2004-057 U.S. Geological Survey Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research
     Fellowship Program
     2004-065 Cornell College: Tenure-Track Appointment - Hard Rock 
     2004-068 Pennsylvania State University: Faculty Position in Solid 
     Earth Geosciences
     2004-70 Carleton College Department of Geology: Structural

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this issue of E-mail News


* Congress Returns from Recess: Outlook to the Weeks/Months Ahead
* Administration Releases R&D Budget Priorities for FY06
* Election Update: Kerry/Bush Vocal about Yucca, Nat'l Parks, Energy
* Yucca Mountain: Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back Also Likely
* Mountaintop Mining Made Easier
* Abandoned Mine Money Used Inappropriately
* USGS Creates New National Geospatial Programs Office
* Mercury Pollution Reaches All-Time High
* States Say Mercury Contamination Harming Sportsfishing Industry
* MTBE Vapors Threaten Environment
* EPA Finalizing Cap-and-Trade Plan
* Earth Observation System Will Monitor Climate Change
* Kansas School Board Election Produces Anti-evolution Majority
* Mississippi Defeats Attempt to Question Teachings of Evolution
* EPA Announces Graduate and Undergraduate Fellowship Opportunities
* Government Affairs Program Seeks Director
* Goodbye Wonderful Summer Interns
* AGI/AAPG Spring Semester Intern Applications Welcome
* Key Federal Register Updates
* New Updates to Website

*** Congress Returns from Recess:  Outlook to the Weeks/Months Ahead 
When Congress returns to Washington, D.C. from their month-long August 
recess, they will be returning to mountains of unfinished work and a 
long, hard road to the end of the 108th Congress.  The target adjournment 
date for the legislative body is Oct. 1, the first day of the new 
fiscal year.  By law, all spending bills for the fiscal year (FY) 2005 are 
required to be approved by Sept. 30.  Due to Labor Day falling later on 
the calendar this year, Congress has only 18 legislative days left to 
the approval deadline.  The observance the Jewish holidays, Rosh 
Hashanah and Yom Kippur, will likely mean even fewer days than that. 

Thus far, the president has only signed one appropriations bill into 
law, the defense spending bill.  Congress still has to pass 12 
appropriations bills in the next month.  The House has approved nine 
appropriations bills and has three more waiting to be debated on the floor in 
September.  The Senate, on the other hand, only has three bills that are 
ready for floor action; the other nine bills have yet to be approved in 

Given the large volume of work that is yet to be completed and 
Congress' short timetable, it's nearly a given that Congress will approve a 
continuing resolution prior to Sept. 30, which will keep the government 
running at last year's funding levels until the rest of the 
appropriations bills are approved.  

But when they will be approved is the "million-dollar question."  
Rumors suggest that Congress will likely not approve next year's spending 
bills until after the election; however, it is certainly in their best 
interest to pass the bills (or one large omnibus bill) before adjourning 
in November or December.  When Congress returns in January, it will be 
convening the 109th Congress and will have several new committee 
chairmen who may, or may not, have been involved in the nitty-gritty details 
of piecing together the FY05 budget.

Other behemoth pieces of legislation still pending in Congress, such as 
the Energy Bill and Transportation Authorization Bill, will likely 
receive lots of lip service and little action prior to the election.  
Smaller pieces of legislation still in the pipeline include the following: 
the National Earthquake Hazards Reductions Program Reauthorization Act, 
H.R. 2608; the National Geologic Mapping Act Reauthorization, H.R. 4010 
and S. 2353; the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program, H.R. 
3980; and House Resolution 556, which congratulates the U.S. Geological 
Survey on its 125 years of service to the nation.  

Keep up to date as events unfold by checking our website at 

*** Administration Releases R&D Budget Priorities for FY06 *** 
In an Aug.12 memorandum to federal department and agency heads, Office 
of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Marburger and 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Joshua Bolten set out the 
Bush Administration's R&D budget priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006.  
Even though it will be weeks, or perhaps months, before Congress 
finalizes the budget for the fiscal year starting on Oct. 1, the 
administration is hard at work on the FY06 budget submission.  While the OSTP/OMB 
document contains few surprises, it helps to illuminate what is 
traditionally the "black box" process involved in drafting the budget request.

The FY06 R&D budget priorities closely parallel the guidance released 
last summer.  Both the FY05 and FY06 documents identify homeland 
security as the first priority; the new memorandum explains, "winning the war 
on terror and securing the homeland continue to be the highest of 
national priorities."  In addition to a list of specific threats for which 
desired technologies are listed, Marburger and Bolten stated 
"fundamental R&D should be considered to address and counter new or novel 

"Networking and Information Technology R&D" and nanotechnology are the 
second and third listed priorities in the new memorandum, which 
switched positions from last year's document. Nanotechnology is described as a 
"top" administration priority, and both documents cite the importance 
of the National Nanotechnology Initiative's support of fundamental and 
applied R&D.
This year's memorandum explains that "because research at the nanoscale 
offers natural bridges to interdisciplinary collaboration, especially 
at the intersection of the life and physical sciences, the 
Administration encourages novel approaches to accelerating interdisciplinary and 
interagency collaborations."

