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25 May 2016

Funding Season is Open: Part 3

Thanks for staying with us as we continue to break down federal science funding for fiscal year 2017 (FY2017). To completely understand how the FY2017 landscape is evolving, I encourage you to check out the first and second parts of our funding Bridge posts. As you’ll recall, we previously laid out the good and bad of the Senate’s appropriations bill covering NASA, DOE’s Office of Science, NOAA, and the National …

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5 May 2016

Funding Season is Open: Part 1

Well, it’s official – the appropriations season in Congress has begun.  That’s not to say that Congress hasn’t been contemplating where to spend – and not spend – money all year, but we now have actual legislation that tells us what Congress’ funding priorities are – and more specifically, what their science funding priorities are.  On 14 April, the Senate Appropriations Committee finished work on the Energy and Water spending …

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16 February 2016

The Science Policy Scene in 2016

  The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has many exciting science policy events scheduled throughout 2016 to broaden the connections between AGU members and the policy community in Washington, D.C., and in their local communities.   Spring AGU is proud to host our second member-only AGU Congressional Visits Day (AGU CVD) this spring. This event will bring together AGU member scientists from the academic and private sectors in order to share …

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1 December 2015

National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan

This blog post was written by Delores Knipp, Editor in Chief of AGU’s Space Weather Journal. When one thinks of the kinds of weather that might grab headlines or be worthy of policy considerations, terms like polar vortices, fire weather, super-typhoons and El Nino come to mind.  “Space Weather,” which refers to variations in the space environment between the sun and Earth (and throughout the solar system) that can affect …

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13 June 2014

Go Local or Go Home

By Beth Bartel, Outreach Specialist, UNAVCO Okay, maybe that title is a bit harsh. When it comes to delivering a message about hazards and risk, there’s certainly benefit in delivering broad messages, to a broad public. But what I’d like to focus on is the power of targeting communication about natural hazards and risk to a local audience, and connecting with your audience through stories. So let’s start with one. …

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10 June 2014

Hypothetically Speaking: Using Scenarios to Anticipate the Unanticipated

Kris Ludwig, Staff Scientist, US Geological Survey Natural Hazards Mission Area We all use some form of hypothetical situations to plan our daily lives: What if it rains? Bring an umbrella. What if you’re in an accident? Buy insurance. What if there’s traffic? Learn alternate routes. On some level, we understand and accept the risk of discrete events like a storm, an accident, or a travel delay that may adversely …

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9 June 2014

WICCI and the Science / Policy Conversation

By Dan Vimont, co-chair, Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICC) I am a climate scientist who has spent my career understanding the physics of the climate system, and the impacts of climate variability and climate change. I am a co-chair of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), an effort to understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change that now includes over 200 individuals around Wisconsin. …

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6 June 2014

Is Hazard Mitigation Really a Priority in Your Community?

By James Schwab, AICP Manager, Hazards Planning Research Center, American Planning Association There is a simple way to find out just how serious a priority hazard mitigation may be in your community. Can you find it in your comprehensive plan? If not, you already have a signal that, even if your community has adopted a local hazard mitigation plan under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, a requirement for eligibility …

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22 May 2014

Applying science to natural resource policy issues: Social science joins natural and physical sciences

By Jana Davis, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Trust As AGU members, we generally focus on the contribution of physical and natural science solutions to policy questions. But sometimes an issue calls for us to step outside the boundaries of these “hard” sciences to the social sciences. Areas in which many of us tend to be less comfortable. And less trained. Watershed restoration and protection can be just such an issue. …

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21 May 2014

Elected Officials are Human, Too

By John Bwarie, Founder, Stratiscope Having served as staff for over a decade for three L.A. City Councilmen, as well as L.A. Mayor James Hahn, I’ve been on the receiving end of countless requests for support, meetings, and action from concerned citizens and interest groups. In 2010, my world was turned upside down when I started working with USGS scientists to inform policymakers on how science can be used as …

