ACTION ALERT: Support the Geosciences Without
This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's
With the tough economy and war on terrorism at home and abroad, federal
science agencies are fighting proposals for tight funding next year.
More than ever, the geoscience community needs to make a strong case
to Congress on the value of these programs.
This past spring, the 8th Annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional
Visits Day (CVD) brought scientists and engineers to Capitol Hill
to visit Members of Congress and their staff right at the start of
the congressional budget cycle. Now that Congress is about halfway
through their budget process for the year, it's time to visit your
elected officials again. In August, both the House and Senate spend
the entire month in recess so that the members can be in their districts
visiting with constituents and attending local events. This is a great
opportunity to schedule an appointment with your Representative or
Senator in their local office to voice your support for increased
federal investment in science and technology.
Participants in the August District Visit Days are asked to carry
forward a core message that broad federal funding for research promotes
the nation's security, prosperity, and the innovation of new ideas.
In addition, participants can advance their own messages about programs
that they see as valuable examples of the federal science and technology
enterprise emphasizing, for example, the value of the geosciences
to society. It is vital for geoscientists to be represented in science-community
efforts if our discipline is to be a recognizable (and valued) element
in the congressional view of "science." For anyone interested
in science policy, this is an opportunity to meet your elected official
and have your voice heard without having to travel.
If you have participated in CVD previously, this is a chance to continue
building a relationship with your Members of Congress. If not, there
is no better time than the month of August when representatives and
senators are less rushed and at home to sit down and talk about funding
priorities that are important to you and the larger science, engineering
and technology community.
To make arrangements for an August visit, contact your Member of
Congress' local district office (contact info in your local phone
book or through http://www.house.gov)
and ask to speak with the District Scheduler. Inquire about the Member's
August schedule and see if there would be an appropriate time and
place where you could meet for approximately 15-20 minutes to discuss
federal science funding. Your meeting may be before or after a Town
Hall Meeting, during a county fair or on a day that the Member has
set aside to visit a particular county and meet with folks about various
issues. Whatever the situation, the experience is sure to be memorable
for you both. You may also want to consider attending this meeting
as a group with your colleagues or even inviting the Member to tour
your campus, agency or business.
The District Scheduler may ask you fax or e-mail a formal meeting
request with a list of issues you would like to discuss. More information
about CVD and the core message is available on the CVD website at
site contains a downloadable packet of briefing materials to update
you on the need for sustained federal investment in science research,
help orchestrate your visit and familiarize you with the legislative
process. AGI has a number of articles and updates on its Government
Affairs website (http://www.agiweb.org/gap)
that can provide background and context for some of the issues you
may want to discuss.
If you have any questions or would like our assistance in setting
up a visit, call Emily M. Lehr in AGI's Government Affairs Program
at (703) 379-2480 x. 212 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CVD is organized by the Science-Engineering-Technology Work Group
(of which AGI is a member).
Alert prepared by Emily M. Lehr, AGI Government Affairs Program
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.
Posted August 4, 2003