AGU is a nonprofit scientific organization, established in 1919 by the National Research Council and for more than 50 years operated as an unincorporated affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1972 AGU was incorporated in the District of Columbia and membership was opened to scientists and students worldwide.
AGU's activities are focused on the organization and dissemination of scientific information in the interdisciplinary and international field of geophysics. The geophysical sciences involve four fundamental areas: atmospheric and ocean sciences; solid-Earth sciences; hydrologic sciences; and space sciences. AGU serves its diverse membership through a broad range of publications and meetings and educational and other activities that support research in the Earth and space sciences. Many AGU members are involved in research of direct societal concern such as global warming, ozone depletion, natural hazards, water supply and quality, and other environmental factors. AGU's membership includes many of the world's foremost geoscientists from industry, academia, and government.