We are delighted to announce that Harihar Rajaram, a seasoned AGU journal editor from Johns Hopkins University, will become the next Editor-in-Chief of Geophysical Research Letters. He will officially start on 1 January 2019 but has already begun the transition process. We asked him some questions about his own research interests and his vision for the journal.
What are your own areas of scientific interest?
I am a hydrologist, interested in fluid mechanics and transport processes in earth and environmental systems. My research focuses mostly on mathematical modeling. I am currently involved in a variety of research projects in three broad categories.
First, subsurface energy and environmental problems, including coupled thermal-hydrologic-mechanical-chemical processes in fractured rock, the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, and induced seismicity.
Second, critical zone science, including modeling the evolution of the critical zone and its functioning, and its response to climate change and disturbances.
Third, glacier and ice sheet hydrology including developing models for subglacial, englacial and supraglacial hydrology.
I really enjoy interdisciplinary research, which has helped me to expand my knowledge and understanding significantly over the years.
What does it mean to you to serve as Editor-in-Chief of Geophysical Research Letters?
I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as Editor-in-Chief of GRL, a journal that I have followed and admired since my student days. I have served as an editor for Water Resources Research for six years, which has provided me with valuable experience, but GRL is a significantly greater challenge. Unlike most of AGU’s other journals, GRL covers the entire spectrum of geosciences, planetary and space sciences. Overseeing fields which are not my area of expertise will be challenging, but it’s also an exciting opportunity for me to learn more about other disciplines.
Another challenge is achieving both speed and quality. GRL provides a forum for rapid dissemination of high-impact journal geoscience research, while maintaining a rigorous and demanding review process that draws upon the highest levels of disciplinary expertise. The quick turnaround time for review and decision requires a team of dedicated editors. Some of the existing GRL editors will be continuing their service, while others are due to rotate off the editorial board and will be replaced. These people give generously of their time and expertise and without their dedication the journal would not have such a high reputation.
How do you plan to take the journal forward in the coming years?
I will build upon and continue the strong tradition of excellence at GRL established by the current and previous editorial teams. The first step is to recruit outstanding scientists to replace outgoing editors, and make sure that the editorial team spans the diverse areas covered by GRL. I will then work with the AGU publications staff and editorial team to further enhance the efficiency of the review process.
Special sections are a great way to showcase emerging research topics, so I will proactively solicit and organize some of these, as well as encourage papers based on exciting geoscience advances, new measurements and observations.
In this role at the helm of a multi-disciplinary journal, I plan to engage with the community of geoscientists worldwide to build the reputation of GRL and expand the reach of AGU. I appreciate the solemn responsibility that comes with this appointment, and I will do my best to serve the geoscience community in the capacity of Editor-in-Chief.
— Harihar Rajaram ([email protected]), Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University