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Geology & Public Policy News Archive


Critical Minerals Briefing
Critical Minerals: Ensuring America's Future
GSA Cosponsors Critical Minerals Congressional Briefing on 13 Dec. 2013.
Audio Recording & Presentation Slides ]

Energy from Earth
A coalition of geoscience organizations, including The Geological Society of America, co-hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill on 21 Nov., aimed at enhancing policymakers’ understanding of the geoscience supporting the country’s energy production and innovation. [ more ]

GSA urges Congress to enact a responsible FY 2014 budget
GSA joined 470 national organizations asking Congress to "enact a responsible FY 2014 budget that replaces sequestration with a balanced plan that recognizes the significant cuts already made to discretionary programs." [ read letter ]

Task Force on American Innovation FY14 Budget Agreement
Through the TFAI, GSA calls for "sustained and robust support for scientific research and STEM education." [ read letter ]

Dueling legislation: Senate and House propose multiple STEM reauthorization bills
A slew of draft bills recently discussed on Capitol Hill prove that senators and representatives from both parties recognize the importance of federally funded basic research but differ drastically on how it should be done and how much money STEM agencies should receive. [ more ]

briefimgEnergy from the Earth - Practical Geoscience to Inform Energy Legislation
This briefing series will provide the geoscience underpinning that is essential for effective energy and environmental policy making. The first briefing is on 21 Nov. in D.C., and will provide an overview of the range of energy options available in the United States and the geoscience that underpins those options.

Hazards Caucus Briefing on Floodplain Mapping
The Senate Hazards Caucus held a congressional briefing, "Outsmarting the Storm: The Science of Floodplain Mapping", on Tuesday, 22 October.

DefazoiGeoscientists Shake Up Capitol Hill
More than 70 geoscientists from 12 societies came to Washington, D.C., to advocate for geoscience funding, as part of Geosciences Congressional Visits Day (GEO-CVD) in September. Participants discussed the importance of geoscience education and research with Members of Congress.
[ view article ]

Congress approved legislation to provide continued access to the Federal Helium Reserve. President Obama signed The Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 (S. 527) into law on 2 October 2013. [ more ]

GSA calls on Congress to approve legislation to secure the helium supply
“Helium is an essential component of a large number of manufacturing processes and a key material for the scientific research community. …”
Read letter to House  |  Senate

GSA calls on Congress to pass an America COMPETES Act reauthorization bill that calls for real and sustained growth in funding for the NSF, NIST, and Department of Energy Office of Science. 
[ view the letter ]

GSA Examines Links between Science and Human Rights
Science, technology, and human rights intersect in a variety of important ways that have significant implications for both the scientific enterprise as well as society’s ability to benefit and to be protected from any harmful practices in research, development and their applications. GSA and the American Geosciences Institute held a focus group last fall to clarify some of these linkages for the geoscience community. [ more ]

GSA supports legislation to establish a Science Laureate of the United States to promote scientific research and education (H.R.1891).

Attend a Capitol Hill Briefing co-sponsored by GSA, 6 June. Innovative Strategies for Building a Diverse Scientific Workforce. To keep pace in a global economy the nation must develop and promote the talents of its entire population. [ view invitation ]

GSA is seeking applicants for its new Science Policy Fellowship Program which provides recent MS or PhD recipients the opportunity to work in the GSA Washington Office for one year.
[ position is now filled ]

GSA Supports NSF Merit Review Process
In a letter sent to members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation yesterday, GSA joined with a coalition of 110 scientific organizations to advocate that "NSF’s system of support for basic research be based upon excellence, competitive scientific merit, and peer-review."
[ read letter ]

Funding for FY2013 Complete; FY2014 Underway
FY2013 were finally signed into law. This legislation locked in sequestration cuts of about 5% for non-defense discretionary spending, resulting in an $8.7 billion cut to defense and nondefense R&D. [ more details ]

GSA Testifies Before House Subcommittee in Support of USGS; Submits Testimony to the US Senate
[ read testimony: House | Senate ]

GSA Endorses Guiding Principles
for the Reauthorization of America COMPETES
[ more ]

Hess, Udall, White Science-Engineering-Tech Congressional Visits Day
While Congress was in the midst of finalizing spending levels for fiscal year 2013, GSA leadership visited Capitol Hill on 13 March to advocate for sustained funding for geoscience research.
[ more ]

GSA Submits Testimony Supporting NSF and NASA
GSA supports strong and sustained investments in earth science research and education at the NSF and NASA. GSA urges Congress to provide the NSF the same amount appropriated in FY12.
[ read testimony: House | Senate ]

GSA Participates in Climate Science Day on Capitol Hill
GSA member Noah Diffenbaugh and GSA Director for Geoscience Policy Kasey White joined nearly 50 scientists to participate in the third annual Climate Science Day on Capitol Hill on 27 February. The purpose of the 150 congressional visits was to provide a non-partisan opportunity for scientists of many disciplines to build relationships and provide members of Congress access to the best possible climate science information.

Speak Up for Science
Sign the petition to help protect federal funding for research and development. Together we can make a difference. Signatures are being accepted through Tuesday (2/26).

TFAI Urges Leadership to Stop the Pending Sequester
A letter signed by key Task Force on American Innovation member association CEOs was sent today to President Obama and Congressional leaders, urging a stop to sequestration. 
[ read letter ]

The New Congress and Fiscal Issues
Although Congress and the Administration reached agreement on some of the tax issues in the flurry of “fiscal cliff” activity at the end of 2012, they were unable to resolve the looming cuts from sequestration, the debt limit, and the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2013.
[ read more ]

USGS Coalition letter on sequestration
4 Jan. 2013 - Through USGS Coalition letter, GSA asks Congress and the White House to “do all you can to prevent additional cuts to the USGS” in the budget negotiations.

GSA Supports Funding for NSF in Letter to Senate
The Task Force on American Innovation urges Senate support for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in S. 2323, the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013. [ read letter ]

As part of the USGS Coalition, GSA Advocates for Higher USGS Funding through a letter on FY 2013 appropriations that was sent to the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee earlier today.
[ read letter ]

GSA Members on Capitol Hill
In April, GSA joined a host of science, engineering, and technology societies for Congressional Visits Day, which brought more than 200 scientists to Washington, D.C., to discuss the importance of research and development. After a day of briefings, scientists headed in teams to meet with Senators, Representatives, and their staff. Tanya del Valle, GSA's Geology and Public Policy Committee student member, participated for GSA and wrote a brief article about her experience. On 15 May, GSA joined other geoscience societies to participate in the Coalition for National Science Funding exhibit, highlighting geoscience research funded through NSF's Rapid Response Grants. Contact GSA Director for Geoscience Policy Kasey White if you are interested in participating in similar upcoming events.

GSA Panel seeks input on DRAFT Position Statement on "Rewarding Professional Contributions." The draft was published in June GSA Today. Comments and suggestions from GSA members are encouraged until 15 July 2012.

GSA Expresses Concern About Potential Travel Restrictions
GSA joined more than 50 scientific organizations to express concern about the impact of provisions that would place severe restrictions on government employees’ abilities to attend meetings and conferences, noting, “The free exchange of scientific ideas and information is crucial to advancing science and innovation, and conferences are a standard mechanism for the transfer of information among scientists and engineers.” [ read letters ]

GSA Signs Letter Thanking Congressional Leaders for Support of NSF
The Task Force on American Innovation sends thanks for support for the scientific research and education programs in the Subcommittee’s FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
[ read letter ]