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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

Susanna Whitman Blair
Susanna Whitman Blair

29th Congressional Science Fellow
Stay informed!

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
Become a mentor:

Join our Geology in Government Mentor Program.

View GSA's Official Position Statements

Position Statement
Development Process
Science Policy
News Archive
Roles of the
GSA Policy Entities

Geology & Public Policy

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Science Policy News

Scientific Societies Concerned About Recent Inquiry
GSA joined 6 other scientific societies to send a letter to House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raul Grijalva to "express concern with what appears, on its face, to be an overly broad inquiry for financial records and other files."
more ]

Support for Legislation to Increase Science Funding
Through the Close the Innovation Deficit campaign, GSA joined 120 members of a coalition to commend Sen. Durbin (D-IL) for introducing the American Innovation Act. This legislation would significantly increase investments in key federal science agencies and programs, including NSF, DOE, NIST, DOD and NASA, "that conduct vital research that is essential to the nation’s long-term economic growth and national security, as well as the quality of life of all Americans." [ read letter ]

FY 2016 Request Proposes Increases for Geoscience Research
Increases are proposed for many agencies and programs of interest to the geoscience community in the Administration's FY 2016 budget request. Because the overall budget request exceeds the spending caps set by the Budget Control Act, these increases, in R&D and other categories, face a difficult road to implementation in Congress during the appropriations process. [ more ]

Support for USGS Minerals Science
GSA joined members of the Minerals Science and Information Coalition to send a letter "to express support for the current initiatives and activities of the National Minerals Information Center"
[ read letter ]

Scientific Societies Thank Senate Appropriators
A coalition of scientific societies, including GSA, thanked the leaders of the Senate Committee on Appropriations for ensuring "that the final FY 2015 appropriations bill did not prohibit spending on or block public access to information from federal climate science programs such as the U.S. Global Change Research Program."
[ read letter ]

Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction Needed
GSA joined more than 2,100 national, state, and local organizations in signing a letter to Congress and the President urging them to work together to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction. The letter emphasizes (1) the importance of nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs, (2) the harmful effects of budget cuts to date, and (3) the equal importance of both defense and nondefense programs in America’s security at home and abroad, and thus the need for equal sequestration relief.
[ read letter ]

GSA Council Approves Position Statements
GSA Council adopted one new position statement on "The Role of the Geoscientist in Building and Maintaining Infrastructure." A revision to the "Integrating Geoscience with Sustainable Land-Use Management" statement was also approved.
[ view all position statements ]

Science Funding Sees Small Increases in FY15 Budget
After heated debate in the House and Senate, the appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on 16 Dec. 2014. Nicknamed the “CRomnibus,” the 1,600-page law combines a continuing resolution (CR) and a large omnibus spending bill that authorizes $1.1 trillion of government spending for FY15. [ more ]

Support for DOE Science
Through the Energy Sciences Coalition, GSA signed a 25 Nov. 2015 letter to the senior leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging “stable and sustained FY 2015 funding levels for both the DOE Office of Science and ARPA-E.” A separate letter was sent to the White House urging that they make the "DOE Office of Science a priority in the Administration’s fiscal year 2016 budget request."

Letter Raises Concerns about Policies for Climate Research
GSA and 19 other science organizations sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, opposing climate research policy riders and funding prohibitions attached to several House FY 2015 appropriations bills.

Scientific Organizations Urge Passage of an Omnibus FY2015 Appropriations Bill
GSA joined with 133 scientific organizations to send a letter to Congress advocating passage of an omnibus FY15 appropriations bill that provides strong funding for research and higher education and another coalition to highlight the need for increases for the National Science Foundation.
omnibus FY15 letter | NSF letter ]

GSA Concerned about Proposed Textbooks
GSA Executive Director Jack Hess wrote to the Texas Board of Education to express concerns with the treatment of climate change in proposed social studies textbooks under consideration. [ read letter ]

Data Preservation
On 17 Sept. 2014, the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing where witnesses expressed heir support for the reauthorization of the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program Act of 2005, H.R. 5066. The program, administered by the USGS, establishes state-federal partnerships through 100% state-matched grants to facilitate the acquisition, archiving, and storage of geological data.

Geoscientists Meet with Policy Makers on Capitol Hill
Geoscientists from around the country came to Capitol Hill on 17–18 Sept. 2014 for the 7th Annual Geoscience Congressional Visits Day (GeoCVD). This two day event, organized by GSA and other geoscience societies, is designed to increase the visibility of geoscience and engagement of geoscientists in public policy. This year's event totaled more than 100 congressional office meetings.

GSA Responds to Request on Critical Materials
GSA and other members of the Minerals Science and Information Coalition responded to an OSTP Request for Information on Critical and Strategic Materials Supply Chains. [ read response ] GSA also submitted its Position Statement on Critical Mineral Resources for the record.

CNSF Supports Senate America COMPETES Act Reauthorization
GSA is a member of the Coalition for National Science Funding, whose letter supports "the proposed five-year budget growth for the National Science Foundation" in the bill. [ read letter ]

FY15 Appropriations Process Slows As Fiscal Year Approaches
The appropriations process got off to a smoother start than in recent years, as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 set an overall spending limit for Fiscal Year 2015, allowing the House and Senate to begin the process with the same overall spending levels. As the midterm elections drew closer, however, progress stalled. The House has passed 8 of the 12 appropriations bills, but the Senate has failed to pass any. A continuing resolution to keep the government open through early December is expected to be introduced when Congress returns from its August recess. [ more ]


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