2017 Workshop:Geospace Science and Public Policy

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Geospace Science and Public Policy: The future of science in politics


Thursday: 16:00 Crestone III & IV


Michael Hirsch

Nithin Sivadas

Lindsay Goodwin

Asti Bhatt


  • Richard Collins - How HAARP was saved
  • Edwin Mierkiewicz - Elementary school Hands-on outreach
  • William Evonosky - Science internships vis underrepresented STEM groups
  • Lindsay Goodwin - Bloom's Taxonomy
  • Nathaniel Frissell- HamSci massive citizen science discoveries


  • stressed need to reach out to legislators during local district days, where lawmakers are in-state several times a year, including this August before the big fall battles start
  • Suggested joining AGU Connect where over 11K geoscientists already signed up, perhaps most targeted place to share success stories and other results.
  • citizen involvement and outreach an increasingly important component of grants and survival of funding for our geospace disciplines
  • engagement is something we might train for collectively or individually, but one of most effective methods is individual outreach to citizens, and legislative offices, plus of course infused into our science where feasible
  • consider AGU Geo-CVD if able to get to Washington D.C.

Workshop Description

Public Policy -- Short Presentations / Group Discussion


CEDAR Strategic plan: Strategic Thrust #4: Develop Observational and Instrumentation Strategies for Geospace System Studies. The new generation of distributed instruments may be sited at schools, fields and homes. Geoscience in general is exploiting large arrays of noisy, inexpensive sensors to supplement and measure beyond what traditional single or small networks of lab instrument-grade sites can achieve. Progress is measured by numbers of citizens signing up and maintaining involvement with their stations and legislative staff records of calls in support of science. Getting scientists more directly involved with local, state and federal officials is a complementary part of citizen science efforts, a long-term investment in science and humanity.


Geospace science relies on a political climate amenable to publicly funded science to maintain and create new and upgraded sensing facilities. Long-term national investments in science, whether for major facilities like Arecibo or the next generation of PhD students are not decided in election season alone. As in industry lobbying, government support for science is the result of relationships built over months and years of vertically-integrated trust. Geoscience advocacy is endorsed and led in the USA by organizations such as AAAS and AGU, with over 20 presentations across multiple sessions in this regard at the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting. We seek to raise awareness and engagement in the CEDAR community in this regard.

In a thriving democracy in the information age, it is difficult to overstate the importance of science policy. It is essential to have scientifically literate citizenry, as well as their elected representative. Public funding appeals are greatly aided by a chorus of diverse citizen voices calling for science funding--this topic is being addressed in Tuesday's Education & Outreach session. The task of informing representatives, who make policy decisions, is more tractable and can be achieved by lobbying and involving more scientists in developing science policy.

Science funding is an issue for scientists in every country. This workshop invites presenters from all countries at all career stages to present and discuss their efforts and outcomes in reaching out to local, state/provincial and federal governments and citizenry as a geospace scientist/engineer.

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