Early Career Society

Head shots of ECS members as of April 2024

Who are we?

The Early Career Society (ECS) has overall responsibility for establishing and updating the GEO AquaWatch Initiative’s efforts to attract, empower, and engage self-identified Early Career Scientists, whilst increasing the value of ECS for the GEO AquaWatch community. Established in 2022, the GEO AquaWatch ECS govern under the term of references found here.

AquaWatch is an initiative under the GEO group with the focus on developing and building the global capacity and utility of Earth Observation-derived water quality data, products and information to support water resources management and decision making. Work of the ECS aims to ensure strong engagement of early career scientists across GEO AquaWatch, improving their experience as and thus their contribution to the broader mission of GEO AquaWatch. GEO AquaWatch ECS works in collaboration with the GEO AquaWatch management team and steering committee to fulfill this goal.

The society is a voluntary group of self-identified early career scientists and welcomes all to become members. Here is a non-exhaustive list of its current members.


GEO AquaWatch leadership consists of two co-chairs and two co-vice-chairs, working alongside a communications lead and an ex-aficionado member, represented by a former co-chair who aids in the transition of the group to new leadership. The chair and vice-chairs are overseeing the society and execution of the activities within the society. Current leadership for 2024 is as follows:

  • Megan Coffer (Co-chair; NOAA)
  • Rabia Munsaf Khan (Co-chair; SUNY-ESF)
  • Duy Nguyen (Co-vice-chair; CSIRO)
  • Harriet Wilson (Co-vice-chair; University of Stirling)
  • Merrie Beth Neely (Communications lead; NOAA)
  • Igor Ogashawara (Ex-aficionado member; IGB Berlin)

Former governance:

  • Igor Ogashawara (IGB Berlin; 2022-2023)
  • Kate Fickas (ESRI; 2022-2023)

The society meets once per month, with meeting times alternating between normal working hours in the western and eastern hemispheres. Currently, there are approximately 30 active members of the GEO AquaWatch ECS, representing scientists from different stages of early career, all sectors, and a range of geographic regions.

Current Activities

Water Talks Webinar Series

Water Talks is a series of webinars for early career researchers to present their works on aquatic remote sensing research and applications. The webinar series is designed to specifically support early career scientists from underrepresented groups, providing mentoring on communication skills by volunteers of the ECS and senior researchers.

Water Talks is an event governed by the GEO AquaWatch ECS. The 2024 iteration is coordinated by Dr. Harriet Wilson, with support from Dr. Megan Coffer, Dr. Duy Nguyen, Dr. Rabia Munsaf Khan, and Dr. Alexandre Castagna, who coordinated the 2023 iteration of Water Talks. Past iterations of the Water Talks webinar series can be found here.

For more information about the event, click here. Submissions will open on May 1, 2024.

Career Planning and Mentoring

The mentoring opportunities available to ECS members is being expanded by working with the society in the Water-talk series event. Other mentoring activities are CV building, proposal writing, or career-long mentorship.

Get involved

The society acknowledges self-identified early career scientists and welcomes all to become members.

If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas on how to improve your GEO AquaWatch ECS, or to inquire about becoming a member, please email us: ecsleadership@geoaquawatch.org. Stay tuned for further information on the GEO AquaWatch ECS and our upcoming events.