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You are browsing the archive for Policy Archives - The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy.

March 29, 2019

Sequestration is back; and science funding is in jeopardy.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) required Congress to find ways to cut the deficit by capping funding for non-defense, including science, and defense programs. Congress never came to an agreement on ways to cut the deficit and therefore automatic across the board cuts for government spending, or sequestration, were invoked. Sequestration was supposed to be so bad that Congress would be forced to reach an agreement. Under the BCA, FY2020 defense …

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March 25, 2019

Using science to speak truth to power

Today’s post was written by Dr. Bonnie McGill. Dr. McGill is a David H. Smith Conservation Fellow and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Kansas. Some people ooh and aah over movie stars on the red carpet. Me? I idolize scientists providing testimony in Congress. Some personal favorites include Dr. James Hansen’s 1988 Senate testimony on global warming and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha and others’ 2016 House testimony regarding lead-contaminated drinking …

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March 22, 2019

Swept Away: Stream Gauges Essential to Storm Resilience

Today’s post is in Honor of World Water Day and is by Dr. Amy Marcarelli (@AmyMarcarelli). Dr. Marcarelli is an associate professor of biological science at Michigan Technological University. Her research links nutrient and carbon cycling with ecological community dynamics in river, stream and lake ecosystems. One of the most basic characteristics used to describe a stream is its discharge—how much water it carries. Discharge tells us how quickly something …

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January 18, 2019

Promoting Science-based Policy 

Today’s post is part of a series written by student bloggers from the AGU Fall Meeting 2018. By: Emilie Sinkler, a PhD candidate in Galciology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. What can scientists (and non-scientists) do to preserve science funding and promote science-based policy? The 2018 AGU Fall Meeting was the perfect place to learn about and get involved in science policy. The location in the nation’s capital gave scientists …

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January 10, 2019

What is the Value of the Geosciences?

Today’s post is part of a series written by student bloggers from the AGU Fall Meeting 2018. By: Emilie Sinkler, a PhD candidate in Galciology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Geoscientists study many different aspects of the world around us, under us, and above us. Knowledge about our world informs how and where we build our homes, streets, and other infrastructure. It also causes us to reconsider our actions and …

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December 20, 2018

What does it mean for Science to “stand for” something? 

Today’s post is part of a series written by student bloggers from the AGU Fall Meeting 2018. By: Hannah Mark, MIT-WHOI Joint Program on Marine Geology and Geophysics At this year’s AGU Fall Meeting, I spent a good bit of time walking back and forth between posters and talks along the corridor on the lower level of the Walter Washington Convention Center. Every trip took me past a giant screen playing …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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