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Find Your Science at GSA

  Work on Capitol Hill

Congressional Science Fellow

Your work as a geoscientist greatly impacts society and Earth — why not make an impact on the U.S. government as well?

Current Fellow

Karen Paczkowski
Karen Paczkowski

30th Congressional Science Fellow

Stay Informed

Subscribe to the "News from the Hill" RSS feed (free).

Join the GSA Geology & Society Division
($8 for professionals; $4 for students). Division members may participate in discussions and collaborate with one another in GSA's new Connected Community.

Engage & Communicate

Share your scientific expertise and ensure that the geoscience community is engaged with leaders and policy makers on Capitol Hill.

Write your member of Congress about earth-science issues.

Come to Washington to learn about science policy and meet with members of Congress
Become a mentor:

Join our Geology in Government Career Pathways Program.

View GSA's Official Position Statements

Position Statement
Development Process
Science Policy
News Archive
Roles of the
GSA Policy Entities

Geology & Public Policy

Science Policy News

Letter Expresses “grave concern”
GSA joined professional scientific societies to send a letter regarding concerns surrounding an inquiry into a scientific paper prepared by NOAA researchers.

Congressional Briefing on El Niño
Join leading experts who will discuss opportunities and challenges in understanding, monitoring, and predicting El Niño at this briefing on Monday, November 23.

Geoscience for America’s Critical Needs: Invitation to a National Policy Dialogue
AGI recently released this document, which showcases the importance and breadth of the geosciences and presents a consensus view from the geoscience community on nationally significant policy objectives.

Push for Higher Research Funding Levels Underway
Scientific organizations, including GSA, have sent letters to Congress urging additional spending for science. GSA signed letters highlighting the important contributions of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Geosciences research and need for geoscience research funding increases, joined the Coalition for Aerospace and Science in supporting funding for NASA and NOAA, and was represented on a letter requesting increases for all federal research funding.

Resolution Highlights Climate Science
GSA and other scientific societies sent a letter to thank Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) for "the effort to bring climate science to the forefront of policy discussions."

Call for Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction
GSA joined a coalition of 2,500 national, state, and local organizations to send a letter to congressional leaders asking them "to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction that takes into account the deep cuts NDD has already incurred since 2010." [ read letter ]

Using Geoscience Research to Accelerate the Innovation Economy
You are invited to attend an interactive congressional event highlighting the economic value of innovation and federal investment in Earth and geoscience research on Thursday, 17 September.

COMPETES Reauthorization Guidelines
Through its membership in the Task Force on American Innovation, GSA submitted a letter to Senate leaders on the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act that states, "it is imperative that the full range of scientific inquiry be supported, and not curtailed, in any legislation." GSA also submitted its own comments on the value of geoscience research and signed a letter illustrating "innovative applications for the benefit of the economy and society."

Letters to Senators on Scientific Conferences
GSA signed two letters to Senators on the "importance of ensuring that federally employed and contracted scientists and engineers are able to attend mission-relevant scientific and technical conferences."
Senators Schatz & Coons | Appropriations Committee ]

Senate Committee Passes Open Access Bill
ScienceInsider reports on the implications of the passage of an open access bill by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

GSA Supports Climate Science Education
GSA voiced its support for "efforts to develop and improve climate science education" in the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. [ read letter ]

Using Every Drop of Information: the Open Water Data Initiative
Please attend this USGS Congressional Briefing, hosted by GSA, to learn more about plans for a national water data framework on 31July.

Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Bill to fund NSF, NASA, and NOAA
On June 11th, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill to fund NSF, NASA, NOAA for Fiscal Year 2016, which lacks the cuts to NSF’s geoscience directorate, NASA’s Earth science division, and climate science research at NOAA contained in its House counterpart. [ read more ]

Letter to Senators on COMPETES Reauthorization
Through the Task Force on American Innovation, GSA sent a letter to Senate leaders that the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act should "make a strong statement that sustained, robust funding across all disciplines of basic scientific research is a top national priority."

Senate Appropriators Encouraged to Take a Balanced Approach to Funding
GSA joined with 19 other geoscience organizations to send a letter to Senate appropriators requesting that they fund the National Science Foundation "without prioritizing certain directorates over others."

Policy News Archive

Contact GSA's Washington D.C. office any time

Kasey S. White
Director for Geoscience Policy
Geological Society of America
1200 New York Avenue NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: +1-202-669-0466

[ click for map & directions ]

Roles of the Geology and Public Policy Committee, the Geology and Society Division, and GSA's Washington, D.C., Office

Geology and Public Policy Committee Geology and Society Division Washington DC Office
  • Oversees development of GSA’s Position Statements. These statements are the foundation for public policy actions by the Society.
  • Advises GSA’s Council, Executive leadership, and the Washington Office.
  • Develops and sponsors technical sessions, symposia and other events relating to public policy development and outreach at the annual meeting and section meetings in coordination with the Geology and Society Division.
  • Collaborates with the Geology and Society Division on expanding the participation of GSA’s members in public policy communications.
  • Through GPPC’s Section Representatives, fosters communication about GSA’s public policy activities at section meetings.
  • Explores opportunities for expanding international activities at the interface between the geosciences and public policy by collaborating and cooperating with GSA’s International Secretariat, the International Section, the Director for Geoscience Policy and other organizational units of GSA.
  • G&PP Committee




Click here for printable document

  • Strengthens, broadens and supports the engagement of GSA’s members in activities where geoscience intersects with the policy interests of society.
  • Encourages research on issues where geology and society are connected.
  • Provides forums for presentation and discussion of mutual problems and ideas at GSA Section and GSA Annual meetings.
  • Stimulates communication among geoscientists conducting research that serves society’s needs and can guide policy development.
  • Encourages GSA’s members to engage in public policy development through presentation of exhibit booths at all section meetings, in collaboration with the Geology and Public Policy Committee.
  • Fosters recognition and acknowledgment of those who make significant contributions to serving society’s needs through geoscience research, including awards for best student papers at the national meeting.
  • Encourages and mentors students interested in conducting and presenting the results of research that serves society’s needs and can guide policy development.
  • Advises and assists the officers, committees, divisions and sections of GSA in matters related to serving society’s needs through geoscience research.
  • Publishes a newsletter to communicate the Division’s activities to the members and others.
  • Division web page.
  • Provides GSA and its members with leadership in formulating public policy through active involvement in the decision-making processes at the national level.
  • Monitors public policy issues and participates in information-sharing and educational efforts directed toward the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
  • Encourages the use scientific information in decision-making in the public policy arena.
  • Works with the GSA community to increase members’ involvement in activities related to public policy development.
  • Supports adequate funding for scientific research activities at the federal level.
  • Provides testimony to Congress and federal agencies on geoscience issues.
  • Organizes and co-sponsors congressional briefings on geoscience issues.
  • Fosters participation of GSA members in Congressional visits days.
  • Administers GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellowship.
  • Participates in coalitions of scientific organizations.
  • Co-sponsors science exhibitions and receptions on Capitol Hill.
  • Explores opportunities for expanding international activities at the interface between the geosciences and public policy by working with GSA’s International Secretariat, the International Section, the Geology and Public Policy Committee, the Geology and Society Division and the other Divisions, Sections, and organizational units of GSA.
  • Washington, DC office contact information.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
— Margaret Mead