Who We Are

The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) is an organization dedicated to career development, peer mentoring and community building for women in the geosciences. We have more than 3000 members worldwide, spanning large research universities, small liberal-arts colleges, government agencies, and research organizations in the U.S. and more than 60 countries. Membership has grown through grassroots member networking and includes upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, professionals in a range of environmental fields, scientists working in federal and state governments, post-docs, junior and senior academic faculty and scientists.

ESWN in 2002 (L to R) Allison Steiner, Becky Alexander, Tracey Holloway, Meredith Hastings, Arlene Fiore, and Amanda Staudt

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.

As the group of women seeking out this peer-mentoring grew, what started as a simple listserv transformed into a web center for members to establish connections for peer-mentoring and scientific collaborations, share job announcements, discuss professional life, find roommates for meetings and organize get-togethers at conferences. ESWN serves as a hub for connecting women across all facets of the earth sciences.

Here at ESWN, we appreciate hearing about the impacts this network has made on the lives of women scientists around the world. This video features some ESWN members sharing their thoughts on ESWN and explaining how it has helped them both professionally and personally. If you would like to tell us about your experience with ESWN, please email Tracey.


If you are interested in finding out more about our vision for the future of ESWN, please read the ESWN Strategic Plan.

Current ESWN Board
ESWN Leadership Board pictured in November 2016 at the University of Pittsburgh: (Back row, L to R) Emily Fischer, Meredith Hastings, Becca Barnes, Aisha Morris, Asmeret Berhe, Christine Wiedinmyer, Melanie Harrison Okoro, Tracey Holloway; (Front Row) Erika Marin-Spiotta, Manda Adams, Melissa Burt, Maura Hahnenberger. (Not pictured: Rachel Licker)