a grassroots, member-driven organization, dedicated to moving the geosciences forward


ESWN informally took shape in 2002, at the Washington, DC meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Tracey Holloway, Meredith Hastings, and Arlene Fiore organized a reception to conclude a special session of the meeting, and Becky Alexander, Amanda Staudt and Allison Steiner were all in attendance. There were pre-existing friendships and collaborations, but together the six women formed a cadre of early career scientists with similar interests and goals. They enjoyed interacting with one another, connecting on both specific research topics and broader issues in work, family and life. Recognizing the benefits of this informal peer network, they began exchanging emails and slowly added friends and colleagues to the list, who in turn added their friends and colleagues.

The volunteered time and efforts of ESWN members, the ESWN Leadership Board and ESWN committees have fueled the growth and productivity of our group. Beginning with no regular budget, we benefited from funding and in-kind support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of East Anglia (UEA, UK). We are thankful to these initial supporters who saw our potential and to our current supporters who enable the work we do.


The U.S. National Science Foundation and our members have provided critical support when we wanted to expand the reach of our organization:

  • In 2005, a NSF ADVANCE-PAID funding (Grant No. 0929782) supported significant ESWN growth and the creation of this online center for communications and resources.
  • In 2014, ESWN officially launched as a nonprofit with support from our members and supporters. Our first-ever fundraising initiative brought in over $13,500 from nearly 300 contributors.
  • In 2014, several members of the Leadership Board sought out expertise in gender and quantitative educational psychology to determine the role of same-gender mentoring on the recruitment and retention of women to the geosciences. This collaboration lead to the creation of: Promoting Geoscience, Research, Education and Success (PROGRESS, Grant No. DUE-1431795)), funded through NSF's IUSE initiative.
  • In 2017, members of the Leadership Board partnered with social scientists, Association for Women Geoscientists and the American Geophysical Union to launch the ADVANCEGeo Partnership (Grant No. 1725879), funded by NSF to improve workplace climate for all women in geosciences.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed throughout this site are those of ESWN and its members and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


listen as our members discuss how ESWN has helped them