You are browsing the archive for kuhlenbrock, Author at The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy.

October 1, 2013

Science Shutdown

Today, 1 October 2013 marks the first shutdown of the United States’ Federal government since 1995. Unlike in 1995, zero appropriations bills have been passed for the current fiscal year. As a result, the effect of the shutdown will be much larger – more than 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed and numerous federally-funded services shutdown. Earth and space science is not immune to this crisis. Furloughs A number of …


September 19, 2013

Resilient Communities Move Forward with the Help of Science

September marks the 10th annual National Preparedness Month. The President, FEMA, and disaster organizations encourage communities to prepare for and become more resilient to emergencies. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate recognizes that preparedness seems difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. “Preparedness is more about a state of mind than a stack of supplies,” he suggested during a recent National Academies meeting on Disaster Resilience in America.  This includes using the information around us …


August 29, 2013

Lessons of Volcanic Eruptions

  Volcanic eruptions are the most important natural cause of climate change, and they teach us many lessons about the climate system.  The cooling Earth experiences for a couple years after a big volcanic eruption, like that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, helps us calibrate the amount of warming we will suffer in the future from continued human emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide.  By filtering out the …


August 1, 2013

A Policymaker Walks Into The Forest…

A recurring challenge for scientists talking to policymakers is finding the match between the details that the scientist focuses on and understands, and the details that the policymaker needs to make their decisions. I often see scientists struggling to calibrate their message to the right level of specificity. Missing the mark on this can kill an otherwise promising conversation, but more importantly, increases the probability that you will squander real …


May 30, 2013

Melting Ice and Burning Questions for the Future

  As the climate changes, so do the impacts on society and the way we prepare for things such as severe weather, rising seas, droughts and wildfires, changing ecosystems, and melting glaciers. Looking at the world through the eye of a camera lens is one way that James Balog has been witnessing the impacts of climate change. One of his most recent works documents melting glaciers at various locations around …


When Sharing Science with Hurried Policymakers and Reporters, It Pays to be Prepared

  Woodrow Wilson once said, “If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation…if an hour, I am ready now.” Whether talking with policymakers, the press, or the general public, it is essential to have carefully-crafted messages to effectively share a story. And ten minutes is likely far more time than you will ever have. AGU is kicking off the 2013 Science Policy Conference with a …


Integrating Policy into Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Training

  The blue line train was approaching. Only a half hour ago, we had landed at Reagan after a red-eye flight from Seattle to Atlanta, then a short flight to DC. Instead of arriving on Saturday at 10 pm, we arrived Sunday morning at 9 am. Despite being sleep-deprived, I rattled off the organizations we were going to visit tomorrow – U.S. Global Climate Research Program, Meridian Institute, and Union …