Presidential Citations for Science and Society Announced By the American Geophysical Union

New award celebrates leaders whose work has advanced understanding and appreciation of the value of Earth and space science

30 April 2012

Joint Release

WASHINGTON—In recognition of their leadership and vision in shaping policy and heightening public awareness of the value of Earth and space science, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has chosen Google Earth, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) as the first recipients of its Presidential Citation for Science and Society. The awards will be presented at a reception on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer as part of AGU’s inaugural Science Policy Conference.

“We know that scientific research – including the Earth and space science research being done by AGU members – plays a critical role in building a solid foundation for our nation’s economic success, public health and safety, and national security. That’s why I’m so very pleased to have the opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions made by Dr. Lubchenco, Senator Snowe, and the creators of Google Earth. Their leadership, support, and innovation have made a tremendous contribution to society by helping to increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the important role science plays in the world around us,” said AGU president Michael McPhaden.

Google Earth: The founders of Google Earth have demonstrated great vision in the development of their software, and Google Earth has made vividly clear the real-world applications and benefits of Earth and space science for communities and individuals.

Dr. Jane Lubchenco: Under Dr. Lubchenco’s leadership, NOAA has focused on restoring oceans and coasts, ensuring continuity of the nation’s weather and other environmental satellites, promoting climate science and delivering quality climate products, and strengthening science and ensuring scientific integrity. A marine ecologist and environmental scientist, she has served as president of the American Association for Advancement of Science, the International Council for Science, and the Ecological Society of America. Lubchenco is the co-founder of The Leopold Leadership Program, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), and Climate Central, which aim to communicate scientific knowledge to the public, policy makers, media, and industry.

Senator Olympia Snowe: Senator Snowe has recognized and elevated “the scientific community’s calls to action” to address human-caused climate change; has expressed concern over the dangers posed by climate change and by ocean acidification; and has called upon Congress to enact legislation that supports scientific research, addresses the consequences of climate change, and regulates the emissions of heat-trapping gases. She is the senior Senator from Maine and was the second woman Senator in history to represent the state. Before her election to the Senate, Senator Snowe represented Maine’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years.

AGU’s Science Policy Conference brings together scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss key Earth- and space-science topics that address challenges to our environment, economy, national security, and public safety. The conference will take place Tuesday, May 1 and Wednesday, May 2 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, D.C. For more information,

The American Geophysical Union is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization with more than 60,000 members representing over 148 countries. AGU advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs.

AGU Contact:
Joan Buhrman, +1 (202) 777-7509 (w), +1 (571) 213-3812 (c), [email protected]