Geoscientists Make the Case for Federal Funding on Capitol Hill
Science – Engineering – Technology Congressional Visits Day 2012
April 24-25, 2012
As part of the 17th annual Science – Engineering – Technology Congressional Visits Day (SET-CVD), 14 geoscientists from across the country came to Washington, DC to raise awareness among policymakers about the value of and the continued need for geoscience research, development, and education.
Scientists and engineers from the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG), and the Geological Society of America (GSA) came to Washington, DC as part of the two-day annual event. They attended one day of workshops and educational briefings on federal science agencies, the budget process and Congress, followed by a day of meetings with members of Congress and their staff. Many other scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, and technology executives joined the geoscientists in promoting the core message: “Economic Recovery through Science and Engineering Research.”
At a morning workshop at AGU headquarters, the geoscientists were briefed on communicating with policymakers, congressional processes, the status of geoscience funding, and life on the Hill. At a seminar at AAAS headquarters in the afternoon, all SET-CVD participants were briefed on the President’s budget request for science and engineering. The Stand with Science movement, which was started by graduate students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave the participants a presentation of their outreach efforts.
The climax of the first day was the Science, Engineering, and Technology Working Group Reception in the Rayburn House Office Building. Twelve exhibitors from industry to academia showcased innovative research to members of Congress and their staffs. The American Geosciences Institute (AGI), AGU, and GSA co-sponsored an exhibit for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Volcano Hazards Program. USGS brought educational material and expertise to Members of Congress and their staff who were very interested in the instruments and facilities used by the program. 2012 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory and staffers from Hawaiian congressional offices were particularly interested in speaking with the USGS geoscientists. The evening reception included an award ceremony to honor House Science, Space and Technology Committee Member Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Member Mark Udall (D-CO) for their continued support of science. The annual award is given in honor of the late Representative George E. Brown, Jr. a long time member of Congress who made outstanding contributions to Federal support for science and technology over a long and distinguished career in Congress.
The next day AGI, AGU, and GSA staff members and the SET-CVD participants visited 38 congressional offices and had seven personal visits with five senators and two members of the House of Representatives. Participants told stories about how federally funded geoscience research and development has benefitted their local communities by adding jobs, providing safe and clean natural resources, and mitigating the risk of economic and human loss as a result of natural hazards.
We will be updating this page soon with a date for next year's 18th Annual Science – Engineering - Technology Congressional Visits Day. If you are interested in participating, please contact AGI Geoscience Policy by email: email@example.com.