Contributed by Tim van Emmerik (Delft University of Technology), Lieke Melsen (Wageningen University & Research Centre) and Wouter Berghuijs (University of Bristol)
During the 2012 European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, several hydrology students observed that there was no organizational structure for the involvement of early career researchers (ECR) in the EGU Division of Hydrological Sciences (HS), and that there were few ECRs actively involved within the Division.
It was clear that with about 30% of the membership of the HS Division being classified as early career scientists and making up over 50% of the General Assembly participants, there was enormous potential to increase their involvement. This would not only enhance their own conference experience, but also improve their contribution to the HS Division and the hydrological sciences community as a whole.
This was the key motivation behind the establishment of the Young Hydrologic Society (YHS).
YHS is an initiative to engage early career hydrologists from across the globe . It aspires to function as an umbrella organization for the many academic, professional and social aspects important to these scientists.
YHS defines “young hydrologist” as anyone who can benefit from or contribute to the Society. The focus of YHS is on early career (M.Sc., Ph.D., Post-Doc) hydrological scientific community, but is not strictly limited to this.
The YHS organizing committee is composed of volunteers from multiple universities spanning three continents (and counting). To ensure that activities represent the broader opinion of other members in hydrology, YHS organizes an annual public meeting at both the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting and the EGU General Assembly, where early career hydrologists are invited to evaluate objectives, define goals and create opportunities for young scientists to get involved. Based upon these meetings, five objectives were established for YHS:
- Connect to hydrologists early in their careers,
- Organize events to enhance the professional development of early career hydrologists,
- Provide a central information platform for early career hydrologists,
- Create awareness of current and future research topics within hydrology, and
- Reform hydrological science towards more involvement of early career hydrologists.
To achieve these goals,
- YHS created a website to provide notification of upcoming conferences, workshops, events, free online lectures and other relevant information.
- YHS also has a rich social media platform using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to keep all YHS members and followers digitally connected.
- Additionally, the YHS organizes sessions, short courses and social events at the AGU Fall Meeting and the EGU General Assembly. A recent example includes the first AGU Student and Early Career Scientist Conference where 100 young scientists gathered on the Sunday before the Fall Meeting to meet peers, participate in workshops to improve their academic skills and lay the foundations for lifelong academic friendships.
- At the 2015 EGU General Assembly, several short courses were organized addressing paper writing skills, hydro-informatics, teaching and current and future directions in evaporation research. A session was organized to provide early career scientists the opportunity to give a 5-minute TED-like presentation on their future vision of water sciences.
- In addition, at the 2015 Joint AGU and EGU Assembly, an Early Career Hydrologist Night was held to discuss current hot hydrologic issues with experts.
YHS is always looking for new members to help organize events, develop new ideas and enable YHS to expand to more parts of the world. YHS consists of a board that manages all YHS-related activities, working groups responsible for organizing specific YHS events and task forces responsible for specific tasks, such as managing social media channels. Country representatives function as the link between national hydrological organizations and the YHS.
Joining the YHS organizing team does not have to be very time-consuming, but can be very rewarding as it is a great way to start working with colleagues from all around the world.
As the YHS is in its infancy, most of the activities have been focused around the EGU and AGU meetings; however, YHS is working to expand to other organizations and regions of the world.
If you are interested in being involved in YHS or have suggestions or general inquiries, please send us an e-mail.
Furthermore, we recently launched a blog on our website. Here, early career hydrologists write about their experiences from the field, their personal life, or science in general!
Get connected, get inspired and get involved!
Acknowledgement: This text has been taken and adapted from a version previously published in the GEWEX Newsletter of May 2015.