October 15, 2021

New science policy engagement program; applications open now!

Posted by Caitlin Bergstrom

AGU is piloting a new program, Local Science Partners, that will cement sciences’ place in decision-making by empowering AGU members to build trusting, sustainable partnerships with policymakers.

AGU’s new program will pair AGU members with their legislators and provide AGU member partners the tools, resources and training to build sustainable relationships with their legislators. The goal of Local Science Partners is to advance AGU’s policy agenda and diversify sciences’ Congressional champions.

Legislation and policy can be powerful tools in advancing science for the benefit of humanity and the environment. Unfortunately, we often see a disconnect between scientists and policymakers and science is increasingly seen as partisan. Two of the best ways to overcome these obstacles are personalizing science policy issues to policymakers’ constituents and districts and building relationships with policymakers. To achieve those goals, AGU seeks partners who are ready to work with us and their legislators to develop relationships through routine collaboration.

This pilot program will focus on U.S. federal legislators in 2022. Dependent on the success of this program, we hope to expand our ambassador program globally and to local levels.

AGU members in the program will: 

  • be a part of a network of change drivers;  
  • gain the tools and knowledge needed to influence policy through science policy and communication trainings; 
  • receive personalized guidance and support from AGU staff; and 
  • build relationships with their legislators that help to cement the role of science in policymaking. 

Time commitment

  • Member partners will commit to serving as an ambassador for at least one year, with the option to recommit annually. 
  • Attend an orientation event on 25 January 2022 from 12-2 PM EST.
  • Every other month, group calls will be hosted by AGU. These calls will include legislative and policy updates and open forums for participants to discuss challenges and opportunities. 
  • Member partners will be asked to take at least one action monthly. Most actions will be dictated by AGU depending on AGU’s policy priorities and the congressional calendar. Time commitments per month will vary between a couple of minutes to a couple of hours, depending on call schedules and that month’s action.
  • Quarterly, AGU will hold interactive workshops giving participants the opportunity to develop or grow their science policy or communication skills and knowledge. These workshops will be recorded and available to participants to watch or refer to anytime.

Program perks:

To support AGU member partner engagement and satisfaction, we will have a robust recognition and rewards initiative. This will include: 

  • letters to department heads or organizational supervisors applauding the participant’s program involvement;
  • funding for participants to attend a congressional visits day in Washington, D.C. in spring 2022 (may be virtual dependent on COVID-19 and security concerns);
  • monthly recognition of participant achievements;
  • Fall Meeting registration (dependent on being an active participant throughout the year); and
  • access to a small grant pool that will enable participants to conduct policy events or other initiatives.

This program is right for you if:

  • You believe policy is a powerful tool in advancing science;
  • recognize that science is important but not the only factor in policymaking;
  • are persistent and willing to push for something important;
  • want to partner with AGU’s science policy team to help advance AGU’s policy agenda (2021 priorities);
  • expect to live in the same congressional district and state throughout 2022
  • are willing to remain nonpartisan when talking to legislators and maintaining a nonpartisan public/media presence


Apply here. Applications will be accepted until Friday, 12 Nov 11:59 PST.