ALERT: Request Increased Funding for NSF, DOE Office of Science and NIST
This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's member societies.
IN A NUTSHELL:Representatives Vernon Ehlers and Bill Foster are asking their colleagues in the House of Representatives to sign onto a "Dear Colleague" letter to House leadership and appropriators asking for support for increased funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) in a continuing resolution or any final fiscal year 2009 (FY09) funding bill. Please contact your Representative by telephone, fax or email and ask them to sign the letter in support of geoscience R&D within these agencies.
The federal government will likely be run on a continuing resolution for several months after September 30, 2008. This means that the budget of the NSF will remain at the FY 2008 level and NSF will not receive the almost 14 percent increase requested by the administration and recommended by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Additionally, the DOE Office of Science will also fail to receive the 18 percent increase requested by the administration and the 21 percent increase recommended by the House Appropriations Committee. And NIST will not receive the 4 percent increase recommended by the House Appropriations Committee.
Text of Dear Colleague Letter from Representatives Ehlers and Foster
To determine who your Representative is, go to www.house.gov and enter your zip code+4. The link will also provide the contact information for your Representative, so you can call, fax or email them.
1. Call your Representative's Washington, DC office.
You may obtain the phone number from their official website (via www.house.gov) or you may call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask to be connected to Representative [name] office. NOTE: You must know the name of your Representative prior to calling the switchboard; they will not be able to tell you who your member of Congress is.
Ask to speak to the legislative assistant responsible for science funding. When connected: Encourage the staffer to have Representative [name] sign the Ehlers-Foster Dear Colleague letter. Be prepared to mention how important NSF, DOE Office of Science or NIST funding is to your research, academic department/institution, and/or your community. Please note that geoscience is a critical component of competitiveness and innovation initiatives put forward by Congress, the Bush Administration and dozens of competitiveness reports, from the National Academies and others. Ask for support for essential increases in federal investments in geoscience research at NSF, DOE Office of Science, NIST and other federal agencies.
Legislative staff are busy, so you may be asked if you would like to leave a voice mail - you do. Simply convey the same information you would have if you spoke to the staffer in person, but be sure to leave your contact information.
2. E-Mail or Fax your Representative
Tips for an effective e-mail or fax message:
-Be sure that you include your contact information at the top of the e-mail/letter; this must include your name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address. NOTE: many offices will discard correspondence that does not include contact information, or that comes from outside of their district.
-In the opening paragraph of your message, clearly state that you are writing to ask that your Representative to sign the Ehlers-Foster Dear Colleague letter. Tell them that the letter requests that Congress provide the NSF, DOE Office of Science and NIST with increased levels of funding in a continuing resolution.
-Briefly explain why NSF, DOE Office of Science and/or NIST funding is important to you and/or your institution (e.g., only source of funding for your area of research, helps support undergraduate/graduate student research experience, leads to innovation, etc).
-Please note that geoscience is a critical component of competitiveness and innovation initiatives put forward by Congress, the Bush Administration and dozens of competitiveness reports, from the National Academies and others. Ask for support for essential increases in federal investments in Earth science research at NSF, DOE Office of Science and other federal agencies.
Thank you for taking your time to be an active citizen-geoscientist!
Alert prepared by Marcy Gallo and Linda Rowan, Government Affairs Staff
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.
Posted September 12, 2008