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12 February 2018

President Trump’s Proposed 2019 Budget Would Damage the Scientific Enterprise and the Nation

Today, President Trump unveiled his proposed budget for 2019. Included within this proposal are steep increases in defense spending and infrastructure, much of which comes at the expense of funding for the federal scientific agencies that provide the technical expertise to realize the President’s policy priorities. The NSF would be flat funded, receiving no increase in funding to support their pivotal, basic research 19.63% cuts to NOAA programs including coastal …

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International Darwin Day: Back to the Future – The Continued Descent of Humans

By Dr. Brandon Jones, Member of AGU Board of Directors and Program Director for the Education and Diversity Efforts in the National Science Foundation’s Geosciences Directorate

Not many ideas in Western culture have generated as much enlightenment and simultaneous division as the concepts Charles Darwin outlined in On The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. The idea that variation and natural selection drive evolution is the main reason people get flu shots every year or need ramped up antibiotics for recurring infections. Pretty simple stuff really. The division sometimes is revealed during discussions about …

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31 January 2018

Each One Teach One: A Geoscience Call to Action During Black History Month

By Lisa D. White, Ph.D., Director of Education and Outreach, Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, ldwhite@berkeley.edu

African American history and traditions are interwoven with themes of resilience, interconnectedness across generations, strength from spiritualty, and learning from direct experiences. As we celebrate Black History Month in February, I welcomed the opportunity reflect on my own personal and professional experiences, as well as those of other African American professionals, that might serve as an inspiration to others. While ongoing efforts to increase the numbers of African American, Native …

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President Trump Skips Science in His State of the Union Address

Last night, in his first State of the Union speech to Congress and the American people, President Trump addressed some of the challenges and opportunities facing the nation. In his remarks, the President talked about a number of issues, including immigration and infrastructure, that his Administration has prioritized in the near future. What is especially concerning is what the President did not talk about. President Trump failed to acknowledge that …

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23 January 2018

New AGU Senior Management Structure Will Support Better Program Integration

On Thursday, 18 January, we announced a restructuring of AGU’s senior staff team, which is responsible for working in partnership with volunteer leaders and members to advance AGU’s mission, vision and strategic goals. This new structure serves three strategic imperatives that have emerged from my extensive review of AGU’s needs, both now and in the future, as well as my in-depth conversations with the AGU Board: 1) Strengthen our science: …

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20 January 2018

2018 Government Shutdown: The Second in Five Years

For the second time in five years, congressional and presidential impasses have resulted in a shutdown of the federal government. The repercussions of this shutdown destabilize scientific federal agencies that are essential to the nation’s economic stability, public health, and national security. The far-reaching costs of such a shutdown are very real. For example, in 2017 alone, the United States experienced 16 major weather and climate disaster events, resulting in …

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12 January 2018

Eight years After the Haiti Earthquake, Progress and Challenges

By Anne Sheehan, AGU Seismology Section President-Elect, Professor of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, and Fellow, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder Eight years ago, on January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, resulting in over 220,000 fatalities (Source: Munich Re) and displacing hundreds of thousands more. The earthquake occurred as the result of shallow strike-slip faulting …

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3 January 2018

2017 in Review: A Look at the State of Science Policy and What’s to Come

As 2017 began with a new administration in Washington, D.C., there was evidence that we could expect to face serious challenges to science policy and the scientific enterprise; some have come to pass, and others have not. Throughout this tumultuous year, AGU has played a significant role both in addressing these far-reaching issues and supporting the scientists and allies wanting to use their voices to speak up for science. From …

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22 December 2017

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! 2017 Fall Meeting in New Orleans

A photo of Eric Davidson, AGU President, standing at a podium with a screen behind him announcing "AGU 2017 Fall Meeting"

It wasn’t your grandfather’s AGU that met this month in New Orleans for the first time. As in recent years, it was just as large (with nearly 23,000 registrants from 92 countries, more than 9,000 oral abstractsand 13,000 poster abstracts), but the innovations, energy, and vibrancy took us to new levels! Innovations: How to make a huge meeting feel more manageable? Discussion pod options were increased, allowing attendees to converse …

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20 December 2017

Reflections on the #CDC7Words Issue

Central to AGU’s mission of promoting discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity is an adherence to the scientific method, a commitment to the open exchange of ideas and information, and support for the generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge – all of which are rooted in the time-proven, scientific peer-review process. We were very alarmed to learn of reports, widely covered across the media spectrum, that scientists working …

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