Smiling woman wearing navy blue pant suit, gold shirt and white pearl neckla, left hand on hip, concrete building, trees and parked bikes in background.
Dean Estella Atekwana (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Dean Estella Atekwana Elected an American Geophysical Union Fellow

Estella Atekwana, a geophysicist and dean of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, was named a fellow today by the American Geophysical Union for outstanding contributions to her discipline.

Atekwana is a renowned geophysicist whose research interests include biogeophysics, near surface geophysics, tectonics, geodynamics and continental rifting.

She joins 53 other individuals in the American Geophysical Union 2022 class of fellows, among them UC Davis colleague Jay Lund, a professor of civil engineering and co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences.

The AGU is a nonprofit organization that supports 130,000 enthusiasts to experts worldwide in earth and space science. Since 1962, the organization has selected less than 0.1% of its members as fellows.

In addition to outstanding research achievements, the honor recognizes scientists who contribute to a sustainable and equitable future, and conduct themselves with “integrity, respect and collaboration while creating deep engagement in education, diversity and outreach,” according to an AGU announcement.

Atekwana’s selection follows a number of other honors. She is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and a member and recipient of outstanding educator awards from the Association of Women Geoscientists and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). Her contributions to exploration geophysics were recognized with the 2021 Reginald Fessenden Award from SEG, as well as the SEG 2020 Virtual Near Surface Global Lecturer award. 

Atekwana, who started her tenure as College of Letters and Science dean in August 2021, is passionate about supporting student success and is a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion.

She and other new fellows will be formally recognized during an AGU meeting in Chicago on Dec. 12–16, both in person and via livestream.

Kathleen Holder, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science

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