News from The Hill

2017

Events & Briefings

Gravity Never Sleeps: Landslide Risk Across the Country
Oso Landslide

Join USGS and partners for this briefing on 30 November, 3:30 PM, Washington, D.C. Moderator: Vicki S. McConnell.

Briefing on Extreme Rain and FloodsExtreme Rain Events and Flooding: Research, Modeling, and Response
The Congressional Hazards Caucus presents a Nov. 8 congressional briefing on severe storms and flash floods.

Critical Minerals: Geoscience that Underlies our Economic Prosperity
Thursday, 5 October, 2-3 pm, 2456 Rayburn House Office Building
This briefing will explore the geoscience research necessary to locate, identify, unearth, and study critical minerals that is essential to ensure our nation maintains and grows its manufacturing sector.

USGS Coalition Awards and Reception
Join us in celebrating the USGS, the nation's premier natural sciences agency. The 2017 USGS Coalition Leadership Awards will be presented to Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Mark Amodei (R-NV).
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
R.S.V.P. by 11 September

Science in Society – From the Lab to Your Life
On 22 June, join the House Earth & Space Science Caucus for its inaugural Capitol Hill exhibition to experience how Earth and space science innovations are essential to the economy and daily lives.

BUILDING THE MODERN WORLD briefing BUILDING THE MODERN WORLD:
Geoscience that Underlies Our Economic Prosperity

On 12 June, learn about the critical applications of geoscience information in the development and maintenance of urban and rural infrastructure at this congressional briefing.

Showcase of NASA Partnerships & Collaboration
GSA and AGU will exhibit at this 14 June Capitol Hill event that showcases projects working in partnership with NASA to ensure U.S. leadership in human exploration, technology development, space and Earth sciences, and training the next generation of scientists.

Watching the World briefing Watching the World:
Saving Lives Through Hazards Mapping and Monitoring. The Hazards Caucus Alliance, which includes GSA, presented a briefing on 6 April 2017 from 2–3 p.m. on Capitol Hill. Slides are available on the caucus website.

GSA and the March For Science
The March for Science is scheduled for Earth Day, 22 April 2017, in Washington, D.C., with satellite events planned for many cities across the world. Many of the principles and goals of the March for Science align well with GSA’s mission and our position statements.

The Arc of Science: Research to Results
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) are sponsoring this 15 February event that will feature NSF-funded researchers whose work provides insights, products, or services to American citizens, businesses, and government.

Articles

Paris Climate Agreement Withdrawal
GSA affirms its position.
[more]

Science Agencies Fare Well in 2017
More than halfway through Fiscal Year 2017, federal agencies finally have their appropriations. Signed into law on 5 May, the omnibus spending package slightly boosts spending at most science agencies. [more]

GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellowship
from “The STEM Advocate: Eng Alumna Goes to Washington”
Paczkowski [2016 CSF] says. “We were responding to a timely event and I worked with a variety of stakeholders to draft up the bill and I even got to drop it on the floor of the Senate the day we introduced it. My technical background allowed me to understand how the defeat devices worked and that knowledge was extremely useful when I worked on the bill with my fellow staffers.” [more]
[about the fellowship]

Congress Punts FY 2017 Funding but Passes America COMPETES Successor
Although the 114th Congress did not finalize spending bills for FY 2017, which began 1 October 2016, it did pass a successor bill to the America COMPETES Act in the waning days of the session. President Obama signed the bill into law on 6 January 2017. [more]

Letters & Testimony

Concerns on Immigration Proclamation
GSA signed a letter that that the "White House proclamation on visas and immigration has serious implications for diplomatic, humanitarian, and national security interests, in part because it weakens our U.S. science and engineering capacity."

Support for NSF Funding
As part of the Coalition for National Science Funding, GSA signed a letter to Congress stating that "a balanced bipartisan budget agreement that raises the 2018 spending caps and makes prudent, adequate investments in scientific research and innovation would prevent budget gridlock and help grow the economy."

Joint Letter Regarding EPA Climate Science
GSA and leaders of 17 other science societies are requesting a meeting with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in response to reports that he is working to develop a “red team/blue team” process that challenges climate science.

Opposition to Proposed Cuts to the USGS Library Budget
GSA signed a letter to Members of Congress to encourage "continued funding for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Library, one of the world’s largest and most important Earth and natural resources libraries." The FY 2018 budget request would reduce funding to the library by 52 percent.

Scientific Community Expresses Concern about Proposed New Visa Policies
GSA joined more than 50 scientific societies to send comments on a proposed expansion of the information collected as part of the visa application process, expressing concern that "the uncertainties and confusion regarding supplemental questions will have a negative impact, particularly on U.S. higher education and scientific collaborations."

GSA Reacts to FY18 Budget Request
GSA issued a statement that it "is deeply concerned about the cuts to geoscience research proposed in the Administration's budget request." In addition, several scientific coalitions to which GSA belongs released statements on the budget, including the Task Force on American Innovation, an ad hoc coalition of nearly 150 organizations and the Coalition for Aerospace and Science.

Testimony Supports Geoscience Research Funding
GSA joined 130 institutions to submit testimony in support of NSF, NOAA and NASA that emphasize the contributions geosciences make to national security, economic competitiveness, and public safety. GSA also submitted its own testimony supporting NSF, NASA, and USGS. In addition, GSA joined members of the Energy Sciences Coalition to submit testimony in support of research at DOE’s Office of Science and the USGS Coalition on appropriations for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Scientific Community Recommendations for NSF, NASA Funding
GSA joined prominent industry, university, and science organizations as part of the Coalition for Aerospace and Science (CAS) to call for "sustained federal investments in NASA" including "robust funding for the Earth Science Division to ensure continued support for key missions and programs" and the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) to recommend an $8 billion appropriation for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in FY2018. In addition, GSA joined 285 organizations to send a letter asking congressional leaders to “swiftly complete the FY 2017 appropriations process with robust investments in scientific research.”

Broad Support for Ending Sequestration
Through NDD United, GSA joined a coalition of more than 2,000 federal, state and local organizations signing a letter calling on Congress and the President to "ensure adequate funding for programs funded through annual appropriations, by continuing the bipartisan practice of providing relief from sequestration budget cuts and opposing any new efforts to cut these programs more deeply."

Scientific Organizations Concerned About Executive Order
In a letter, GSA joined 150 organizations to express deep concern “that this Executive Order will have a negative impact on the ability of scientists and engineers in industry and academia to enter, or leave from and return to, the United States. This will reduce U.S. science and engineering output to the detriment of America and Americans.”

Joint GSA/AGU Response to Executive Order
“Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”

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