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Find Your Science at GSA

Work on Capitol Hill
as a GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow

Your work as a geoscientist greatly impacts society and Earth — why not make an impact on the U.S. government as well?

Current Fellow

Anna K. Mebust
Anna K. Mebust

28th Congressional Science Fellow
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We encourage interested parties to subscribe to the "News from the Hill" RSS feed (free).

Join the GSA Geology & Society Division ($8-professionals; $4-students). Division members may participate in discussions and collaborate with one another in GSA's new Connected Community.

Engage & Communicate

Share your scientific expertise and ensure that the geoscience community is engaged with leaders and policy makers on Capitol Hill!

Write your member of Congress about earth-science issues.

Come to Washington to learn about science policy and meet with Members of Congress
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Join our Geology in Government Mentor Program.

View GSA's Official Position Statements

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Roles of the
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Geology & Public Policy

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Science Policy News

Sustainable Land-Use Management Needs Geoscience
GSA members are invited to comment on this draft position statement through 15 May.

GSA Science Policy Fellow
GSA is seeking applicants for its Science Policy Fellowship Program which provides recent MS or Ph.D. recipients the opportunity to work in the GSA Washington Office for one year.

House Passes Bill to Restore and Prioritize NOAA Weather Funding
On Tuesday, 1 April, a much-revamped version of the “Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2014” (HR. 2413) passed the House.
[ learn more ]

Task Force on American Innovation Concerned About FIRST Act
The Task Force, of which GSA is a member, issued a letter to House Science, Space, and Technology Committee leaders stating, "The current version of the FIRST Act does not authorize adequate levels of investment in scientific research that are needed to close the nation’s innovation deficit and sustain our global leadership position in science and innovation."

GSA Submits Testimony Supporting NSF and NASA
GSA submitted testimony to the House and Senate supporting "strong and sustained investments in earth science research and education at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)."

Exploring Earthquakes:
Analyzing the Past to Protect Lives and Property Today

The presentations and additional information are available online.

House’s FIRST Act a step backward for geoscience funding
The Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act (H.R.4186), which would reauthorize funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for fiscal years (FY) 2014 and 2015, went through a markup and passed by a voice vote in the research panel of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on 13 March. [ read on ]

Mixed Bag for Geoscience in FY2015 Request
The Obama Administration released its Fiscal Year 2015 budget request on 4 March. The request follows the framework and overall spending cap set in the Bipartisan Budget Act the last December. In addition to the budget request that adheres to the caps, the Administration proposed a $56 billion “Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative” that provides an outline of where additional spending would occur if offsets were made. Science would see large increases from that fund, particularly at NSF, NASA and NOAA, but congressional leaders have said they intend to follow the caps and will not consider this package. [ more ]

GSA, scientific organizations concerned about FIRST Act
75 organizations concerned about the FIRST Act of 2014 because it "sets forth funding levels for the National Science Foundation that provide no real growth and stand to further erode our scientific infrastructure". [ read letter ]

The Task Force on American Innovation urged Congress to provide resources that will enable real growth in the research activities. The many industries, universities and professional societies that comprise TFAI urge [Congress] to appropriate funds to science and technology accounts that will allow us to reinvigorate our innovation base. [ read letter ]

Energy From the Earth (Briefing Series, Part 3)
Nuclear Energy: Resources, Geological Hazards, and Waste Management.
The United States is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power. More than 19 percent of the nation’s electricity comes from 104 operating reactors at 65 nuclear power plants in 31 states. Nuclear energy produces stable, base-load power with essentially no CO2 emissions. However, power-plant failures such as the recent Fukushima disaster in Japan and the inability of the United States to develop a long-term plan for nuclear waste storage have led to negative public perceptions of nuclear energy and raise questions about the future of this energy source.
Tuesday, 11 March, 1–2 p.m., Longworth House Office Building 1334

The Task Force on American Innovation urges Congress to make scientific research a top priority
The many companies, universities, and scientific societies represented by the Task Force agree that America’s role as the world innovation leader is in danger, and unless our nation changes course we will lose not only our lead, but the benefits to our economy and national security that stem from being first in the world in innovation. [ more ]

GSA supports the National Ground Water Monitoring Network
With groundwater providing nearly half of the nation’s drinking water and more than 40 percent of irrigation water, our nation’s economy, security, and the public’s well-being depend on knowing the status and trends of this vital resource. [ read letter ]

Exploring Earthquakes: Analyzing the past to protect lives and property today
10am, Friday, 28 Feb., Rayburn 2325, Washington D.C.
In the 50 years since the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America struck Alaska (1964), earthquakes have cost billions of dollars of economic loss in addition to countless lives in the United states and worldwide. Advances in science and engineering have made people safer -- bu the job is not done. GSA is co-hosting a briefing with the USGS and partners to explore what more needs to be accomplished to build resilience for the future.

