July 20, 2018

Science & Agriculture: Engagement is a Two-Way Street

Authorship of this guest blog is credited to Rafael Loureiro, PhD. Loureiro is a Research Scientist with Blue Marble Space Institute of Science and an Assistant Professor at Winston-Salem State University. The ability to ask questions and, more importantly, search for its answers defines our very human nature and shapes our scientific views of the universe and of our place in it. Evidence and open dialog are quintessential parts of …


July 6, 2018

Science & Agriculture: “Capitol”-izing Science

Authorship of this guest blog is credited to Linh Anh Cat, Next Generation Public Policy Fellow with University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and Ph.D. Candidate at University of California, Irvine. As an ecologist in Washington, D.C., most of my conversations with staffers of members of Congress started with pointing out that deaths from fungal infections exceed that of malaria or tuberculosis. In addition, fungal disease destroys almost half of what …


June 27, 2018

Science Spending Bills Ready for Votes

Appropriations: Part 3 All spending bills for the Earth and space science agencies are in play right now! The House and Senate Appropriations Committees each passed their own version of funding legislation for NASA, NOAA, NSF, USGS, EPA, and DOE. Now, the full House and Senate must vote on the bills. The House and Senate have both passed their versions of the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Energy and Water Bill (which funds DOE) as part …


June 20, 2018

Predictively Speaking: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Today’s post is written by David Trossman, Research Associate, University of Texas-Austin’s Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences Subtle environmental changes in the distant and not-so-distant past have contributed to civilization collapse, war, and uprooted lives. What, then, will be the human consequences of future changes on our planet? Looking to the past can provide lessons. Looking to the future through predictions can help us anticipate what risks may materialize …


June 5, 2018

High Potential for Strong DOE Funding

Appropriations: Part 2 The entire House is poised to vote on DOE funding this week. At this point, both House and Senate appropriators have passed energy and water spending bills out of their respective committees. Now, those bills must be approved by majority vote in their chambers of origin so that members from the House and Senate can begin to reconcile differences between the two bills, creating one final bill. …


May 24, 2018

Secret Science – Insight into a Misleading Policy

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Scott Pruitt, signed a draft policy that would change how the agency uses science in decision-making. This proposed policy would exclude scientific information from consideration during the drafting of regulations if the research cannot be validated by the public. What would be so wrong with making data public? Transparency sounds like a good thing, but this would be transparency in name only …


House Spending Bill: Support for Science Agencies Not Across the Board 

Appropriations: Part 1 The appropriations process is so far following a more conventional timeline this year as opposed to last year’s drawn-out deals. On 17 May (compared with 13 July last year), the House Appropriations committee approved the fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill, which funds NASA, NOAA, and NSF. The bill continues to grow funding for NASA and NSF over FY2018 levels. However, NOAA funding takes a …


May 21, 2018

Building Influence in an Election Year

“Once you hear the thunder, it’s too late to build the ark.” When I heard this phrase, I was immediately struck by how perfectly it summarizes the importance of engaging with your legislators. It’s imperative to engage with and know your legislators before you need something from them. As it’s an election year, legislators are more focused on constituents than ever. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know …


May 18, 2018

Safeguard Our Infrastructure by Improving Space Weather Forecasts

Today’s post is written by Tai-Yin Huang, Professor of Physics, Penn State University Space weather has become increasingly important due to our heavy dependence on technological infrastructure.  Space weather can cause disruptions to telecommunications and GPS navigation, failure or mis-operation of satellites, loss of electricity due to damage to power grids, and damage to pipelines, all of which compromise our personal and national security.  Luckily, monitoring space weather conditions and …


May 17, 2018

Streamgages: Infrastructure to Protect Infrastructure

Today’s post is written by Sandra M. Eberts, U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologist and Deputy Program Coordinator (Acting), Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program Everyone is talking about infrastructure, especially the high cost of deferred maintenance and reconstruction. If only it were possible to keep infrastructure from degrading in the first place. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgages can help do just that. The USGS National Streamflow Network has more than 8,200 streamgages—operated …