geoscience

House holds hearing on maintaining U.S. leadership in science and technology

Geoscientist working in a wetland.

On March 6, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on maintaining U.S. leadership in science and technology (S&T). The hearing focused on science policy and heard from Dr. Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Patrick Gallagher, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Mehmood Khan, vice chairman and chief scientific officer at PepsiCo.

House subcommittee holds hearing on spending restrictions during shutdown

House chamber

On February 6, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies held its first hearing of the 116th Congress to review how the recent government shutdown affected agency spending. Subcommittee Chair Betty McCollum (D-MN) began the hearing by emphasizing the importance of Congress protecting federal agencies, and reviewing the legal framework surrounding the executive branch’s decision to continue operating certain agencies, like the National Park Service (NPS), in the absence of appropriations during a shutdown.

Negotiators pass bipartisan spending package

U.S. Capitol

On February 14, Congress passed legislation containing the final FY 2019 spending agreements for certain agencies that had recently been caught up in the 35-day partial government shutdown. NSF and NASA each received a 4 percent increase to their total budgets in FY 2019, compared to last year’s enacted budget levels, while USGS received a 1 percent increase. NOAA received an 8 percent decrease in its FY 2019 budget.

35-day government shutdown ends with temporary funding through mid-February

The White House

The longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history ended on January 25, when President Trump signed a short-term spending deal that temporarily reopens affected agencies—including the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of the Interior—which had been shut down since the end of last year. The legislation provides continued funding at last year’s levels for certain agencies through February 15, pushing back the deadline for Congress and the administration to agree upon the final 2019 appropriations bills for those agencies or enter into another partial government shutdown.

Geoscience for Community Priorities

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Background:
The geosciences provide valuable knowledge and tools that can be applied to a wide range of community issues, including air and water quality; geologic hazards; the provision of energy, water, and mineral resources; climate and weather impacts; and the construction and maintenance of infrastructure. Geoscientists are commonly keen to see this science put into action, but there are many factors that affect how geoscience is perceived and used in community decision-making. Communities vary tremendously in size, location, culture, history, resources, governance, priorities, and needs. Effective engagement strategies take account of this diversity and employ a range of approaches to support communities and individual decision-makers with science that they can trust, understand, and use.

In this webinar, experts in geoscience communication, education, and engagement discuss a variety of different techniques, media, and principles for more effective communication and collaboration between community leaders, decision makers, and geoscientists. Particular attention is paid to three types of engagement: facilitating community-led solutions by connecting community leaders with geoscientists; incorporating community issues into college-level geoscience curricula; and using online platforms to provide geoscience information, resources, access to expertise, and opportunities for communities facing similar issues to share their experiences.

Our speakers are:

  • Raj Pandya, Ph.D., Director, Thriving Earth Exchange, American Geophysical Union | pdf download icon Slides | YouTube download icon Video
  • Natasha Udu-gama, Ph.D., Senior Specialist, Thriving Earth Exchange, American Geophysical Union | pdf download icon Slides | YouTube download icon Video
  • Sarah Fortner, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geology & Environmental Science, Wittenberg University | pdf download icon Slides | YouTube download icon Video
  • Cassaundra Rose, Ph.D., Program Manager, Policy and Critical Issues, American Geosciences Institute | pdf download icon Slides | YouTube download icon Video

Thank you to our media partners, the American Geophysical Union, American Institute of Professional Geologists, Association of Women Geoscientists, Council on Undergraduate Research, National Association of Geoscience Teachers, National Association of State Boards of Geology, and the Soil Science Society of America.

Resources to learn more:

Search the Geological Surveys Database for reports and factsheets about geoscience in communities.

Communities and Scientists Working Together

Interactive database for geologic maps of the United States

The U.S. Geological Survey hosts the National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB). This interactive tool serves as a national archive for high-quality, standardized geologic maps created by the U.S. Geological Survey and state geological surveys.

The MapView section of the NGMDB displays geologic maps from across the country dating back to 1879. The database is searchable by address, and results can be narrowed further using scale and date filters.

Interactive database for topographic maps of the United States

The U.S. Geological Survey hosts topoView, an interactive database of the survey’s topographic maps.

The map is searchable by address, and clicking on any point on the map brings up topographic maps of the area dating back to 1879. Map results can be narrowed further using scale and date filters.

Clicking the “show” option will overlay the selected map onto the coordinates of topoView’s base map. Adjusting the map overlay transparency allows comparison of historical and present-day topography.

All maps in topoView are downloadable in multiple formats.

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