The American Geophysical Union (AGU) earned a 2019 ASAE Power of A Summit Award for its Thriving Earth Exchange initiative to help scientists and community leaders work together to solve local challenges related to natural resources, climate change, and natural hazards.
ASAE honored the program whose mission is to strengthen and enhance collaboration so that all communities can build healthy, resilient, thriving, just, and ecologically responsible futures. The program contributes to global well-being by supporting awareness and application of science and promotes equity by ensuring that all communities benefit from the opportunity to participate in, contribute to, and guide the use of scientific knowledge.
Through the program, neighborhoods have collected data they need to design protection from floods, towns have turned polluted sites into recreational space, and cities have developed and made progress on ambitious climate goals. Over 90 total projects, with only 200 volunteers, are impacting over 17 million people. The largest project uncovered flood vulnerabilities in a food distribution network that serves over eight million people. The smallest was the design of a new flood-resilient and green town hall in town of 2000. Organizations AGU has collaborated with include The National League of Cities, the International City/County Management Association, Sister Cities International, ICLEI USA, 100 Resilient Cities, Higher Ground, iSeeChange, Public Lab, and the National Council for Science and Environment.
Natural disasters around the world affect over 218 million people and kill 618,000 people annually. The World Health Organization reports that 4.6 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution alone. Environmental and climactic change have contributed to an increase in global conflicts and refugees. Thriving Earth Exchange helps communities tackle challenges related to natural hazards, pollution, and environmental change by matching civic and policy leaders with partner scientists from the Earth and space sciences. The goal is to help every interested community find a trusted scientific partner and provide the support to ensure that they and their partner make an impact.
ASAE’s Power of A (association) Awards, the industry’s highest honor, recognize the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national and global levels. The Power of A Awards reward the outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals who work tirelessly to solve problems, and strengthen lives, the workforce, the economy, and the world.