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 "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 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).
Geoscientists guide humanity in the use and stewardship of Earth's resources, drive the scientific pursuit of new knowledge about the planet, and provide education in all of the earth sciences. Professionals and students in the geosciences represent all walks of life with a full array of personal attributes and cultures.
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.
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.
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) congratulates Ryan Edwards on his selection as the 2018-2019 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellow. The Fisher Fellowship offers geoscientists the unique opportunity to spend a year in Washington, D.C., working as a staff member in the office of a member of Congress or with a congressional committee. Edwards will begin his Fellowship on September 1, 2018, after receiving his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Princeton University later this spring.
On March 1, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully launched the second in a new series of four highly advanced geostationary weather satellites. GOES-S was renamed GOES-17 on March 12 upon reaching its geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth, and will drift to its operational position at NOAA’s western geostationary location in late 2018. Working in tandem with the GOES-16 satellite currently operating at the eastern geostationary position since December 2017, the GOES-17 satellite will provide faster, more accurate, and more detailed data for detecting and tracking of tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions, fire hot spots, and other natural hazards.
On March 15, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing entitled “Abandoned Hardrock Mines and the Role of Non-Governmental Entities” to discuss the laws and procedures governing the reclamation of hardrock mines in the U.S. and highlight areas where reform is needed. A panel of expert witnesses at the hearing testified regarding the need for “Good Samaritan” legislation providing relief of the potential liability as well as funding to facilitate the cleanup of abandoned hardrock mines.