Meet the Media Relations team

The AGU Newsroom is a small but mighty team dedicated to sharing neat and newsworthy science. We are passionate about helping AGU scientists and anyone who publishes in one of our 23 peer-reviewed journals spread the word about their research. For information about working with the Newsroom to publicize work published in AGU journals, see our Publicity FAQ. Don’t hesitate to email the newsroom with any inquiries.

Samson Reiny
Assistant Director, Media and Public Relations

Samson (he/him) joined the AGU newsroom in 2022. After graduating with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, he toiled as a freelance reporter before spending a decade communicating NASA science and missions in a number of roles.







Liza Lester, Ph.D.
Media Relations Manager

Liza (she/her) joined the AGU Newsroom in 2018. She holds a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Washington and previously worked as a press officer for the Ecological Society of America. Liza is based in Washington, D.C.



Rebecca Dzombak, Ph.D.
Media Relations Specialist

Rebecca (she/her) has been with the Newsroom since 2021. Prior to that, she received her Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the University of Michigan. She is based in Olympia, Washington, and does not miss the humidity of the Midwest. She has an affinity for stories about agriculture, environmental injustice, and straight-up nerdy geology.



Shannon Banks
Media relations Intern, Fall 2023

Shannon joins the Newsroom for Fall 2023. LinkedIn | twitter


Gabriella Lewis
Media Relations Intern, Summer-Fall 2023

Gabriella (she/her) joins the Newsroom for Summer-Fall 2023. She attended the College of William & Mary, where she received her bachelor’s degree in environmental science and anthropology. After graduating, she spent the next couple of years working as a communications specialist for NASA’s Applied Sciences Disasters program. This fall, she is the master’s program in science writing at Johns Hopkins University. LinkedIn


Previous Media Relations interns

Kirsten Steinke, Winter 2022. A 2023-2024 Sea Grant Knauss Fellow in marine science policy. | @Kirsten_Steinke 
Derek J. Smith,
Fall 2022. Currently a science writer for Univ. of Michigan Engineering |@djsmitty156
Aara’L Yarber
, Summer 2022. Recently completed her AAAS Mass Media Fellowship with the Washington Post | @yarber79
Emily Cerf, Fall 2021. Currently a science writer at UCSC
Jack Lee, Fall 2020. Currently on the weather data beat for the San Francisco Chronicle | @jackjlee
Jerald Pinson, Fall 2020. Currently a freelance science journalist | @jerald_pinson
Rachel Fritts, Summer 2020. Currently a staff writer with the American Bird Conservancy | @rachel_fritts

Newsroom consultants

Beezus and Ramone

Beezus cat and Ramone live in D.C. with Liza.






Angelo and Audrey

Angelo and Audrey live in Olympia, WA with Becca. They love helping by sitting on her keyboard.