RFG 2018 Conference

2017

Katja Luxem

Katja was a Critical Issues intern at AGI after her second year as a doctoral student in Geosciences at Princeton University. Her graduate research is investigating how constraints on microbial growth, like energy and electrons, control globally important processes like nitrogen fixation, the reaction that converts inert nitrogen gas into fertilizing ammonia. She worked with the Critical Issues team to help create resources to help decision makers apply knowledge from her field of microbial biogeochemistry to the challenges facing their communities. Prior to her graduate work, Katja studied chemistry (B.S. 2014) and geobiology (M.S. 2014) at Caltech and did research at ETH Zurich as a Fulbright Fellow.

 

 

 

Isabelle Weisman

Isabelle "Izzy" Weisman holds a B.A. in Geoscience from Hamilton College and a M.Sc. in Earth and Environmental Science from Vanderbilt University. Izzy was a Geoscience Policy Intern at AGI in the Fall of 2017. During her internship at AGI, Izzy managed the Geoscience Policy program's social media presence, wrote policy updates, and produced other material for geoscientists when engaging with federal policy. During her internship Izzy also helped prepare congressional testimony regarding geothermal exploration and natural hazard prevention, which was submitted to the United States House Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Following her internship at AGI, Izzy will be a Graduate Fellow with the National Nuclear Security Administration. As a fellow she will spend a year working in the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Izzy will use her technical and policy background to jumpstart her career in the nuclear security field. 

 

Abby Ackerman

Abby Ackerman graduated with her Bachelors in Geology from Bryn Mawr College in 2017. While in undergrad, she worked on research projects ranging from Martian mineralogical analysis to museum mineral curation and work on coal-related acid mine drainage (AMD) sites in Pennsylvania. Her EARTH Magazine article, published in the January/February 2018 issue, focuses on federal policies surrounding AMD legislation, which she got to explore as a policy intern. Following her Policy internship, Abby will stay at AGI as a Research Intern in the Critical Issues Program creating outreach materials on the importance and applications of geologic mapping in collaboration with the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP).

 

 

President Trump and Secretary Zinke sign orders to advance domestic production of critical minerals

Bingham Copper Mine

Following the release of a USGS report on 23 mineral commodities that are critical for the U.S. economy and security, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to reduce America's dependence on foreign sources of critical minerals. Shortly after the executive order, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released a secretarial order on December 21 directing the initial steps to producing a nationwide geological and topographical survey of the U.S.

House Natural Resources hearing revisits U.S. dependence on foreign minerals

Technology background

On December 12, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing, “Examining Consequences of America’s Growing Dependence on Foreign Minerals,” to discuss reasons for the declining self-sufficiency of the United States for mineral commodities, and the consequences of relying on foreign sources for critical minerals. 

House lawmakers discuss Grand Staircase-Escalante during Natural Resources subcommittee hearing

Gold Panning

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on December 14 to consider the Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act, introduced by Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT-2) to create Utah’s sixth national park - the Escalante Canyons National Park and Preserve.

Congress reauthorizes U.S. Fire Administration and grant programs in wake of recent wildfire disasters

Hazards fire houses

Following a highly destructive wildfire season this year for the west coast, the House passed the United States Fire Administration, AFG, and SAFER Program Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R.4661) to reauthorize the U.S. Fire Administration, the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program, and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grants program through fiscal year 2023. 

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