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8 June 2017

MIT Student Policy Group Shines on Capitol Hill

Editor’s Note: The following guest blog is written by Tiziana Smith, a PhD student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at MIT and a graduate of the MIT Technology and Policy Master’s Program. When I attended the AGU conference last fall for the first time, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to attend as many science communication and science policy events as possible.  At these events, I …

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1 June 2017

Environmental Protection Agency: Cuts to Science and Personnel

The President’s budget proposes an overall reduction in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding by 30% relative to the FY2017 Omnibus bill.  The agency’s Science and Technology programs would see nearly a 45% reduction under the President’s budget to streamline EPA’s work, including cuts to research in the Air and Energy, Water Resources, Community Sustainability, and Chemical Safety programs to name a few. Programs that would be eliminated under the …

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18 April 2017

Science Fellows Coming to State Legislatures Across the United States

Editor’s Note: The following guest blog is written by Rebecca French, Director of Community Engagement at the Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) and former AGU Congressional Science Fellow  On February 16, 2017, the California Council on Science & Technology (CCST) announced planning grants for nine states to start science policy fellowships modeled on their successful program in California. The nine states include my home state of Connecticut …

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12 April 2017

All Politics is Local – Engaging your Legislators Locally

Today is the 82nd day of the Trump presidency and science has already emerged as a significant issue, although not always in ways the scientific community supports.  Given this environment, scientists and non-scientists alike are asking, “What can we do to support science?” Currently, your members of Congress are back home in their states and districts for April recess. April recess runs from Saturday, 8 April through the weekend of …

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15 March 2017

You Spoke, We Listened: Science Legislation Update Part 2

After our previous post on science legislation being considered in the new Congress, we heard from you that having these types of posts is useful. Today, we will give you an overview of some new science-related legislation that is up for consideration. NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 (S.442)—Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): An updated version of last Congress’s House and Senate bills of the same name, the bill was negotiated …

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2 March 2017

Amidst Cabinet Nominations, Congress Considers Science Legislation 

The 115th Congress is now in full swing. With the flurry of cabinet nominations being considered, it’s easy to miss the legislation that has been or is being considered in Congress. In this blog post, we will give you an overview of some of the science-related legislation that is up for consideration or has recently been passed. Department of Energy Research & Innovation Act (H.R. 589)—Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX): The …

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27 January 2017

10 Ways to Engage your Members of Congress in Minutes

Every two years, a new Congress takes office.  Now is an excellent time to engage with the incoming 115th Congress by persuading your senators and representatives to make science a priority this Congress. Getting engaged in science policy is easier than ever, especially with the tools and resources AGU has to offer. Here are ten ways you can get involved, whether you have one minute, five, 10, 30 or an …

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17 November 2016

The Road Ahead

During the long and challenging presidential campaign, discussions regarding science took a back seat. Though many are still processing the results of the election, we wanted to provide some insight into the question “What do the election results mean for science?” For answers, we are looking to President-elect Donald J. Trump’s comments and responses during the campaign. With few discussions of science, insights into Mr. Trump’s position and potential treatment …

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9 November 2016

STATEMENT ON THE 2016 U.S. ELECTIONS

This post originally appeared on the AGU blog From The Prow. The following statement is attributable to American Geophysical Union (AGU) Executive Director/CEO Christine McEntee. AGU represents more than 60,000 Earth and space scientists worldwide: “From the nation’s founding, science has been the backbone of America’s economy, security, and well-being, and the underpinning of our democracy. In the days and months ahead, AGU calls on our elected leaders to remember …

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14 June 2016

Congressman’s idea to privatize NWS forecasts gets icy reception among broadcast meteorologists.

By Dan Satterfield I’m hearing a lot of talk among my fellow forecasters about legislation (introduced by an Oklahoma congressman) that would privatize many forecast functions of the NWS. You might think that private sector meteorologists would support this, but almost every broadcast metr. I know has panned the idea. The quality of public weather forecasts is due to the cooperation between the public and private sector, and a survey of …

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10 June 2016

Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act Introduced to Senate

This blog post was written by Delores Knipp, Editor in Chief of AGU’s Space Weather and Space Weather Quarterly. To learn more about space weather, read Dr. Knipp’s previous post on the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan. Space weather effects on technology-enabled societies were first reported in telegraph systems in the late 1840’s, with the Carrington storm of 1859 being a prime example. Furthermore, technologies developed within the last …

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31 May 2016

Geoscience research essential to national security, experts say

By Lauren Lipuma WASHINGTON, DC — Government investment in basic science research is critical to protecting U.S. national security, according to a group of government and academic researchers. Basic geoscience research has helped the U.S. develop nuclear weapons experts, protect satellites from space weather and manage critical water supplies, scientists said during a recent congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. The May 12 briefing highlighted national security as an important, but …

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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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12 April 2016

New Landslide Legislation to Help Alleviate Hazard Risks

On 3 March, 2016, the National Landslide Loss Reduction Act (H.R. 4776) was introduced by Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01) to establish a National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program and two competitive landslide grant programs. According to Representative DelBene; “Substantial work needs to be done to gain better knowledge of landslides and their potential impacts in order to reduce losses of life and property. While various areas across the country have been …

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2 November 2015

Visiting My Legislators Was a Bit Like ‘The West Wing’

This blog post was written by Ryan J. Haupt, a paleoecologist working on his Ph.D. in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming. Ryan notes “I am not an expert in science policy but it is something I am deeply interested in it as a science communicator via my podcast and as a citizen reliant on the U.S. producing the cutting edge of scientific research.” Recently, I had the …

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4 August 2015

Make the Most of Recess

Every August, Washington D.C. shuts down as members of both chambers of Congress return to their districts and everyone else in politics takes vacation; this is known as August recess. During August recess members will be focused on spending time with their families, visiting important sites in their district, and making themselves available to their constituents through coffeehouse chats, town halls, and other public events.  August recess is a time …

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8 June 2015

AGU Members Share Their Science on Capitol Hill

Even April showers couldn’t keep American Geophysical Union (AGU) scientists away from the first-ever AGU-only Congressional Visits Day in Washington, D. C., on 13–14 April. Twenty scientists, from nine states whose legislators play leadership roles on science and funding committees, were invited to meet with lawmakers and describe the positive impacts of federal research funding on American jobs, infrastructure, and quality of life. The states represented were Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, …

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27 May 2015

Should NASA be Studying the Earth?

This past spring, Congress took a number of steps that seemed to imply that NASA should be reprioritizing its focus away from the Earth Sciences. For example, during a hearing on March 12, 2015, some members of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness suggested to NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. that NASA should shift its attention from Earth Science to space exploration and research, which they suggested …

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14 May 2015

Making My CASE

This blog post was written by Annie Putman, a Ph.D. student in the Geology and Geophysics Department at the University of Utah. Once the excitement of receiving my acceptance from AGU to attend the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) Workshop in Washington subsided, I faced up to the next hurdle: a trip to the mall to supplement the flannels in my …

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26 January 2015

The State of the Climate, According to Obama

On Tuesday night, the president carried on the time-honored tradition of appearing before Congress and delivering the State of the Union address. So what exactly did he say? The President spent a full two minutes discussing the topic of climate change, which is pretty lengthy considering the totality of individual issues mentioned in a typical SOTU address. Notably, the president called out United States leadership in combating climate change: “In …

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