November 21, 2014
The 113th Congress returned to session last week after the mid-term elections. Democrats are seeking to compromise while they still have leadership of the Senate, and Republicans want to tie up loose ends to make room for more ambitious legislation in the 114th Congress when they take control of both chambers. The hope is that the lame duck Congress will be productive in passing fiscal year 2015 (FY15) appropriations, confirming nominees for administrative posts, and selecting party leadership positions for congressional committees.
November 12, 2014
Congress runs on coffee – and as new congressional fellows we do too. Like the unseen support staff operating beneath the Senate offices, the legislative staff working in the background for each Senator, Representative, and Committee are an impressive group that should give you reason for optimism.
November 6, 2014
With words plastered over news sites like “wave”, “tsunami”, “earthquake”, “landslide”, etc. you’d think that a major natural disaster occurred instead of run-of-the-mill democratic elections. Many woke up yesterday morning taking a hard look in the mirror, and while some predict the world will end in the next two years, we’ve got a prediction of our own: this is a great opportunity for science advocates.
November 4, 2014
It’s the day you’ve been waiting for all year – the 2014 Midterm elections. No matter where you live, the location of your polling place, or how busy your day is, there are few things more important you can do as a citizen than make your voice heard in the ballot box.
October 22, 2014
This past September, I participated in the Geosciences Congressional Visits Day (Geo-CVD) sponsored by AGU. As public support for science is waning, I have realized that we as scientists really need to step up our game on communicating, both with the public and with policy makers. Obviously we are versed in selling the importance of our science to our peers, but we need to do the same for the audience …
October 1, 2014
I confess that, if I had my druthers, I would spend my days solely ‘sciencing’—conducting fieldwork in remote places, examining samples in the laboratory, and interpreting data with my graduate students. I am now convinced that geosciences advocacy should be added to my list of regular duties.
September 3, 2014
On 23 September 2014, the U.N. Secretary-General will host leaders from around the world at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to engage in discussion, and hopefully make commitments, on a legal climate agreement for the year 2015. The leaders will discuss four themes: the science of climate change, societal benefits that come with taking action on climate change, why climate action makes sense for business and economic growth, and voices from the frontlines of climate change.
August 26, 2014
Being a good researcher, scientist and/or engineer is more than the number of grants, publications and conference presentations you have given. Take your research to the next level. Bring it to your community, your neighborhood, and your legislators. Engaging others in your research and engaging in the policies that impact your research can be just as important as our models, lab, and field work. So here is a list of key things I will be taking away from my internship this summer and why I’m committed to being a scientist who is actively engaged in policy.
August 11, 2014
Oceans. You don’t have to live on the East or West coasts to understand and appreciate the appeal of the oceans. From long walks on the beach to collecting seashells, images of the oceans proliferate our media, romantic literary epics, and vacation planning. However, that is all changing as our oceans increase in acidity. To put it simply, like the wicked witch of west, invertebrates like oysters, mussels, and other shelled creatures are “melting”
August 7, 2014
Several weeks ago I wrote a piece on the background of the U.S. congressional appropriations process, outlining the procedure through which the Federal government is funded. Progress to Date: The Senate has begun work on several appropriations bills, but as of today none have been passed by the full Senate. The Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill which funds NASA, NIST, NOAA, NSF, and the White House’s Office of Science and Technology was passed by the full Appropriations committee in June with broad bipartisan support, and appeared destined for the president’s desk.