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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 …

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May 16, 2018

Infrastructure Week: NEHRP and the Threat from Below

Editor’s Note: During infrastructure week, AGU Public Affairs is highlighting how science helps to protect our infrastructure. Below is a re-post of a recent blog by leadership of AGU’s Seismology Section regarding current legislation to reauthorize the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program and improve our nation’s resiliency to seismological activity. This legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Feinstein and Murkowski. AGU, in partnership with other societies like …

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May 15, 2018

Can Supercomputers Do More for Future Human Resilience Than the Abacus?

Today’s post is written by David Trossman, Research Associate, University of Texas-Austin’s Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences Scientists like Joseph Fourier, John Tyndall, and Eunice Foot made discoveries that led Svante Arrhenius to calculate how doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would affect global temperatures.  This was one of the first qualitatively accurate models of the Earth system.  And this was in the 1800s.  The additional …

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May 14, 2018

Infrastructure Helps Us, But Who’s Helping Infrastructure?

Imagine your (perhaps idealized) morning routine: your alarm goes off, you promptly arise and heat up some breakfast, read the news, shower and brush your teeth, and skip out the door to work. No part of this routine would be nearly so simple without waste and water management systems, telecommunications networks, the electric grid, or roads and public transit. However, it’s easy to overlook the infrastructure that supports our daily …

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May 8, 2018

Speaking Up for Science: Whistleblowing Is a Protected Right

Today’s post is written by Dana Gold, Director of Education, Government Accountability Project (GAP) Science professionals who refuse to stay silent in the face of direct evidence of abuses that betray the public trust—whistleblowers—are often the best mechanism for holding the powerful accountable and protecting the public interest. Science whistleblowers have exposed inappropriate censorship of climate science documents intended for Congress and the public, halted work at the Hanford nuclear …

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April 2, 2018

Marching for Science? Know Your Rights

Today’s post is written by the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. Many scientists in the United States have been moved to action as a result of the current political climate. If you’re one of them and you’re planning to join the March for Science on April 14 — or participate in other activism — it’s crucial that you know your rights. Although the chances of running into trouble when you stand up …

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March 27, 2018

Congressional Action on Sexual Harassment

Last week, AGU’s President Eric Davidson reflected on our ethics policy six months after its adoption. One component of the updated policy is the addition of harassment in the definition of scientific misconduct. AGU recognized that we could do more to address sexual harassment in the sciences, and we are not alone. Other scientific organizations and Congress are examining this issue. Recently, AGU’s CEO and Executive Director, Christine McEntee, testified …

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March 26, 2018

Briefing Recap: Space Discovery through Cutting-Edge Technology

On Tuesday, 27 February 2018 the House Earth and Space Science Caucus hosted a briefing on “Space Discovery through Cutting-Edge Technology.” Representative Polis (CO-02), co-chair of the caucus, kicked off the briefing with a speech highlighting the awe-inspiring nature of space discovery and the key role technology plays in science. Representative Costello (PA-06), the other caucus co-chair co-sponsoring the briefing, was unable to attend. The panel was moderated by Randy …

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February 13, 2018

President’s FY19 Request Proposes Continued Cuts to Science

On 12 February 2018, the Trump Administration released the FY19 Budget Proposal, outlining their priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Similar to last year, the budget outlined several drastic cuts to science. This year’s budget proposal is quite unique, however, because Congress has not yet finished negotiations for final FY18 spending levels. As we reported last week, Congress passed a topline budget deal on 9 February that lifted the FY18 …

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January 24, 2018

More Continuing Resolutions, More Negotiations

On Monday, Congress passed a new continuing resolution (CR), ending the second government shutdown in five years. The current CR marks the fourth short term spending bill in fiscal year (FY) 2018 and only funds the government through 8 February. While Congress was able to pass a bipartisan spending bill that ensures that our federal science agencies can currently provide the information and services that protect our local communities, there …

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