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14 November 2016

Oil & Gas Issues Explored Through a Collaborative Lens

In today’s complex world, the biggest science and policy issues require a new approach to thinking. Scientists, policymakers, industry leaders, and legislators can no longer operate within their own circles. Meaningful results come from these groups working together in a collaborative process. The inaugural GeoPolicy Connect was a targeted effort to do just that. The event brought together people from different sectors – business leaders, centennial state lawmakers, federally focused …

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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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3 July 2014

Won’t you be my reader?

WASHINGTON, DC – If you’ve read any of the recent blog posts, you’ll recognize a name change in the blogger. My name is Fushcia Hoover (the flower not the color) and I’m excited to report that I will be your friendly provider of cool and important science policy information this summer as the intern for AGU’s Public Affairs team. I started 7 June, but with busy preparations for SPC, I haven’t had a chance to formally introduce myself to you readers. I hail from the great state of Minnesota originally but am working on my PhD at Purdue University in Indiana. I’ll be going into my second year for my PhD, but my fourth year at Purdue, having completed my master’s there last August.

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2 July 2014

Mining takes off for asteroids

WASHINGTON, DC – Space travel today is like taking a cross-country road trip from Seattle to New York City without stopping at a gas station. Rockets launched into space must carry all the fuel they will need to reach their destination, which limits the distance they can travel into the galaxy.

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1 July 2014

Houston…we have a problem

Climate change and the actions people can take to combat it are hard for most people to see – and that could be part of the reason why some people are more worried about an asteroid slamming into the Earth than the threat of a warming planet, according to panelists at the AGU Science Policy Conference held 16-18 June 2014.

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30 June 2014

Under Water: Weathering the Colorado Floods

Boulder, Colorado learned a lot about its flood management practices during last September’s historic floods. But the deluge also helped the city learn about the value of less scientific measures, like public art and a good hug, said a top public works administrator at last week’s AGU Science Policy Conference, 16-18 June, 2014.

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26 June 2014

This is how AGU does science policy

By Fushcia Hoover WASHINGTON, DC – We’ve been looking forward to SPC ever since we started planning it at the beginning of the year. The Third Annual AGU Science Policy Conference, held in DC, brings together policy makers and policy shapers; from local, state, and national government who bear the responsibility to implement policy; community and industry leaders; and scientists with vital research findings and perspective on what is happening …

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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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4 June 2014

Risky Business Brings New Message—and Messengers—to Climate Debate

By Kate Gordon, Executive Director, Risky Business Despite massive scientific evidence that climate change will have significant effects on the American economy, the business and finance world is still largely turning a blind eye to climate risk. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Farallon Capital founder Tom Steyer started the Risky Business initiative to change this dynamic and create a new shared understanding …

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2 June 2014

The Challenges of Seismic Mitigation in Oregon: Where Science and Policy Meet

By Jeff Rubin, Emergency Manager, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Tigard, OR We’re justifiably concerned about terrorism, but natural hazards still generate far greater risk in terms of number of incidents, geographic spread, casualties, and economic impact. On the positive side, Mother Nature is not an adaptive opponent (Gaiaism notwithstanding), which means that our actions to reduce natural-hazard impact can actually yield useful results. Earthquake Country has a distinctly different …

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28 May 2014

Increasing Disaster Resilience of Critical Infrastructure By Public/Private Partnerships Through Locally Funded Initiatives

By Mary Lou Zoback, Consulting Professor, Stanford University Friday, October 17, 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of the M6.9 Loma Prieta/World Series earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area at 5:04 PM. The shaking lasted 25 seconds. When it stopped, 62 people had lost their lives, largely the result of bridge and overpass collapse (43 deaths) as well as collapse of San Francisco homes built in a region …

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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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9 May 2014

Tornadoes and Climate Change: Challenges in Interpreting the Record and Looking Forward

By Harold E. Brooks, Senior Research Scientist, NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory With the release of the new National Climate Assessment, the scientific community has put forward our best understanding of the changes that have occurred and are expected to occur as the planet continues to warm. Noticeably, little is said about tornadoes in this document. There’s good reason for this absence. Despite a wide variety of speculation in the online …

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8 May 2014

Science Confirms (Again) What Cities Already Know: Climate Change is Happening Now

By Carolyn Berndt, Program Director for Sustainability, National League of Cities Originally posted on CitiesSpeak.org The continuing drought in the west and wildfires burning in the plains are real world examples—happening right now—of what scientists say is evidence of climate change. Remember the floods in Colorado last year and Hurricane Sandy the year before? Those too are indicative of the kinds of extreme weather events the U.S. will face in …

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6 May 2014

The Climate Conversation Needs Your Voice

By Lexi Shultz, Director of Public Affairs at the American Geophysical Union Today, the White House released the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s (USGCRP) third National Climate Assessment (NCA). This report, coming in at 1,300 pages and written by more than 300 authors (many of whom are American Geophysical Union members) is an impressive accounting of the many current and future effects of climate change across the country. The NCA …

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