By Morgan Disbrow-Monz, GSA Science Policy Fellow

Science and policy are inherently interconnected. The Geological Society of America (GSA) has a number of policy entities including the Geology and Public Policy Committee, the Geology and Society Division, and a Washington D.C. Office. In addition to all the policy-related technical and Pardee sessions, there are a number of policy events happening at the GSA annual meeting! Come join us, and learn more about what’s happening in the science policy world. Below is a list of ways to engage with science policy at the meeting this year!

  • Find GSA policy representatives at the GSA Foundation booth!

We love talking everything and anything policy. Whether it’s what’s happening on the Hill, opportunities for engagement, or best practices for talking with policymakers, we are here to help. Feel free to stop by the GSA Foundation booth to chat or pick up some flyers.

Sunday 10 October from 7:00-9:00pm in the Courtyard by Marriott, Portland Downtown Convention Center (435 NE Wasco St., Portland, OR, 97232)

The purpose of the event is to encourage members to engage in discussions of geology, policy, and ways to apply geology in society. The event is being co-hosted by GSA Geology and Society Division, GSA Geology and Public Policy Committee, GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellowship, GSA GeoCorps America, and NPS Scientists in Parks. There will be food and refreshments, so come by and chat. This is a great opportunity to both learn about science policy opportunities and to network.  

Monday 11 October from 12:15-1:15pm in the OCC-Oregon Ballroom

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, a GSA member, is a professor of soil biogeochemistry and the Ted and Jan Falasco Chair in Earth Sciences and Geology in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences at University of California, Merced. She is also the nominee to serve as the Director of the Office of Science at the United States Department of Energy.

Dr. Berhe’s research focuses on “advancing our understanding of the mechanisms influencing organic matter accumulation and loss in soil environments and how they control soil carbon response to erosion, fire and changes in climate.” This research is critically important because soils can act as both sources and sinks of carbon, and therefore can influence the overall atmospheric composition.

More information on Dr. Berhe’s research and leadership can be found here.

Tuesday 12 October from 8:30-10:00am in the Oregon Ballroom and online

The geosciences play a fundamental role in understanding climate change and its impacts. This special session builds on a National Science Foundation initiative that invites the community to share their recommendations for climate change solutions by bringing together a panel of scientific society representatives to examine the received responses and discuss how we move forward in a way that maximizes progress.

Panelists include:

Barbara Ransom, National Science Foundation, Directorate for Geosciences, Office of the Assistant Director, Integrative Activities Group

Kate Evans, Chair of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Activity Group on Mathematics of Planet Earth; Director of Computational Sciences and Engineering Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Gordon Grant, American Geophysical Union Council member and Chair of AGU’s College of Fellows New Frontiers Committee; Oregon State University

Paul Higgins, Senior Scientist and Director, American Meteorological Society Policy Program

Doug Walker, Geological Society of America past president; University of Kansas

  • Recently updated GSA position statements!

In May 2021, GSA Council approved minor updates to three position statements:

  1. Expanding and improving Geoscience in Higher Education
  2. Diversity in the Geosciences Community
  3. The Importance of Teaching Earth Science

These statements, along with all of GSA’s position statements, are available here.

  • Badge Ribbons at the Annual Meeting

If you have participated in congressional visit days be sure to pick up your badge ribbon!