AGU Scientists Communicate Their Research to Congress
29 September 2011
AGU Science Policy Alert 11–26
AGU teamed with 8 other scientific societies to sponsor the 4th annual Geoscience Congressional Visits Day on Capitol Hill. Over 50 geoscientists came to Washington, D.C. on 20-21 September 2011 to communicate the importance of federally funded scientific research and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. As Congress must find ways to agree on Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) budgets and has been mandated to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion, now is a critical time to inform lawmakers that cutting basic research will adversely affect innovation, stifle future economic growth, and jeopardize our national security.
This year’s event consisted of a half-day training session on how to communicate with Congress, an overview of how Congress works, updates on the Federal budget, a panel discussion with Congressional Science Fellows, and lots of practice for the next day’s meetings with legislators. On the following day, the scientists participated in over 115 visits with members of Congress and their staff, including select congressional committees. Prepared to discuss the importance of federal funding for sustained scientific research and development, the scientists brought information about their own research to the meetings along with a personal perspective. Further, they asked the offices to support FY12 budget increases for Earth and space science agencies, including NOAA, NSF, USGS, NASA, DOE, and NIST.
After the full day of congressional visits, scientists, congressional staff members, federal agency officials, and members of Congress joined together to celebrate the 8th Annual USGS Coalition Leadership Award. This year the Coalition honored retiring Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) for his long-term support of the USGS and leadership on legislation and policies aimed at natural resources, public lands, and energy for current and future generations.
Throughout the year, AGU scientists participate in several congressional events, including exhibitions, briefings, and Congressional Visits Days. The next upcoming events include Climate Science on Capitol Hill Day on 31 January – 1 February 2012, and Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day on 24-25 April 2012 in Washington, D.C. If you are interested in participating in any congressional events with AGU, please contact Kristan Uhlenbrock.
AGU would like to thank its following members for participating in the 2011 Geosciences Congressional Visits Day:
Nancy Akerman, Josephine Bay Paul Center Marine Biological Laboratory
Jeff Allen, Eco-Systems, Inc.
David Bowman, California State University
Casey Burleyson, NC State University
Bob Chen, University of Massachusetts
Jim Connors, University of South Alabama
Greg Cutter, Old Dominion University
John Fasullo, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Robinson Fulweiler, Boston University
Howard Harper, Society for Sedimentary Geology
Marika Holland, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Alexandra Jahn, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Roberta Johnson, National Earth Science Teachers Association
Einat Lev, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Columbia University
Sam Levis, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Cathy Manduca, Carleton College
Dan Martin, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lacey Pyle, University of Texas at Austin
Stephen Mabee, State Geologist
Robert Mason, University of Connecticut
Ryan Moyer, U.S. Geological Society
Stephen Jascourt, AGU Member
Philip Orton, Stevens Institute of Technology
Wayne Pennington, Michigan Tech University
Debra Perrone, Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment
Charlene Sundermann, Association for Women Geoscientists
Rei Ueyama, San Jose State University
Lisa Walsh, University of Maryland
Michael Willis, Cornell University
Gyami Shrestha, AGU Member
John Vidale, University of Washington
Melanie Zauscher, University of California, San Diego