As an organization, we believe that it is absolutely critical that we communicate the importance of geoscience for informed decisionmaking at the regional, state, and local levels. So from August 6-9, AGI's Critical Issues Program Manager Cassaundra Rose attended the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Legislative Summit and coordinated a booth with several partners from AGI Member Societies. With Geologic Map Day tomorrow and a geologic mapping themed Pardee Symposium on October 25, now is a great time to think about the impact our science has on communities across our Nation. Thanks for sharing, Cassy! –Joe Lilek, AGI Member Society Liaison
Critical Issues Adventures in Boston
- Legislators and electricity providers are thinking hard about sustainably and reliably diversifying electricity production in their states, with many wrestling with more distributed sources (think rooftop solar), consumer demand for renewables, and balancing those factors with having a reliable electricity grid.
- Natural hazards and hazard mitigation is an ongoing topic of concern across the country. In the last five years, all 50 states have had natural disasters declared at the federal level, with associated federal spending increasing over 200% over the last 20 years. Flooding was reported as the biggest natural hazard of concern in a poll of attendees.
- The looming expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program authorization on September 30th is of great concern, and there is widespread agreement that this is an important program that needs to continue. (Read more on the NFIP Reauthorization process in AGI's Policy program news brief here.)
- AASG provided geologic map postcards of every state in the country for the booth, and we discovered that everyone LOVES having a geologic map of their state!
- I was surprised and gladdened by the number of people who came up and said that they know a geologist, whether it was a sibling, parent, friend, or significant other.
- Many people who approached the booth wondered how the geosciences benefited them or their state, and were very surprised to discover that the geosciences are very important! A great example of this was one person who didn’t think geoscience was very important or necessary, but who worked in the construction industry where a lot of sand, gravel, and water resources are used to make concrete. After discussing link between the geosciences and the natural resources used in construction, that person realized how fundamental geoscience is to what they do on a daily basis, and that made a powerful impact.