District Visits Days
August is the time when you can meet with your congressional representatives without coming to Washington. Join GSA in this year’s Geoscience Congressional District Visits Days (GEO-DVD) from 1–14 August and meet with your elected representatives when they return to their home districts!
Particularly in this constrained budget environment, it is important for members of Congress to hear about the importance of research from their constituents. In addition, geoscientists can serve as an important resource for congressional members and staff. When you visit your representatives, you have the chance to communicate the importance of geoscience to your district and to offer your expertise on topics of concern to your region. Energy, natural hazards, clean air and water, the effects of climate change, and the overall importance of basic research are all critical policy issues, and it’s important to lend your voice to the discussion.
Both scientists and policymakers recommend the local visits.
At the 2014 AGU Science Policy Conference, Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD), speaking on the subject of scientists influencing policy, said,
It's really different to hear from a scientist or a researcher in your congressional district, in your community, someone that you represent and someone that you could grow to trust if only you knew them. And I think when that happens we will have a better capacity to make public policy decisions that will pay off in the future.”
Jeff Rubin, a GSA member who conducted several district visits in 2014, reflected,
The advantage of a district visit is that it’s more personal and there’s more time. It’s a conversation, with a common geographic context, and the opportunity for detail and follow-up (e.g., I can invite an aide to our next exercise, so they can see direct application of what we’re supporting). There’s also the benefit of far easier scheduling and logistics—this morning’s meeting was on my way into work.”
GSA can give you the tools you need to prepare for and arrange a meeting in your district! Contact Kasey White by 31 July to participate in GSA’s District Visits Days (1–14 August).
For information about GSA’s stance on geoscience issues, please read our Official Position Statements here.
Who should you be talking to? Look up your senators and your representatives.
Geoscience Congressional District Visits Days are supported by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), the Geological Society of America (GSA), the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), the Seismological Society of America (SSA), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).