Background: Flooding is a perennial hazard for rivers and coasts alike. Every year, flooding results in billions of dollars of damage and the loss of dozens to hundreds of lives across the United States. Efforts to mitigate this hazard rely on the work of geoscientists, planners, and communicators to assess and minimize risks, prepare and inform communities, and ensure that lives and livelihoods are prioritized before, during, and after flood events.
What do Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have to do with geoscience? Believe it or not, elections—whether presidential or congressional—can have large implications for scientific research. Presidents set national priorities and policies, and Congress funds (or doesn’t fund) federal research often based on its own prerogatives and agenda. Join us for an informational webinar as we attempt to navigate the upcoming presidential transition during #election2016.
Dr. Gene Whitney (Congressional Research Service, Ret.) served as Energy Research Manager for the Congressional Research Service (retired). Previously, he was Assistant Director for Environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). His work at OSTP focused on federal policies for earth sciences, energy, water, natural hazards, remote sensing, environment, and natural resources. Prior to OSTP, Dr. Whitney was chief scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey Energy Resources Team. He has extensive international experience and currently serves as Chairman of the National Academies of Science Board on Earth Science and Resources. Dr. Whitney received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Illinois.
Virginia Ainslie (CEO, Ainslie & Associates) has more than 30 years of experience working with Congress on policy and funding issues, including research priorities. As the CEO of Ainslie & Associates since 1986, she has successfully secured more than $2 billion in federal funding for client priorities through direct advocacy in support of changes in authorizing law; many of which still remain in effect today and continue to support her clients’ needs. Ms. Ainslie has a B.S. in Chemistry and a duel degree in Political Science from Michigan State University. She also worked with the American League of Lobbyists to develop the Lobbyist Code of Ethics.
Brittany Webster (Public Affairs Specialist, American Geophysical Union) has worked for the American Geophysical Union since 2015. In her role, she connects policymakers with scientists and vice versa to increase Congressional recognition of the value of the Earth and space sciences. She also works with many coalition partners to broaden the impact of the geoscience policy community’s advocacy initiatives. Ms. Webster got her start in science policy working for a Member of Congress, who served on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. She received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law and her B.A. in Comparative Literature and International Affairs from The University of Georgia.
Abby Seadler (Geoscience Policy Manager, American Geosciences Institute) has experience working with the geoscience community and stakeholders in Congress to build consensus and movement on issues including basic research, natural hazards, and energy and mineral resources. Ms. Seadler is currently pursuing her M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Policy at Johns Hopkins University. She received her B.A. in Geoscience and Government from Hamilton College.