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12 May 2014

As West Antarctica melts, the urgency for climate change adaptation rises

By Lexi Shultz, Director of Public Affairs at the American Geophysical Union and Kat Compton, Public Affairs Intern As if the recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the National Climate Assessment (NCA) weren’t enough of a reminder of the ways in which human actions are changing our planet, new research published in the current edition of Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) presents evidence that part of …

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11 July 2013

Accomplishments and Future Needs of Science in the United States

The first full day of the 2013 AGU Science Policy Conference, on 25 June, began with a plenary session that provided a frame for discussions throughout the day. The plenary session, Preparing for Our Future: The Value of Science, not only elucidated the myriad of economic and societal contributions of science in the United States, but also issued a call for scientists to communicate their contributions and defend their role. …

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3 July 2013

AGU Science Policy Conference as a Call to Action for Research Community

  For the American Geophysical Union, fitting a conference on “science policy” into a two-day span is no small feat. Compare that to the Fall Meeting in December where just the “science” alone stretches out across an entire week, with over 800 science-focused sessions already registered for the 2013 meeting (note: I am leaving out Education, Public Affairs and Union sessions in this count). Of course, the science is historically …

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27 June 2013

Making Scientists into Scientific Spokespeople

  How would you bring up scientific funding if you bumped into your senator while he’s buying cheese and cured meats at the local market? How about getting a stranger interested in safer alternatives to lead-based welding solder? Communicating science to lawmakers and laypersons is important, but scientists too often get tongue-tied talking with everyday folks. Scientists from around the world heard from policy and communications gurus Monday at the …

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24 June 2013

Placing a Value on Science

  The first plenary session of the 2013 AGU Science Policy Conference, Preparing for Our Future: The Value of Science, will be a discussion about the importance of science at a pressing time. Many interesting and significant science issues are presently in the news. President Obama’s proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 includes a reorganization of the nation’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Once the world’s leader in …

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21 June 2013

Why Is It Important for Science and Policy to Be Connected?

From climate change to energy and water needs and the impacts from natural hazards, the challenges we face are growing more and more complex and the need for sustainable solutions more and more urgent. History tells us that scientific research and development can play an important role in solving these challenges, and in serving as a catalyst for economic growth, helping us to protect lives and property and raise environmental …

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Science Policy Conference: ARCUS Arctic Forum Highlights Interagency Collaboration

The Arctic Forum track organized by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) for the AGU Science Policy Conference will focus on interagency collaboration for arctic change research in the United States. Comprised of three sessions, all moderated by Dr. Brendan P. Kelly (Assistant Director for Polar Science, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President), the Forum will include remarks by science program directors from …

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19 June 2013

Unwind and Network after a Full Day at the Science Policy Conference

Following a full day of events on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at the Science Policy Conference, there will be a reception on Capitol Hill, in B339-B340 Rayburn House Office Building, with opportunities for networking and refreshments. Recap the topics of the day with other conference participants. The reception will be open to conference attendees and their guests, congressional staff, and the public. During the reception, AGU will be awarding the …

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18 June 2013

Why I’m Attending the AGU Science Policy Conference

The first question I am often asked when policymakers find out I am a geoscientist is “What do you think of fracking?” As a geodynamicist whose research focuses on subduction zones, this topic is clearly outside my specialized field of knowledge. Nevertheless, as a member of the geologic community my credentials lend extra weight to my opinion, and it is important that I have a well-informed answer and am able …

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14 June 2013

Swimming in Unfavorable Conditions

  With over 70% of the world covered by water, understanding the interaction between humans and the ocean is vital to the health of both.  The world’s ocean helps to feed communities, regulate climate, support tourism and economies, and generate oxygen that humans breathe, and provides innumerable benefits to the livelihood and health of the humans who interact with it. Changing climate and swelling populations create conditions that increase stress …

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