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EGU Award Ceremony (Credit: EGU/Foto Pfluegl)

Union Service Award 2022 Susanne Buiter

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European Geosciences Union

Susanne Buiter

Susanne Buiter
Susanne Buiter

The 2022 Union Service Award is awarded to Susanne Buiter in recognition of outstanding various contributions to the Union, most particularly for innovative and dedicated service as Chair of the Programme Committee.

Susanne Buiter has served the European Geosciences Union in numerous roles, including Science Officer for the Tectonics and Structural Geology and Geodynamics divisions (2009-2013), President of the Tectonics and Structural Geology Division (2013-2017), member of the Outreach Committee (2014-2018), Chair of the Programme Committee (2017-2020), Topical Editor (2009-2013) and Executive Editor (since 2019) for Solid Earth, and EGUsphere coordinator (since 2021).

Buiter has had a significant impact on the Union, in particular through her role as Chair of the Programme Committee. When she took over the role, rapid growth in the number of submitted abstracts and participants meant that the General Assembly was rapidly approaching its capacity limits, and the community was becoming increasingly preoccupied with both the carbon footprint and the inclusiveness and accessibility of the General Assembly. Buiter decided to tackle these issues head-on: she developed multiple policies to make the growth of the General Assembly sustainable and set out on ambitious projects to make it greener, both in terms of participant travel and of on-site waste generation. She also developed policies to make the General Assembly more inclusive and accessible, including the adoption of a code of conduct specific to the General Assembly and numerous modifications and guidelines aimed at increasing inclusion and accessibility to a wide audience. Another major innovation Buiter initiated was the Mentoring Programme, which has become an excellent vehicle for inclusion of first-time attendees at the General Assembly.

In her last year as Programme Committee chair, Buiter was confronted with probably the largest crisis in the history of the General Assembly: the necessity to cancel the in-person meeting only six weeks before it was about to start due to the COVID-19 related disruptions. In six weeks, the largest virtual geoscience meeting ever (at that time) was conceptualized, developed, programmed and run successfully. The community response was overwhelming and EGU stood out as having given hope and a real sense of community in an immensely difficult time for so many. None of this would have been possible without Buiter’s calm, determination, endless energy and enormous commitment to EGU.

Buiter is also a tireless advocate for Open Science; she has been instrumental in developing open access to material presented at the General Assembly and has been actively involved in the development of EGUsphere, for which she has now accepted to act as coordinator. For all of these reasons, Buiter is a very worthy recipient of the 2022 EGU Union Service Award.