AOES Prof to Head AGU’s GeoHealth Section
AOES faculty member Daniel Tong recently became President-Elect of the GeoHealth section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest scientific society for Earth and Space Sciences. GeoHealth is a fast-growing field at the interface between geoscience and public health. It focuses on understanding the interactions between the Earth system and human society, and how to advance our knowledge to benefit human and environmental health in a changing climate. Dr. Tong’s interest in GeoHealth centers on health effects of aerosols such as their role in spreading Valley Fever disease in the American Southwest and air quality forecasts.
Section President is a six-year volunteer position, including 2 years as President-Elect, 2 years as President, and 2 years as President-Past, from which Dr. Tong will oversee and coordinate many activities, including organizing AGU Fall Meetings, nominating AGU fellows and awardees, and promoting community building among its members and with other organizations.
Asked about his goals for the GeoHealth section, Daniel Tong says, “We hope to develop a roadmap for the field, probably through GeoHealth Decadal Survey. It will be great to bring the community together to identify key science questions, societal needs, and how to move the field forward.” Also, Tong notes that “AGU is a huge organization but at times can be intimidating for those who are not so well connected. New members may find it challenging to identify the right groups to network with. We will organize Working Groups focused on specific topics, such as climate change and infectious diseases, to make it easier for people to collaborate with each other. Since GeoHealth is interdisciplinary by nature, these Working Groups will also stimulate cross-disciplinary collaborations on both science and policy issues.”