboratory

Shawn Domagal-Goldman, Sciences and Exploration Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Brian Ebel, Center for Water, Earth Science and Technology, University of Colorado Boulder

Erika Hamden, Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory, University of Arizona

Andrew Hoell, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA

Tara Hudiburg, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho

Matthew Kirwan, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Erika Marin-Spiotta, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Brian McDonald, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder

Richard Moore, NASA Airborne Science Program, NASA Langley Research Center

Maitane Olabarrieta, Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering Department, University of Florida

John Reager, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Andrew Rollins, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA

Yolanda Shea, CLARREO Science Definition Team, NASA Langley Research Center

Jeffrey Snyder, School of Earth, Environment and Society, Bowling Green State University

Jenny Suckale, School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University

Aaron Wech, Volcano Science Center, USGS

Heather Wright, Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, Cascades Volcano Observatory, USGS

Kelly Wrighton, College of Agricultural Sciences, Colorado State University

“The PECASE is an incredible honor, but really it signifies how fortunate I am to have such an inspiring and creative group of mentors and colleagues from NOAA and beyond,” said award recipient Eric Anderson.

Awardee Lynn Carter said the award recognizes that “my work with radar remote sensing and radar technology development is valuable to the agency and a direction to keep going in the future. Receiving this award is also an inspiring reminder to persevere and to continue to help those coming up in the field achieve their goals as well.”

“On behalf of AGU, I wish to congratulate all those receiving this richly deserved award. The innovation, expertise, and dedication of these early-career scientists to advance human understanding in the Earth and space sciences is both inspiring and uplifting,” said AGU CEO/executive director Chris McEntee. “AGU looks forward to working with this diverse group of researchers as they continue to grow in their careers for years to come.”

Given once within a scientist’s career, the award is meant to help propel innovation in science and technology, elevate public awareness of and appreciation of the importance of science and engineering careers, shed light on the pivotal work of federal scientific agencies, and strengthen the convergent science connections connecting fundamental research and policy goals. Each recipient receives funding from their agency for up to 5 years to advance his or her research. This year’s recipients were honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on 25 July.

—Joshua Speiser (jspeiser@agu.org), Manager of Strategic Communications, AGU

23 August 2019: The article was updated to include all AGU members who received the award.


Speiser, J. (2019), Twenty-five AGU members awarded the 2019 Presidential Early Career Award, Eos, 100, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019EO131175. Published on 16 August 2019.

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