Volunteers compile AGU's history


  • M. Catherine White


At the request of former AGU President Peter S. Eagleson, Ed Todd and Charles Whitten, longtime members and volunteers at AGU headquarters, have been compiling historical information on AGU for the past 5 years. And, as Whitten says, “Since history never ends, we're not sure if the task will ever be done.”

The only previous written history of AGU covered the period 1919–1952, and was written by John Adam Fleming, a prominent AGU member for whom the Fleming Medal was named. Whitten, a member of AGU since 1934 for whom the Charles A. Whitten Medal was named, and Todd, a member since 1960, have found Fleming's work to be an invaluable source of information. Among other sources they've searched are the full collection of Eos issues, council meeting minutes, and aged carbon copies of various documents that have been preserved through the years. A box containing the minutes of the first 10 years of council meetings, with Fleming's handwriting in the margin, turned up in a dusty corner at headquarters and has also been a good source.