October 13, 2021

AGU sends letter to Congressional leadership urging strong funding for science in the infrastructure and budget reconciliation packages

Posted by Caitlin Bergstrom

On 5 October 2021, AGU sent Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer applauding strong funding for research infrastructure and urged Congress to maintain funding for all science agencies. 


On behalf of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and our community of 130,000 worldwide in the Earth and space sciences, I’d like to applaud the strong funding allocation for research infrastructure and associated research and development activities in the current House reconciliation package. We urge Congress to maintain a strong level of funding for all federal science agencies in the final package.


Cutting-edge research facilities and equipment are critical to advancing new technologies and innovations, which in turn will enable the U.S. to maintain a strong scientific enterprise and help to meet our climate change targets.  Unfortunately, many federal science agencies that play a central role in addressing climate change, especially the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have growing backlogs of research infrastructure maintenance as well as insufficient funds to award high quality research proposals.


Part of NOAA’s vital work is to monitor, predict, and warn communities about the impacts of climate change, such as increased flooding. Such work requires observational infrastructure in the form of sensors and platforms, which encompasses everything from satellites, radars, buoys, submersibles, and more. For example, data from NOAA satellites help the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create flood maps that aid in forecasting, warning, and recovery from major hurricanes.


The consequences of climate change represent a fundamental threat to our nation and the world.  To protect our communities and ensure the prosperity of our country, it is essential that Congress invest in the necessary research, technology, and workforce. AGU appreciates your leadership in strengthening the U.S. scientific enterprise and looks forward to continued work with you on this critical issue.


See the full letter here.