AGU Scientists Visit Capitol Hill for Two Events this Spring

18 May 2012
AGU Science Policy Alert 12-25

Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day

Fourteen geoscientists from across the country came to Capitol Hill 24-25 April to raise awareness among policymakers about the value of and the continued need for federal funding of Earth and space science research, development, and education.  The geoscientists, seven of whom were AGU members, visited D.C. as part of the 17th annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day (SET-CVD).  Other participating geoscience societies included the American Geosciences Institute and the Geological Society of America.

The first day of the two-day event consisted of morning and afternoon briefings and panels to help prepare the scientists for their Congressional meetings.  At the morning workshop at AGU headquarters, the geoscientists were briefed on communicating with policymakers, congressional processes, and the status of Earth and space science funding. At a seminar at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) headquarters in the afternoon, all SET-CVD participants were briefed on the President’s fiscal year 2013 budget request for science and engineering. The day was capped off by a reception in the Rayburn House Office Building and the presentation of the George E. Brown, Jr. Award for S-E-T Leadership to Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) and Representative Randy Hultgren (R-Il).

The second day featured a breakfast on Capitol Hill with a thrilling speech by Representative Michael Capuano (D-MA), followed by the congressional office visits.  The visiting Earth and space scientists participated in over 40 meetings with Members of Congress, their office staff, and congressional committee staff.

AGU would like to thank its members who participated in this important event: Jeff Stehr (University of Maryland), Novem Auyeung (Purdue University), Sharmini Pitter (Stanford University), Nancy Chabot (Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory), Peter Kelemen (Columbia University), James Done (NCAR), and Clark Weaver (NASA).

Coalition for National Science Funding Exhibition and Reception

Five AGU scientists spent Tuesday, 15 May on Capitol Hill advocating for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and demonstrating their research funded by NSF’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) award mechanism.  Throughout the day, American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and Geological Society of America (GSA) staff assisted the scientists as they met with Congressional offices and committees to discuss their research and highlight the importance of NSF funding for Earth and space sciences.

The day concluded with the 18th Annual Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Exhibition and Reception, which features science, mathematics, education, and engineering research supported by NSF.  Policymakers and congressional staff attended the exhibition and had the chance to discuss research projects with scientists.  CNSF, which sponsored the reception, is an alliance of over 120 organizations, including AGU, united by a concern for the future vitality of the national science, mathematics, and engineering enterprise.


(L to R): Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI) & Henrietta Dulaiova

AGU would like to sincerely thank its participating member scientists: David Valentine (University of California, Santa Barbara), Gregory Moore (University of Hawaii), Henrietta Dulaiova (University of Hawaii), John Hole (Virginia Tech), and Martin Chapman (Virginia Tech).  Video footage of the reception including interviews with scientists and policymakers will be coming soon to the AGU Science Policy website.