Are you interested in science policy, and curious about how you can use your expertise to help inform policymakers?  Learn how you can better inform legislators at a luncheon event on Thursday, 8 December, from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. at the Intercontinental Hotel, Ballroom A-B, titled, “Communicating with Congress.”

This luncheon workshop will emphasize that good policy is informed by good science.  As a scientist, you have every reason to establish a relationship with your legislators.  At the event, AGU’s 2009-2010 Congressional Science Fellow, Maeve Boland, will use her experience as a scientist and legislative staff member to teach you how to effectively share your science with local and national policymakers.

Maeve is excellent at telling it how it is with tips for scientists such as “define your message.” When speaking to legislators you must have a clear defined message and be prepared to deliver in 2-3 minutes.

Also, she suggests that you “focus on impacts.” Not only as a scientist do you need a clear defined message, but you must also be able to explain why you are asking for something and the importance this will have on society. You should not leave congressional staff wondering, “So what? Who cares?” Ask these same questions to yourself in advance, as this will help identify your message and prepare you for the meeting.

So don’t miss this opportunity to have a dialogue with Maeve about the do’s and don’ts of communicating with Congress.  Join us on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in the Intercontinental Hotel over lunch and great discussion.


Maeve received her B.A. and M.S. in geology from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.  After working in the mining and petroleum industry and for the Geological Survey of Ireland, Maeve moved to the U.S. and received her Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines in 2005.  Her research centered on a policy appraisal of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Map, a federal program providing basic geospatial data for the U.S.


-Kristan Uhlenbrock, AGU Public Affairs Coordinator