ACTION ALERT: Come to Capitol Hill for Congressional Visits Day on March 28-29, 2006

(Posted 01-10-06)

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

The beginning of February marks the start of another budget cycle for the Federal government, and what better time to come to Capitol Hill and meet with your members of Congress. Federal geoscience agencies are again feeling the pressure of a shrinking federal research budget. More than ever, the geoscience community needs to make a strong case to Congress about the value of these programs.

A great opportunity to make your voice heard is to come to Washington on March 28-29 for the 11th Annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day (CVD).
Each spring, CVD brings more than 200 scientists and engineers to Capitol Hill to visit members of Congress and their staff right at the start of the congressional budget cycle. It will consist of an opening day of briefings by key administration and congressional leaders (including a morning pre-briefing at AGU for geoscience participants) followed by a day of constituent visits with senators, representatives, and their staff. We can help arrange your visits, either as an individual or as a group and we can provide you with information about government processes or updates on legislation being considered in the spring.

Participants in CVD are asked to carry forward a core message that federally funded research is the Nation's foundation for the future. 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 the economy and national security.

It is vital for geoscientists to be represented in science-community efforts if our discipline is to be a distinctly recognizable and valued element of the congressional view of "science." For anyone interested in science policy, this is an opportunity to meet your elected officials and experience Capitol Hill at the height of political activity. If you have participated in CVD previously, this is a chance to continue building a relationship with your members of Congress and their staff. If not, there is no better time than now to sit down and talk about funding priorities that are important to you and the larger science, engineering and technology community. We especially encourage the leadership of AGI's Member Societies to attend.

More information about CVD and the core message is available on the CVD website at As March 28th and 29th approach, the site will add more information, including 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. In addition, AGI has a number of articles and updates on its Government Affairs website ( that can provide background and context for some of the issues you may want to discuss.

If you would like to participate or have any questions or would like our assistance in setting up a visit, call Margaret Anne Baker in AGI's Government Affairs Program at (703) 379-2480 x. 212 or e-mail at

CVD is organized by the Science-Engineering-Technology Work Group (of which AGI is a member).

Alert prepared by Margaret Anne Baker, AGI Government Affairs Program

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

Posted January 10, 2006