Energy from the Earth Briefing Series
GSA has joined with a number of other scientific societies to hold a series of congressional briefings highlighting the vital geoscience information needed for effective policy making on topical energy issues. Recent briefing topics include an overview of energy resources and geothermal energy. Learn more about these topics and upcoming briefings.

GSA Submits Testimony on Federal Travel Restrictions
"Many federal scientists who had planned to present their research had to withdraw from GSA meetings this year. This resulted in federally-funded research that was not as broadly disseminated and opportunities for collaborations." missed. [ more ]

The Task Force on American Innovation, a coalition of industry, universities, and scientific societies including GSA — is pleased that the FY14 omnibus appropriations bill passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan majorities. [ read letter ]

Science Sees Increases in FY14 Funding
At long last, the appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) were signed into law on 17 January 2014. When signing the bill, President Obama noted, “[W]e now have a bill that will … make sure that we are doing everything we need to do to advance our research agenda in this country and innovate.” [ more ]

Energy from the Earth
Briefing Series, Part 2 — Wed., 29 January, Washington, D.C.
In this briefing "Geothermal Energy Transformations: Nationwide Resources and Value Chains", speakers will highlight recent successes in geothermal research and address questions, including:

Energy from Earth

Critical Minerals: Congressional Actions and GSA's Position
Legislation currently being considered in the House and Senate address concerns about the availability of international supplies of critical minerals and the United States' capacity for domestic production. [ learn more ]

Hydraulic Fracturing
Looking for objective information on critical issues? See GSA’s new Critical Issue resource on Hydraulic Fracturing for members, policy-makers, and the general public.

The Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), which includes GSA, has issued a letter outlining concerns with draft legislation to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act. [ read letter ]

GSA Urges Support for Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E). [ read letter ]

New Position Statements
At its October 2013 meeting, the GSA Council approved two new Position Statements titled Critical Mineral Resources and Managing U.S. Coastal Hazards.


Visit the Policy News Archive


Roles of the Geology and Public Policy Committee, the Geology and Society Division, and GSA's Washington, D.C., Office

Geology and Public Policy Committee Geology and Society Division Washington DC Office
  • Oversees development of GSA’s Position Statements. These statements are the foundation for public policy actions by the Society.
  • Advises GSA’s Council, Executive leadership, and the Washington Office.
  • Develops and sponsors technical sessions, symposia and other events relating to public policy development and outreach at the annual meeting and section meetings in coordination with the Geology and Society Division.
  • Collaborates with the Geology and Society Division on expanding the participation of GSA’s members in public policy communications.
  • Through GPPC’s Section Representatives, fosters communication about GSA’s public policy activities at section meetings.
  • Explores opportunities for expanding international activities at the interface between the geosciences and public policy by collaborating and cooperating with GSA’s International Secretariat, the International Section, the Director for Geoscience Policy and other organizational units of GSA.
  • G&PP Committee




Click here for printable document

  • Strengthens, broadens and supports the engagement of GSA’s members in activities where geoscience intersects with the policy interests of society.
  • Encourages research on issues where geology and society are connected.
  • Provides forums for presentation and discussion of mutual problems and ideas at GSA Section and GSA Annual meetings.
  • Stimulates communication among geoscientists conducting research that serves society’s needs and can guide policy development.
  • Encourages GSA’s members to engage in public policy development through presentation of exhibit booths at all section meetings, in collaboration with the Geology and Public Policy Committee.
  • Fosters recognition and acknowledgment of those who make significant contributions to serving society’s needs through geoscience research, including awards for best student papers at the national meeting.
  • Encourages and mentors students interested in conducting and presenting the results of research that serves society’s needs and can guide policy development.
  • Advises and assists the officers, committees, divisions and sections of GSA in matters related to serving society’s needs through geoscience research.
  • Publishes a newsletter to communicate the Division’s activities to the members and others.
  • Division web page.
  • Provides GSA and its members with leadership in formulating public policy through active involvement in the decision-making processes at the national level.
  • Monitors public policy issues and participates in information-sharing and educational efforts directed toward the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
  • Encourages the use scientific information in decision-making in the public policy arena.
  • Works with the GSA community to increase members’ involvement in activities related to public policy development.
  • Supports adequate funding for scientific research activities at the federal level.
  • Provides testimony to Congress and federal agencies on geoscience issues.
  • Organizes and co-sponsors congressional briefings on geoscience issues.
  • Fosters participation of GSA members in Congressional visits days.
  • Administers GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellowship.
  • Participates in coalitions of scientific organizations.
  • Co-sponsors science exhibitions and receptions on Capitol Hill.
  • Explores opportunities for expanding international activities at the interface between the geosciences and public policy by working with GSA’s International Secretariat, the International Section, the Geology and Public Policy Committee, the Geology and Society Division and the other Divisions, Sections, and organizational units of GSA.
  • Washington, DC office contact information.

Contact GSA's Washington D.C. office any time

Kasey S. White
Director for Geoscience Policy
Geological Society of America
1200 New York Avenue NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: +1-202-669-0466

[ click for map & directions ]

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
— Margaret Mead