Congressional Briefings

In collaboration with other scientific societies and coalitions, the AGI Geoscience Policy Program hosts congressional briefings to educate and inform policy makers on relevant geoscience topics and issues. These briefings feature scientific speakers from government, academic, and industry sectors.

Please view past and upcoming congressional briefing notices on our website and feel free to reach out to with questions.

Gregory Bald Wildfire 1992
The National Fire Protection Association, the University of California at Riverside and San Diego, and the Western Governors’ Association in conjunction with the Hazards Caucus Alliance are pleased to host a briefing on the challenges to the nation that wildfires pose. Experts will discuss advances in the science and understanding of wildfires, the impact of federal and state policies, mitigation strategies for communities, and new technologies for first responders. Speakers Ms. Laura Wilkeson, Western Governors’ Association: Summary of current WGA wildfire policy and efforts, effective state...
Illustration of the Frio Pilot carbon sequestration test; carbon dioxide compressed to a liquid will be pumped into a brine-saturated aquifer in the Frio Formation, a mile beneath the surface. Image Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Carbon capture and storage is an important potential management strategy for greenhouse gas emissions. This briefing will address geologic carbon storage, one avenue to sequester carbon dioxide from large stationary sources by injecting it deep underground. Leading experts in the field will examine: Geological requirements for carbon dioxide storage Potential for storage in the U.S. Facility design and technology Strategies to minimize risks, including groundwater impacts and the potential for induced seismicity Monitoring needs for storage verification and public assurance Speakers Peter...
Natural gas pump
Speakers: Adam Brandt, Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University John Browning, Senior Research Fellow, Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin Chris McGill, Vice President, Policy Analysis, American Gas Association, and Member of the Potential Gas Committee Tom Temples, Past President of AAPG Division of Environmental Geosciences, and Technical Director of Geoscience and Petrophysics, PetroSkills Building upon the broad discussion of oil and gas development presented in Briefing Series Part 4, topics in this briefing will delve more specifically...
U.S. Capitol
Finding Stable Ground: Using Science and Partnerships to Manage Landslides Hazards was a congressional briefing sponsored by the Hazards Caucus Alliance, the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists, the Association of American State Geologists, and the American Society of Civil Engineers Geo-Institute. On Monday, June 23, four landslides experts from across the U.S. came to Washington, D.C. to brief congressional Members and their staff about how geoscience can help inform decision making to save lives, property, and critical infrastructure.  An archived webcast of the...
Oil rig
Speakers: Scott Tinker, Professor and State Geologist of Texas, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin Rex Buchanan, Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Defense Fund Scott Anderson, Interim Director, Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas Nick Tew, State Geologist and Oil and Gas Supervisor, Geological Survey of Alabama and State Oil and Gas Board of Alabama In this briefing, the speakers will address key questions that the geosciences help to address: What is the difference between a conventional and an unconventional oil or gas reservoir? How much oil and...
Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
Speakers: Susan Hall, Uranium Resource Expert, U.S. Geological Survey Annie Kammerer, Principal Seismologist, Bechtel Corporation Jean M. Bahr, Professor, Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison In this briefing, the speakers will address some key questions that geosciences can help to answer: Does the U.S. have an adequate and stable supply of uranium to meet our needs? How can we anticipate and mitigate the threat posed by natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis to nuclear installations? Why does geology matter in siting and assessing radioactive waste...
Fissuring of an earthquake, Peru 1970
In March 1964, the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America struck Alaska, shaking Anchorage and an area larger than the state of California for more than 4 minutes and causing landslides and tsunamis that took lives in Alaska, Oregon, and California. In the 50 years since, earthquakes in the United States and worldwide have cost billions of dollars of economic loss in addition to countless lives.  Advances in science and engineering have made people safer – but the job is not done. Come hear how the USGS and partners are working to protect lives and property across the country, and...
A geothermal power plant at The Geysers near Santa Rosa, California. Some areas of The Geysers have been important test beds for enhanced geothermal systems. Image credit: USGS/Photo by Julie Donnelly-Nolan
Speakers: Brian Anderson, Director of Strategic Research in Energy and Professor, West Virginia University Patrick Dobson, Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Chad Augustine, Geothermal Analysis Team Lead, National Renewable Energy Laboratory In this briefing, speakers will highlight recent successes in geothermal research and address questions, including: What is the potential for geothermal energy, domestically and abroad? What is the pathway to generating more than 10% of U.S. electricity from geothermal energy? What are the environmental risks and challenges? How...
Mexico City Earthquake, 1985
Rare-earth elements (REE) and other critical mineral resources are essential to daily life, jobs, and national security. From cell phones to renewable energy to jet fighters, these resources are the building blocks of modern civilization. World population growth and rising standards of living in countries like China, India, and Brazil have increased the demand for mineral resources – raising the potential for supply disruptions and international conflict. Pending Congressional legislation and daily news headlines indicate a pressing need for action. Join us for up-to-date information on this...
U.S. Capitol with flag
Energy from the Earth: Practical Geoscience to Inform Energy Legislation was the first in a series of briefings meant to highlight how geoscience information contributes to effective energy and environmetnal decision making. Held on November 21, 2013, the briefing was hosted by the Geoscience Energy Briefing Consortium. The moderator, Gene Whitney, and speakers, Scott Tinker and Brenda Pierce, provided an overview of the diverse energy options available in the United States and how they are underpinned by a deep understanding of geoscience. Scott Tinker, Director of the Bureau of Economic...