Government Affairs Program

AGI Government Affairs Advisory Committee
Meeting Agenda and Background Information

October 22, 2006
At the Geological Society of America Meeting in Philadelphia
Philadelphia PA
1:30 - 3:30 pm


Goals of Meeting
Discuss approaches to getting more active participation from societies and their members in public affairs based on the 4 action items summarized from the May 2006 Leadership Forum.
1. Get more involved in Earth Science Week.
2. Develop more "biographies" of geoscientists.
3. Develop an online handbook on communication.
4. Develop a list of resources on communications that would be available on the web.

I. Introductions and Preliminary Business [1:30 - 2:00]
Approval of agenda
Approval of report from April 2006 meeting and review of action items
Review of program finances

III. Member Society Collaboration and Input [2:00 - 3:00]
Discussion of priority issues of the Member Societies
Discussion of ways societies can participate in Forum action items and enhance public outreach/public advocacy

IV. Wrap-Up and Other Business [3:00 - 3:30]

Adjourn 3:30

AGI's Government Affairs Program (GAP)

Public Policy Status Report for Discussion, October 2006

Questions for Discussion
How do these consensus priorities compare with your society's priorities?
What are your society's priorities?
How does your society conduct advocacy?
Are there priorities that are missing and should be added?

1. Priority consensus advocacy issues of GAP (In order of current priorities; priorities based on consensus of societies and congressional activity)
A. Appropriations for NSF, USGS
B. Appropriations for DOE, NOAA, NASA
C. Competitiveness legislation for doubling NSF, DOE-Office of Science and other physical science basic research and education programs

D. Legislation related to natural resources that contains the following components; AGI advocates for the following specific components:
Basic Research
Geologic Mapping
Data Preservation
Earth Science Education
[Some examples: Emergency Supplementals for Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina and Energy Policy Act of 2005]

E. Legislation related to natural hazards
[Some current examples: National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), Hurricane Research Initiative, and National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)]

F. Legislation related to science education
No specific examples because this type of legislation is often part of other larger bills, such as appropriations or the competitiveness bills. Advocacy is sometimes done separately for education components.

2. Public policy issues that GAP tracks to inform Member Societies (Tracking priority depends somewhat on congressional activity)
A. Re-authorization or new authorization that would affect federal science agencies such as NSF, NOAA, NASA, DOE
[Some current examples: NOAA Organic Act (defines NOAA's mission) and Independent Mineral Resource Program within DOI (transfer USGS Mineral Resources to an independent agency)]

B. Legislation/policy discussions related to natural resources
Climate Change
Offshore drilling/ANWR
Fossil Fuels
Yucca Mountain/Nuclear energy
Alternative energy
Mineral resources
Water resources
Great Lakes coalitions
Environmental issues
Land use issues
Bills created by news headlines: Pipeline legislation
Fossil preservation

C. Legislation/policy discussions related to natural hazards
Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina related legislation

D. Legislation/policy discussions related to science education

E. Legislation/policy discussions related to open access
Lieberman and Cornyn bill

3. Other issues that GAP works on with Member Societies (no priority, just listed)
Teaching Earth Science in Public Schools
Teaching Evolution in Public Schools
Teacher training in Earth Science
Student training in Earth Science
Gender Issues
Geoscience Workforce Issues
Communication of Geosciences to the Public
Opportunities for Public Policy Positions (fellowships, internships, scholarships)

4. Specific activities of GAP (no priority, just listed)
Congressional Science Fellowship program
Public policy internship program
Web site tracking legislation and policy issues
Email alerts: Monthly Review, Action Alerts, Special Updates
Writing policy articles for society pubs and media outlets
Public Policy Advocacy
Participation in public policy meetings and forums
Facilitating public policy advocacy for geoscientists and Member Societies

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

Posted December 1, 2006