Outreach best practices
The Committee for Outreach Activities coordinates the outreach activities of the EGU. The scope of these activities includes, but is not limited to, those stated in by-laws 1.5 and 1.6 of the Union, and is defined as follows:
- To identify and highlight societal challenges, which can be addressed by the scientific work of the EGU membership and to harness the expertise of the EGU membership to address societal needs.
- To increase public awareness of the scientific work of the EGU membership and to facilitate the broad dissemination of information beyond the geosciences community.
- To establish and strengthen links between the EGU membership and policy- and decision-makers, primarily but not exclusively in Europe, for the mutual benefit of both parties.
- To facilitate interactions and transfer of information within the geoscience community by means other than scientific meetings and publications, such as newsletters, websites, data portals, bulletins, blogs, and social media.
- To encourage interaction with other parties interested in the Union and its activities.
- To promote the geosciences beyond the scope set by the constitution and by-laws of the Union.
- The membership of the Union and its component groups
- Geoscientists, who are not Union members
- National or international geoscience societies, agencies and enterprises, both within and outside Europe
- People, institutions, organisations or scientific unions engaged in fields other than geosciences, both within and outside Europe
- Decision makers, the working media and the non-scientific public, primarily but not exclusively in Europe
Membership and election
- A chair, appointed by the EGU Council.
- A minimum of five, and a maximum of ten, expert members, appointed by the EGU Council, to cover the key domains of outreach activities pursued by the Union. Of these, two should be active members of the EGU Council and one must be an early career scientist according to the definition of the EGU.
- The members of the EGU Executive Board are ex-officio members of the Committee.
- The relevant EGU Executive Office officers are ex-officio members of the Committee.
- The chairs of the Education and Topical Events Committees are ex-officio members.
Terms of office
The Committee chair has a two-year term, renewable once. The terms of voting Committee members are two-years, renewable once. Past chairs of the Committee can serve one two-year term as Committee member after their final term as chair.
Authority and duties of the Committee and its members
The Committee for Outreach Activities monitors, coordinates and facilitates the outreach activities of the Union. It takes instructions from, and reports to the EGU Council. The objectives and activities of the Committee are defined by the Committee, in dialogue with Council, and are to be approved by Council before relevant action is undertaken. To help the Committee achieve its objectives, it can avail of a working budget, decided annually by the EGU Council.
The Committee chair is responsible for the proper and efficient management and functioning of the committee and its activities, provides support and supervision to the members of the Committee, and represents the Committee elsewhere. To help discharge these duties, the chair may appoint a deputy and a Committee secretary and delegate responsibilities.
Appointed Committee members have the responsibility to support the Committee chair in his/her tasks. They may be charged with individual tasks and responsibilities, especially when these fall within their field of competence or expertise. They report to the Committee.
Ex-officio Committee members may advise and inform Committee activities, but are not normally expected to take on tasks other than those that fall within the remit of their principal office within the Union.
Committee decisions require a simple majority vote of the present appointed members. When the votes on each side of a decision are equally balanced, the Committee chair has a casting vote. A quorum of 50% of appointed membership votes is required for any Committee decision to be valid. Voting is by show of hands, when the Committee is in session, and by email at other times. Ex-officio Committee members do not have the right to vote on Committee decisions. However, it is customary that the chair allows the ex-officio members to show their position on a decision in the same way as voting members of the Committee.
The Committee meets at least twice per year, before the autumn session of the EGU Council and during the General Assembly of the Union. The objective of these meetings is to monitor, coordinate and facilitate the ongoing outreach activities of the Union and to define and realise future outreach activities and initiatives. Further meetings of the Committee or its working parties can be called as the need arises. Where possible, these additional meetings may be conducted remote communication tools.
The Committee submits a written report to the EGU Council at least once per year. This report must contain an essential summary of the outreach activities undertaken in the current annual cycle and their outcomes, and a proposal for activities in the next annual cycle with the required financial, logistic and administrative support. The report is to be submitted to the general secretary of the EGU in time for inclusion in the agenda of the autumn session of the EGU Council. In addition, oral reports are given at each Council meeting and a short, written report may be given if required.