American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program UPDATE


June 1997


This monthly update goes out to members of the AGI Government Affairs Program (GAP) Advisory Committee as well as the leadership of AGI's member societies and other interested geoscientists as part of a continuing effort to improve communications between GAP and the geoscience community that it serves.

Support for Education Programs
AGI and twelve of its member societies are among the 47 scientific and engineering organizations that signed on to a statement in support of the Eisenhower Professional Development Program in the Department of Education that provides funding for science and math educators. The statement was sent to members of Congress and the President in early June. This action was part of a broader effort by AGI to strengthen its involvement in science education policy matters. This summer, the Government Affairs Program (GAP) has teamed with the Education & Human Resources Department to support an intern focusing on geoscience education issues. Please let us know if there are specific issues that your society feels should be addressed.

Also this month, GAP staff met with Kay McGrath of the American Chemical Society, who organized the Eisenhower effort, to learn more about ACS activities in science education policy. Staff also attended a subsequent meeting at ACS to determine additional opportunities for scientific societies to share information and work together on education issues.

Updates on Tax Cut and Appropriations Legislation
With the balanced budget agreement and budget resolution completed, Congress set to work on producing legislation on tax cuts and appropriations. GAP sent out updates detailing provisions in the tax bill affecting education and the oil and gas industry as well as the results of House action on appropriations for the USGS, DOE, NSF, NASA, and EPA. Those updates are available on the GAP web site and can also be provided on request.

Applegate, Dragonetti Attend Annual State Geologists Meeting, Visit With Park Service
GAP Director David Applegate and Senior Advisor John Dragonetti both represented AGI at the annual meeting of the Association of American State Geologists, held this month in Breckenridge, Colorado. The annual meeting is an opportunity to inform the group on program activities and hear a range of presentations by federal agencies, advocacy organizations, and other entities that interface with the geoscience community.

Following the meeting, Applegate and Dragonetti, along with Dan Sarewitz of GSA, met with leaders of the National Park Service's Geologic Resources Division to discuss opportunities for collaboration. GSA is currently supporting several geoscience internships at national parks in Alaska and South Dakota. More on opportunities in the parks in the "Political Scene" column in the August issue of Geotimes.

Interns Hard At Work on Variety of Issues
Last month's update reported on the arrival of Stephanie Barrett, who is covering science education policy issues for GAP. This month saw the arrival of Jenna Minicucci, who is a rising senior at Wesleyan University where she is a dual major in geology and government. In response to a member society request, Jenna has been examining the geoscience content of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. Both she and Stephanie have been attending and reporting on congressional hearings, conducting research at the Library of Congress, and providing capable assistance to the program staff. The internship program is jointly funded by AGI and the AIPG Foundation. Each intern will be joining us for twelve weeks.

Strategic Planning Moves Ahead With Communications Survey, Initial Draft
Early this month, the program received feedback from a questionnaire on communications between GAP and AGI's member societies. The responses by member society leadership were very encouraging with strong support for e-mail updates and Geotimes articles. Other methods were rated highly, although fewer respondents indicated familiarity with them. Using the responses from this and an earlier survey on program strengths and weaknesses, GAP staff prepared an initial draft strategic plan, which will be reviewed and revised with input from the member societies.

New Material on Web Site
A slew of new or updated reports are available on our web site , and special e-mail updates were sent out reporting on the Eisenhower teacher education program, tax cut legislation, and appropriations. The summer interns have greatly increased the volume of new information going up on the web. In particular, the government affairs site now includes a section on science education policy issues. All of this material can also be obtained by contacting the AGI Government Affairs Program at or (703) 379-2480.

Tentative Schedule of Upcoming GAP Activities

July 10		USGS Geologic Division Strategic Science Forum	Washington DC
July 11		Chesapeake Bay Science Advisory Meeting (Shewey)   	Edgewater MD
July 16-21	GSA/AAPG Ethics Conference (Dragonetti) 	Welches OR


(Contributed by David Applegate, AGI Government Affairs)

Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI Government Affairs Program at govt@agiweb.org.

Uploaded July 3, 1997

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