EGU Elections: Meet the candidates

This month is all about the EGU elections. Until November 30, you as EGU member can vote for important functions, such as the EGU President and EGU Division Presidents. During these elections we can also vote for our new EGU Hydrology Division President. We decided to conduct a short interview with the two candidates: Thom Bogaard and Maria-Helena Ramos.

Our voting advise: Go Vote!

Check our email for your voting ballot.

1. Why do you want to run for HS president?
Maria-Helena:
It is always a challenging decision to commit oneself for a community volunteer work, especially when it is a big community like EGU! But I have had the opportunity to chair other groups, such as the HEPEX international community and the EGU sub-division on Hydrological Forecasting, and I really enjoy listening to people and doing my best to open up doors to let them communicate and share their ideas. I think this has motivated me to run for HS Division president, together with the willingness to work with the community towards making the science of hydrology even stronger and influential in water applications, policy and decision making. You can read more about my motivations here.

2. What is the first thing you will change once elected president?
Maria-Helena:
Past and current presidents, officers and active members of the HS Division have put a lot of their time and energy to make it a strong division at EGU. This has created a fruitful basis to move forward and face new paradigms in a changing world. Climate and river catchment change impacts, mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce risks from extreme hydrological events, floods and droughts, as well as our capacity to develop integrative frameworks linking hydrology to social systems and ecosystems services are challenging our views, our models and approaches. More than ever we need to be together in a strong community to be proactive in policy and decision-making in the water sector. I would like to enhance this role of the HS division. Other issues for changes will definitely come from the community, which is very friendly and participative. Some of them have already been under discussion in the plenaries in Vienna or in smaller groups of active members, as, for instance, increasing outreach and communication with a division blog, facilitating virtual presence in the EGU GA or enhancing visibility and participation of sub-division members.

3. What is your view on the role of early career scientists within the EGU HS division?
Maria-Helena:
Early career scientists are future professors, project coordinators, stakeholders, policy makers or consultancy directors, who can develop new approaches and make hydrological services actionable and valuable to society and economy. This places responsibility on all of us, as it involves different steps towards a great challenge: the uptake of state-of-the-art research methods in the practice of hydrology! It is essential to keep the communication channel between early career and senior scientists open and, importantly, flowing in both directions: both sides can learn and build capacity when a sharing environment exists. Early career scientists can, and should, contribute to bring new perspectives to the HS Division and create the fruitful environment we need to move forward.

4. How will you safeguard diversity and inclusiveness within the EGU HS division?
Maria-Helena:
I think the plenary meeting in Vienna is an essential place to inform and get feedback from the community. I think it is crucial to keep it lively and open to let people, express their opinions and propose actions. Of course, not everybody can come to the meeting and, besides, during the General Assembly we are often running between sessions, organizing opportune project meetings and sharing coffee breaks with old and new colleagues, so time flies! I think it is thus also important to keep a communication channel open between the assemblies to facilitate a more continuous involvement. I think that a division blog, with a strong interaction with the YHS members and their blog, can be a good starting point to keep promoting diversity and inclusiveness.

5. At the end of my presidency HS will…
Maria-Helena:
…have fostered the participation of the hydrological sciences in evidence-based decision-making in water management and hydrological risk reduction. With the involvement of the community, including the younger generation of early career scientists, we can put forward our achievements and propose sustainable solutions. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity and I hope you all are! So, make your vote count in the EGU elections now! Thank you very much!

1. Why do you want to run for HS president?
Thom:
When I considered running for HS president and I started to discuss this with colleagues who are active and who know me. They were all very supportive about my potential candidacy. EGU has been so incredibly important for me; helpful for my science, for me as a person. The abundant constructive feedback I have encountered in my early days (and still do!). That is my main driver, I want to contribute to an EGU-HS community which continues to be supportive and inclusive. Just a small example, when I was poster award coordinator, I introduced that the evaluation forms were returned (anonymous) to the young scientists. It took me like 2 days scanning the paper forms and emailing them. But such type of feedback is important, and that made me decide to stand for the president HS election.

2. What is the first thing you will change once elected president?Thom:
I do not like to ‘over-promise’ and change is a big word as our volunteers make our activities and I believe we should foster those intiatives. For sure I would like to increase communication and visibility. More information on how EGU-HS functions, timely information where (early-stage) scientists can contribute.

3. What is your view on the role of early career scientists within the EGU HS division?
Thom:
What I envisage is that the early-stage scientists are active in all veins of our organisation. They are the heart of EGU: Early career scientists do most of the scientific work! As I wrote at the first question: when I came in as student, I could talk to however I wanted and they helped me. They (colleague students, big-names-hydrologists, to-me-unknown-scientists, etc) came to my poster and showed interest, gave feedback and introduced me to others. So I will do all I can, pro-actively, to include early career scientist and increase their visibility. With respect to representation we are on the good track I think, but I see room for improvement in the visibility in some (poster) sessions. In some cases having early career scientists being involved in (poster) session organisation could help.

4. How will you safeguard diversity and inclusiveness within the EGU HS division?
Thom:
Maybe the most important point where we can make the difference! Let me start with a hobby-horse of me. Our activities should be (finacially) accessible for as many hydrologists from all over Europe and the world as possible. I have experienced many friends who came on their own expenses to e.g. our general assembly in Vienna as budgets of their institutes were absent or only accessible for happy few! This should be done by having the lowest possible conference fee and financial support schemes.
Second, we should actively approach persons from all regions of Europe (and the world) and with diverse background and facilitate them to attend, to join and to support them with their initiatives. If given the honour of being the new HS president, I will be pro-active in asking persons to join our activities and organisation, supporting grassroot initiatives and actively reach out and increase diversity in broad sense. Also mentoring schemes for those attending but looking to become connected will get my full attention.
Lastly, any, even the slightest sensing of not feeling comfortable, not feeling safe, not feeling included or sinply feeling lost in our impressively large community should be sensed, prevented and taken care of by us, the active HS community. Inclusiveness and feeling safe is something we all should have as our priority.

5. At the end of my presidency HS will…
Thom:
…be the pivotal, dynamic, bottom-up, open and low-threshold hydrological community of Europe for disciplinary and interdisciplinary research helping us to face the societal challenges we all face.

ThomBogaard

Thom Bogaard
Associate professor in hillslope and land degradation hydrology
Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

MHRamos

Maria-Helena Ramos
Researcher in hydrology
Irstea, France

interviewed by Tim van Emmerik & Wouter Berghuijs

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