AGI Welcomes First Member Society Scholar-in-Residence, Pranoti M. Asher, Ph.D.

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Joseph Lilek (
July 12, 2017
The American Geosciences Institute is excited to welcome Pranoti M. Asher, Ph.D., from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) as its first Member Society Scholar-in-Residence. As the Scholar-in-Residence, Asher will continue her current work with AGU while sharing her talents with AGI staff and advancing programs that support geoscience students and the broader community.
Asher is the Education and Public Outreach Manager for the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a professional society of the Earth and space sciences with more than 60,000 members. She has developed an extensive portfolio during her time at AGU and is mainly focused on programs and issues related to higher education. For example, Dr. Asher has led the reinvigoration of AGU Heads and Chairs program, helped to restructure the Geophysical Information for Teachers (GIFT) workshop by partnering with the National Earth Science Teachers Association, and led the design and implementation of AGU's Virtual Poster Showcase. Her continued efforts to expand AGU's engagement with its members and their science through these programs and others have been critical to the advancement of AGU's role in STEM and geoscience education, and have led Dr. Asher to become a well-regarded leader in the geoscience community. 
Prior to joining AGU, Dr. Asher spent eighteen years as a geoscience faculty member. In her last faculty position she was a tenured member of the Geology and Geography department at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro for nearly thirteen years. Among her many achievements at Georgia Southern, she served as the Acting Associate Dean of the College of Science and Technology and a faculty fellow at the University's Center for Excellence in Teaching. She also played a leading role in faculty development programs both on the university campus and national levels, for which she was recognized with teaching and service awards. An active member of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Dr. Asher chaired the 2007 meeting of the GSA Southeastern Section and an ad hoc member of the Education Committee. In addition, she is a member of the American Geosciences Institute's Earth Science Week 20th Anniversary Committee and the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Education and Outreach Advisory Board. She has also received numerous National Science Foundation grants which support Dr. Asher's current activities focused on the intersection of education, outreach, and workforce development for the geosciences and the development of earth and space science faculty and their students at two-year and four-year colleges to better prepare students to enter the workforce. She received her Ph.D. in the geological sciences from the University of Connecticut.
Dr. Asher will be bringing her strong portfolio and mission focus to her time as a Scholar-in-Residence, which will provide numerous collaborative opportunities with AGI's Workforce and Education programs. AGI's Director of Communications & Technology, Dr. Christopher Keane, has co-managed the Heads and Chairs webinar series with Asher for several years, and looks forward to this in-person collaboration.
"Dr. Asher has been a dear colleague and collaborator over the years and her experience having spent much of her career as a faculty member provides us important insights into the nuances and pressures in academia," he said. "We look forward to working even more closely to support the development of the future geoscience workforce."
The Member Society Scholar-in-Residence Program supports AGI's mission of providing collaborative leadership to the geoscience community by fostering formal opportunities for members and/or staff of AGI Member Societies. The Scholar-in-Residence will continue their current work during the program, while also applying their expertise to projects that benefit the entire AGI Federation.
"We are excited to have Dr. Asher working as the inaugural Member Society Scholar-in-Residence. It signifies a strong cooperative relationship between AGI and AGU," said AGI Executive Director Allyson Anderson Book. "Dr. Asher's experience and commitment to undergraduate excellence makes her the ideal person to launch this new partnership focused on workforce and higher education."
AGU's Executive Director/CEO Chris McEntee said, "We are incredibly pleased to be partnering with AGI on this important effort. The STEM and education communities are critical to the future of Earth and space science and its ability to benefit humanity. Not only will Dr. Asher's work with AGI help to further strengthen the partnership between our two organizations, it will more importantly allow us to better serve this community by improving coordination and accelerating the development and expansion of programs."
About the American Geosciences Institute
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.
The American Geosciences Institute represents and serves the geoscience community by providing collaborative leadership and information to connect Earth, science, and people.
About the American Geophysical Union
The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing more than 60,000 members in 139 countries. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and our other social media channels.
Media Contacts:
Joseph Lilek, Communications Manager
American Geosciences Institute
(703) 379-2480, ext. 244
Joan Buhrman, Director, Strategic Communications & Marketing
American Geophysical Union
(202) 777-7509
Edit: An earlier version of this release referred to the National Science Teachers Association instead of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, an AGI Member Society. We apologize and sincerely regret the error.