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16 November 2017

Defending U.S. Government Employed Earth and Space Scientists

Earth and space scientists work in key positions throughout the federal government. As civil servants, atmospheric scientists at NOAA, seismologists at the USGS, and hydrologists at the EPA– and frankly all other agency scientists – work to help fulfill their agencies’ missions and safeguard the health, economy, and security of all Americans. That’s why it’s so troubling to witness measures taken by some agencies to silence or even discredit federal …

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3 November 2017

4th U.S. National Climate Assessment: Reinforcing the Scientific Consensus

Volume 1 of the Congressionally mandated 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) was released earlier this month. Led by scientists working at NOAA, the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) is the work of many of the nation’s most accomplished climate scientists. Used as a core blueprint used to inform the public and craft public policy decisions to address climate change, the report is a rigorously evaluated document that has gone …

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31 October 2017

EPA’s Advisory Panel Announcement Robs Americans of a Critical Resource

In a disappointing move this afternoon, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt confirmed his plan to disallow EPA grantees from serving on scientific advisory panels. This forces highly qualified scientists to choose between pursuing their science or serving on the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), undermining the ability of the EPA to fulfill its purpose to ensure “that all Americans are protected from significant risks …

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9 October 2017

Earth Science and Human Activity: Taking Action to Avert Catastrophe

By Linda Rowan, AGU Societal Impacts and Policy Sciences (SIPS) Focus Group President, and Director of External Affairs, UNAVCO Inc. Earth science captures the public’s attention when a natural disaster strikes, when natural resources are needed or when Earth’s environment faces a threat. As the Earth science community prepares to celebrate Earth Science Week from 8-14 October 2017, with a theme of Earth Science and Human Activity, there has been …

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19 September 2017

World Ozone Day and the Success of the Montreal Protocol

September 16, 2017 was the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. In fact, September 16, 2017 marked the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Montreal Protocol. The protocol was aimed at regulating the production and use of chemicals that contribute to the depletion of Earth’s ozone layer. It entered into force on January 1, 1989, and has demonstrated the ability of the world’s nations to come together to solve an …

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5 September 2017

Reflections on Voyager’s 40th Anniversary and the Future of Space Exploration

By Christina Cohen, Ph.D., AGU Council Member, AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy Section President-elect, and Member of the Professional Staff at the California Institute of Technology On the 40th anniversary of the Voyager mission it is impossible not to marvel at how far a human-built machine (with less computing power than the typical smart phone) has traveled. Voyager is the quintessential explorer, going into unknown realms and dutifully transmitting its …

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25 August 2017

Looking to the Past and Looking to the Future: Thoughts on Science and Women’s Equality Day

On 21 August, 2017, a solar eclipse swept across North America. Many AGU members were observing this wonder of our universe using everything from cutting-edge instruments to cardboard glasses ordered online. How different the faces studying the geophysics are now than they were in 1878 when Maria Mitchell of Vassar College was explicitly not invited to join the government supported expedition observing an eclipse. Refusing to miss the chance of …

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2 August 2017

FY2018 Spending Bill Passes House, Delivering Steep Cuts to the Department of Energy

President Trump campaigned as a proponent of technological innovation and development. Yet his proposed fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget slashes funding for research programs at the Department of Energy (DOE). Congress isn’t bound to follow the President’s proposed budget, but last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FY2018 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, in which they reduced the overall DOE budget by 9.5% below FY2017 levels and eliminated …

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12 July 2017

Stand Up for Earth and Space Science: Meet with Your Legislator During August Recess

“We need to tell that story,” said my Senator, after I told him how NOAA’s Sea Grant Program budget is only $73 million/yr, even though it helps hundreds of communities to prepare for hurricanes and storm surges and manage coastlines1. I suspected that he would be a strong supporter of science, but I didn’t realize how appreciative he would be to have a clear narrative that he could share with …

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10 July 2017

An Overview of The Federal Budget Process and Congressional Recess Visits

The congressional appropriations processes for FY 18   – in which both the House of Representatives and the Senate decide how to allocate funds among all federal agencies, is beginning in earnest.  Your voice and participation advancing the value of science is needed more than ever.  There is no better time to do this than in August when your members of Congress will be back home during the “congressional recess.”  You …

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