ACTION ALERT

Write Your Elected Representatives During Earth Science Week!

Posted: October 11, 1999; Action Completed October 16, 1999

Update: 35 states, along with several local and tribal governments, issued proclamation celebrating Earth Science Week 1999.  President Clinton issued a message saluting the Earth sciences and encouraging all Americans to participate in Earth Science Week activities.  More information on the 1999 Earth Science Week is available at the Earth Science World website.


This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's member societies.

A key goal of Earth Science Week (October 10-16) is to raise public awareness of the geosciences and their value to society. If we are to reach that goal, no sector of the public is more important than elected representatives at local, state, and national levels. With that in mind, AGI's Government Affairs Advisory Committee encourages all geoscientists to take time this week to contact their representatives with the message that the geosciences deserve their support and that geoscience information and analysis are a critical input into the decisionmaking process on issues relating to the environment, resources, and natural hazards.

The American Geological Institute (AGI) initiated Earth Science Week in 1998, the institute's 50th anniversary, as a way to achieve its mission to educate people about Earth, the earth sciences and the importance of earth scientists' work in solving the challenges we face as the planet changes. AGI has acted as a clearinghouse of information for schools, museums, state geological surveys, businesses, colleges and universities, libraries and the many organizations running events in their communities during Oct. 10-16 for highlighting the earth sciences. A list of activities and supporting organizations, along with an Earth Science Week press release, can be found at http://www.earthscienceworld.org/week/.

As part of this broader outreach effort, please take a minute to write a letter so that our elected officials will hear from their own constituents about why the geosciences are a valuable investment in our nation's future. Or visit your state and federal representatives in their local district office. Invite them and their staff to visit your school or research facility and get a first-hand look at what is happening in their district. And if you do, please let us know at: AGI Government Affairs Program, 4220 King Street, Alexandria VA 22302-1502; voice 703-379-2480; fax 703-379-7563; govt@agiweb.org.

Some letter-writing ideas and an example letter follow:

The AGI website contains helpful tips on Communicating with Congress as well as links to contact information for senators and representatives at http://www.agiweb.org/roster/howto.html. The site also contains background information on many environmental, resource, natural hazards, and fiscal policy issues related to the geosciences at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/gaphome.html.

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Example Letter to Member of Congress

The Honorable __________    The Honorable ___________
U.S. House of Representatives OR  U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20515   Washington, DC 20510

Dear Representative/Senator _________:

I am writing to you during Earth Science Week to ask for your support of strong federal investment in earth-science programs that develop information and analysis which are critically important to our ability to make wise decisions about the environment, resources, and natural hazards. LIST SPECIFIC AGENCIES OR PROGRAMS.

As just one example of the issues addressed by the earth sciences, the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Taiwan and the flooding in the eastern United States in the wake of Hurricane Floyd are powerful reminders of the need to better understand the forces that produce natural disasters. Federal investments in earth-science research and monitoring today can help to save lives and property in the future.

DESCRIBE LOCAL OR REGIONAL EXAMPLES OF EARTH SCIENCE ADDRESSING SOCIETAL ISSUES SUCH AS RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, OR HAZARD MITIGATION.

If you or your staff have any questions or would like additional information on any of these issues, please feel free to contact me at __________. Thank you for considering my request.

Sincerely yours,
 
 



Alert Contributed by David Applegate, AGI Government Affairs

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

Uploaded October 11, 1999; Action Completed October 16, 1999


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