Government Affairs Program

AGI Government Affairs Advisory Committee
Meeting Agenda

March 3, 2008
2:00 to 5:00 pm
American Geological Institute
4220 King St, Alexandria VA


Goals of Meeting
Discuss the transition to new leadership in the federal government.

Discuss possible input to transition teams and new leadership from the geoscience societies.

Help to develop a briefing materials for the transition that describes the importance of geoscience and offers general policy direction.

I.  Introductions and Preliminary Business [2:00 – 2:30]
Approval of agenda
Introduction of new GAPAC Chair - The GAPAC Transition
Introductions of member society representatives

II. Transition to New Leadership in the Federal Government [2:30 - 3:00]
Overview of transition
Executive branch
Legislative branch

III. Input from Geoscience Societies for the Transition [3:00 to 3:30]
What are societies doing?
What can societies do together?

IV. Input for Transition Briefing Materials About the Value of Geoscience  [3:30 – 4:30]
Briefing document: General characteristics such as length and intended audience
Develop a top ten list: Reasons why geoscience is of value
Develop a top ten list: Geoscience policy that could be considered by new leadership

V. Wrap-Up and Other Business [4:30 – 5:00]

MOTIVATION: The election of a new President and a new Congress will be a time of significant and historic transition in the U.S. The geoscience community should play a role in this transition by providing advice and offering expertise on a broad range of issues of national importance. A briefing document or a series of documents about the value of geoscience to the nation plus some guidance on geopolicy would be helpful for transition teams and new leadership.

At the next GAPAC meeting we will discuss the transition and what might be included in briefing materials. The materials should start with reasons why geoscience R&D and geoscience education is important to the nation and why these programs should receive federal support. Then the materials could provide some general yet concrete steps that policymakers can take in the coming years to ensure a strong and steady geoscience R&D portfolio at the federal level. For example, codification of the mission of NOAA through the completion of a NOAA Organic Act in Congress would be a sensible and reasonable goal for the next Administration and next Congress.

Please consider what issues and what concrete policy steps are important to your society, your membership, the broader geoscience community, your local community and the nation. We will try to develop a top ten list of reasons why geoscience R&D and geoscience education (both supported at the federal level) are important. We will then turn to developing a list of top geopolicy actions that would help ensure a strong federal program in geoscience R&D and enhance geoscience education at all levels.

Besides gathering feedback from within the geoscience community, I would also recommend looking at the platforms of the presidential candidates. AAAS has a very nice web site called Science and Technology in the 2008 Presidential Campaign (, which also has many ideas related to the future of geoscience R&D at the federal level. In particular, there is a breakdown of the candidates’ platforms for energy, climate change, the environment and other issues of great relevance to the geoscience community. Looking at the candidates’ ideas might help you in developing your own ideas for the future of geoscience R&D and education at the federal level.

Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI Government Affairs Program.

Posted March 27, 2008