Policy & Critical Issues

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Supporting science-based decision making at all levels

AGI’s Geoscience Policy and Critical Issues programs support well-informed public policy and decision making by providing information and facilitating dialogue between the geoscience community and decision makers.

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U.S. Whitehouse (Chris Keane/AGI) U.S. Capitol (Chris Keane/AGI) U.S. Archives (Photograph by Mike Peel. www.mikepeel.net) U.S. Treasury building. (Chris Keane/AGI) U.S. Capitol Rotunda (CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MattWade) Computer and Notebook. (L. Gonzales/AGI)

AGI Geoscience Policy Annual Review 2017
Friday, January 12, 2018

The 2016 election brought a new President and a new Congress to Washington, D.C. in January 2017. Throughout the year, geoscience issues have been the focus of significant action by the President and members of Congress. The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to bring you this summary of the major developments in federal geoscience policy during 2017.

A sinkhole in front of a home in Kentucky. Image Credit: FEMA/Photo by Rob Melendez
Date & Location Monday, May 7, 2018 at 2 pm - 3 pm SVC 201, Capitol Visitors Center RSVP by May 3 at http://bit.ly/SinkholeBriefing Sinkholes have engulfed entire homes, sewer systems, and eight classic cars from the National Corvette...
Critical Issues Webinar thumbnail image
Friday, January 26, 2018
No country in the world produces all of the mineral resources necessary for modern society. International trade plays a critical role in providing these raw materials, forming a global network of production, export, import, and use. This network...
Friday, March 30, 2018

Geologic Mapping

In 1992, Congress established the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) in the U.S. Geological Survey to address the nationwide need for detailed geologic mapping. The NCGMP coordinates Federal, State, and academic programs to leverage all their mapping capabilities and manages a publicly available database of geologic maps. National geologic mapping priorities are determined with the aid of the NCGMP advisory committee.

Geologic Maps

Geologic maps provide vital information for land-use planning, resource identification, and natural hazard avoidance, and are critical for growing the economy.  Less than 50 percent of the conterminous U.S. has been mapped at the appropriate level of detail for today’s challenges.  Advances in technology allow the Program to move beyond traditional map formats to provide comprehensive, multi-resolution, three-dimensional, digital information that can be readily customized for a wide range of users.

Activities and Responsibilities

Although geologic mapping is undertaken by Federal, State, Local, and academic geoscience institutions, no one group has the capability to meet our Nation’s current and future needs. The NCGMP is the bridge connecting stakeholder resources, expertise, and geographic distribution to create high-quality geologic maps. NCGMP’s coordinating role ensures cost-efficiency as well as timely delivery of products to the public. The main activities and responsibilities of the NCGMP are to:

  • Create maps to solve critical societal and scientific issues determined to be vital to the welfare and security of the nation
  • Establish mapping standards and guidelines to ensure quality, utility, and interoperability
  • Maintain a database for geologic maps, reports, and metadata and provide timely public access
  • Train the next generation of geologic mappers and researchers


Cover image of GWG 2017 Transition document; Image credit: American Geosciences Institute
Geoscientists gather and interpret data about the Earth and other planets, providing the data, tools, and expertise to help solve some of America’s greatest challenges. The policy proposals laid out in this document are centered around five high-...
How does geoscience affect your state? The AGI Geoscience Policy team created State Geoscience Information factsheets to inform geoscientists and decision makers on how geoscience impacts their state. These factsheets highlight geoscience areas...

Policy & Critical Issues Staff

Edward C. Robeck
Director of Education and Policy

Ben Mandler
Program Supervisor, Policy and Critical Issues
Schlumberger Senior Researcher

Cassaundra Rose
Program Manager, Policy and Critical Issues

Anna Normand
Senior Policy Associate

Michelle Barreto
Geoscience Policy Associate

Abby Ackerman
Research Intern

General Inquiries

Geoscience Policy: govt@americangeosciences.org

Critical Issues: cipinfo@americangeosciences.org