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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 …
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 …
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 …
October 16, 2015
Making a Path for Geologic Maps
Today’s focus for Earth Science Week is Geologic Map Day. The goal of the day is to highlight the importance of maps and how they contribute to improving our quality of life on a daily basis. Maps have more uses than getting us from point A to point B; they are applied to tracking the spread of diseases and monitoring migration patterns, both producing significant public health and safety benefits. …
May 27, 2015
Should NASA be Studying the Earth?
This past spring, Congress took a number of steps that seemed to imply that NASA should be reprioritizing its focus away from the Earth Sciences. For example, during a hearing on March 12, 2015, some members of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness suggested to NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. that NASA should shift its attention from Earth Science to space exploration and research, which they suggested …
August 1, 2014
Dropped cell phone calls become rain gauges in West Africa
A shaky cell phone connection during a rainstorm can be an annoying nuisance. But now scientists are showing that these weakened signals can be used to monitor rainfall in West Africa, a technique that could help cities in the region better prepare for floods and combat weather-related diseases.
July 3, 2014
Won’t you be my reader?
WASHINGTON, DC – If you’ve read any of the recent blog posts, you’ll recognize a name change in the blogger. My name is Fushcia Hoover (the flower not the color) and I’m excited to report that I will be your friendly provider of cool and important science policy information this summer as the intern for AGU’s Public Affairs team. I started 7 June, but with busy preparations for SPC, I haven’t had a chance to formally introduce myself to you readers. I hail from the great state of Minnesota originally but am working on my PhD at Purdue University in Indiana. I’ll be going into my second year for my PhD, but my fourth year at Purdue, having completed my master’s there last August.
June 30, 2014
Under Water: Weathering the Colorado Floods
Boulder, Colorado learned a lot about its flood management practices during last September’s historic floods. But the deluge also helped the city learn about the value of less scientific measures, like public art and a good hug, said a top public works administrator at last week’s AGU Science Policy Conference, 16-18 June, 2014.
May 22, 2014
Applying science to natural resource policy issues: Social science joins natural and physical sciences
By Jana Davis, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Trust As AGU members, we generally focus on the contribution of physical and natural science solutions to policy questions. But sometimes an issue calls for us to step outside the boundaries of these “hard” sciences to the social sciences. Areas in which many of us tend to be less comfortable. And less trained. Watershed restoration and protection can be just such an issue. …
June 4, 2013
The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges to Meet Growing Demands
Water and energy are linked resources in ever-increasing demand in the United States. Energy production requires an abundant, reliable, and predictable source of water, a resource that is unfortunately in short supply already throughout large portions of the U.S. Additionally, developing water supplies can require large amounts of energy to extract, transport, treat, and distribute. As such, the water-energy nexus presents a significant challenge for our country’s water resource and …