American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program UPDATE

October 1996

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 we serve. If you received this update by fax and would like to receive future ones by e-mail (the preferred method from our perspective), please send a note to, and we will put you on the list.

New GAP Staffer
Increased support for the government affairs program from the member societies has made it possible to hire a second full-time staff member, and AGI is pleased to announce that Kasey Shewey will be joining the program next month. Shewey has a bachelor's degree from Duke in environmental science and policy, has interned at the White House, and currently serves as a regional campaign director for the North Carolina Democratic Party. Having spent time in the political trenches, she looks forward to AGI's non-partisan approach to science policy. The new position will greatly improve GAP's ability to address member society concerns and cover the broad range of issues affecting the geoscience community.

GAP on the Road
GAP Director Dave Applegate and Senior Advisor John Dragonetti have been on the road quite a bit this month. In addition to the upcoming GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Applegate was in San Antonio to participate in a government affairs symposium put on by the AAPG Division of Professional Affairs as part of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies annual meeting. He was also in Columbus OH for the AIPG annual meeting. Dragonetti attended the AAPG Eastern Section meeting in Charlestown WV, where he received the I.C. White Memorial Award. Activities in Denver include the GAP Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 29th. GAP staff will also be participating in a Paleontological Society workshop on orphan fossil collections and meeting with the executive committees of a number of the member societies, including GSA, MSA, NAGT, AASG, and SEPM.

Presentations on Intersociety Workshop Report
On October 24th, Applegate participated in a series of briefings for USGS leadership and an open seminar to discuss the findings from several workshops that provided input from the scientific community on the merger of the National Biological Service into the U.S. Geological Survey. Applegate discussed the report (released in June) from AGI's intersociety workshop, and reports from two workshops organized jointly by GSA and the Ecological Society of America were discussed by Dan Sarewitz and Mary Barber (the workshop organizers), and two of their participants. The reports have been widely distributed within the Survey and are being used in both the budgetary and program development process. Functions of the NBS, which was abolished as a bureau by Congress earlier this year, formally became the Biological Resources Division of the USGS on October 1, and Denny Fenn was named the first Chief Biologist, having served previously as Deputy Director of the NBS.

Meeting of Earth and Space Science Societies
GAP staff represented AGI and its member societies at a meeting of earth and space science societies held at AGU headquarters in Washington to discuss areas of mutual interest in government affairs. Dan Sarewitz from GSA and Alex Speer from MSA also attended. The participants identified a number of issues where a combined effort could be useful, and plans were made for regular information-sharing meetings in the future. The possibility of a central web site with links to each society's policy information as well as other sources of related information is also being explored.

Final Action of the 104th Congress
The last update contained word that Congress had wrapped up the appropriations process and obtained the necessary Presidential signature hours before the new fiscal year was to begin on October 1st. Hopes were high that the reauthorization bill for the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 would pass the Senate (having already passed the House) in the final days of the session once the budget work was done. Additional delays related to the omnibus parks bill and, finally, judicial appointments held it up until the final evening of the session, and it came close but failed to make Majority Leader Trent Lott's final list of bills for passage before he closed down the session in order for senators to get home and campaign. AGI will work with AASG and others to obtain passage early in the new 105th Congress.

Tentative Schedule of Upcoming GAP Activities
After a busy October, the pace is slowing for the end of the year:

Nov. 18		NRC Board on Earth Sciences & Resources Mtg.	Washington DC
Nov. 19		NRC Committee on Earth Resources Mtg.		Washington DC
Dec. 12		Colloquium at University of Utah			Salt Lake City UT
Dec. 15-19	AGU Fall Meeting				San Francisco CA

New Web Site and E-Mail Addresses

Just a reminder: the new address for AGI's World Wide Web home page is , and the program's new e-mail address is: . Dave Applegate and John Dragonetti also have new individual addresses. Both the old home page address and e-mail address will continue to work.

(Contributed by David Applegate, AGI Government Affairs)

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

Uploaded November 6, 1996 (Created 10-25-96)

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