RFG 2018 Conference

policy

House committees discuss FY 2019 NOAA budget request

Icebergs in Greeland

Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), testified at two House committee hearings about NOAA’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request. In the testimony, he stated that NOAA’s FY 2019 budget request of about $4.6 billion – a decrease of $1.3 billion or 23 percent below the FY 2018 omnibus enacted level – prioritizes investment in the core missions at NOAA. 

White House floats rescission of FY 2018 appropriations

U.S. Money

The White House and some Republican members of Congress are considering pursuing a rescission procedure to roll back some of the fiscal year (FY) 2018 funds that President Donald Trump reluctantly signed into law on March 23. The procedure provides an expedited process for the President to propose and Congress to pass a rescission resolution identifying appropriations that the administration does not want to spend. Regardless of whether the President officially initiates a rescission or Congress ultimately agrees to pass a rescission, some agency spending plans have already been delayed in anticipation. 

Sizing up sinkholes: science and technology to mitigate karst hazards

A sinkhole in front of a home in Kentucky. Image Credit: FEMA/Photo by Rob Melendez

Sinkholes have engulfed entire homes, sewer systems, and eight classic cars from the National Corvette Museum. However, with the help of science and technology, communities are developing solutions to the challenges of living in areas prone to sinkholes. These areas, also known as karst landscapes, cover more than one-fifth of the United States and can pose risks to lives and property.

 

Cecilia Lopez-Gamundi

Cecilia received her B.S. in Geology from The University of Texas at Austin. As an undergraduate researcher for Dr. Mohrig and Dr. Kocurek, she worked on the Jurassic eastern Gulf of Mexico reconstruction project looking at areas of aeolian sand accumulation. Cecilia is currently finishing a M.S. in Geology at The University of Oklahoma with a focus in sedimentology and organic geochemistry under the guidance of Dr. Philp, Dr. Slatt, and Dr. Soreghan. Her thesis investigates the oxygenating potential of sediment gravity flows and their effect on basinal organic matter in Wolfcamp Formation, Midland Basin, TX. During her time at The University of Oklahoma, Cecilia participated in the Imperial Barrel Award and was the AAPG Secretary. As a Policy Intern at AGI, she enjoyed learning about energy and environmental federal policy including, carbon capture and storage and methane venting and flaring. This summer, Cecilia will return to Houston, TX for a third internship with BHP Billiton Petroleum before beginning her PhD in Marine Geology at the University of Miami’s RSMAS in August.

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).

 

 

Adapting Wildfire Management to 21st Century Conditions

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The combination of frequent droughts, changing climate conditions, and longer fire seasons along with urban development expansion into wildland areas has resulted in more difficult conditions for managing wildfires. Over the last several decades, the size of wildfire burn areas has increased substantially and nine of the 10 years with the largest wildfire burn areas have occurred since 2000. Wildfires are causing more frequent and wider-ranging societal impacts, especially as residential communities continue to expand into wildland areas.  Since 2000, there have been twelve wildfires in the United States that have each caused damages exceeding a billion dollars; cumulatively these twelve wildfires have caused a total of $44 billion dollars in damages. As of 2010, 44 million homes in the conterminous United States were located within the wildland-urban-interface, an area where urban development either intermingles with or is in the vicinity of large areas of dense wildland vegetation. These challenging conditions present a unique opportunity to adapt existing wildfire policy and management strategies to present and future wildfire scenarios.

Our speakers are:

This webinar is co-sponsored by the American Association of Geographers, American Institute of Professional Geologists, Geological Society of America, Southern Fire Exchange, Ventura Land Trust

Resources to learn more:

Search the Critical Issues Research Database for reports and factsheets about wildfires.

Wildfire Management: Recent Trends and Strategies for Adaptation to Wildfire in the U.S.

Federal Register: March 2018

The White House

A summary of notices posted to the Federal Register by geoscience-related federal agencies, including the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and more.

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