This year's memorandum next lists "biology of complex systems" as a 
priority area.  The document explains that: "Agencies should target 
investments toward the development of a deeper understanding of complex 
biological systems through collaborations among physical, computational, 
behavioral, social, and biological researchers and engineers."

Concluding the priority list is "climate, water, and hydrogen R&D," 
including calling for calls for agencies to implement the 2003 "Strategic 
Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program".  Also identified as 
a high-priority concern "is the ability to measure, monitor, and 
forecast the U.S. and global supplies of fresh water." Regarding hydrogen, 
the memorandum states: "Finally, agencies should continue research 
efforts in support of the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative; this includes 
research outside of the subset of activities currently counted as part 
of the Initiative. Agency efforts should address the critical 
technology barriers of on-board hydrogen storage density, hydrogen production 
cost, and fuel cell cost, as well as distributed production and delivery 
systems.  R&D should focus on novel materials for fuel cells and 
hydrogen storage (including nanostructured materials), durable and 
inexpensive catalysts, and hydrogen production from renewable energy, nuclea
r energy, biological and electrochemical processes, and fossil fuels 
with carbon sequestration."

The Aug.12 OSTP/OMB memorandum can be viewed at 


*** Election Update: Kerry/Bush Vocal about Yucca, Nat'l Parks, Energy 
Spending August on the campaign trail, the presidential candidates have 
recently highlighted several key science issues, with Sen. John Kerry 
(D-Mass.) being particularly vocal about his opposition to Yucca 

Recent campaign visits to Nevada by both sides have focused on the fate 
of the repository.  Kerry remains steadfast in his disapproval of the 
project, assuring Nevadans during his visit on Aug. 10 that should he 
become president, "Yucca Mountain will not be a repository."  He plans to 
accomplish this by rejecting the site's license, initiating a new 
National Academies of Sciences study to reexamine the suitability of 
geologic disposal, and creating a "Blue Ribbon Panel" to recommend the best 
methods for nuclear waste storage and disposal.  In the meantime, Kerry 
says he will work to ensure the safety of the nuclear plants where the 
waste is currently stored.  

President George W. Bush, on the other hand, has proclaimed that he has 
already made a decision to support Yucca Mountain based on 20 years of 
sound science, not politics.  Now, he says he is handing over the 
decision to the courts and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and that he 
will stand by their decision.  Bush continues to view the project as 
necessary to the country's energy security.  Without the repository, he 
says, nuclear power is unable to play its important role as a clean source 
of energy for the future.  

Issues surrounding National Parks have also sparked debate recently.  
Kerry has promised to restore $600 million annually to the National Park 
Service, blaming the shortfall on President Bush's inability to promote 
policies that would boost funding for maintenance of the parks.  To 
generate this additional revenue, Kerry proposes modernizing mineral 
rights and leases, although he did not say how.  He also criticized several 
of Bush's environmental policies, such as rolling back various Clean 
Air Act requirements and allowing logging in national forests.  

Bush, however, says that he has fulfilled his promise to address the 
issue of maintenance backlogs in National Parks.  Bush promised to secure 
$4.9 billion over five years through 2006. He has received $2.8 billion 
and proposed an additional $1.1 billion in FY05 for a total of $3.9 
billion, indicating progress toward his goal.  Funding levels have risen 
to record levels, he says, from $2.52 billion in FY01 to $2.67 billion 
for FY05, the most ever requested.  Bush explains that this budget has 
given more funds per employee, per acre, and per visitor than ever 

Another dividing topic is energy.  Bush is an advocate of a national 
energy policy, criticizing Kerry and other Democrats for failing to pass 
his proposed energy bill that would give the nation just that.  In his 
campaign, he has continued to highlight many of the provisions of the 
energy bill, emphasizing their importance to national security and 
economic growth.  

On some issues this past month, Kerry and Bush have become stark 
opposites.  Bush is against using oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, 
while Kerry wants to use it wisely to protect supplies without hurting 
the economy.  Bush supports opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge 
for oil development, but Kerry does not.  Bush prefers a voluntary 
reduction approach of how much greenhouse gas may be released into the 
atmosphere, and Kerry is a proponent of capping emissions.  Both candidates 
are in favor of developing renewable energy, but Bush proposes using 
more coal and nuclear energy to help meet future energy demands, while 
Kerry wants to rely more on natural gas supplies and oil from non-OPEC 

The candidates also share some of the same ideas.  Bush and Kerry want 
to improve clean coal technology, but Kerry has proposed spending $10 
billion over the next decade on research and development and Bush has 
proposed $2 billion in the next 10 years.  Bush's Hydrogen Research 
Initiative, which he proposed should be funded at $1.7 billion over the next 
five years, is strikingly similar to Kerry's "Hydrogen Institute," 
which would also work to develop a hydrogen economy.  Both candidates also 
support tax incentives for hybrid vehicles and a pipeline to transport 
natural gas from Alaska's North Slope.   

*** Yucca Mountain:  Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back Also Likely 
As previously planned, the Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed this 
month that they expect to submit a license application by December to the 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeking approval for Yucca 
Mountain.  This announcement came despite a court ruling in July challenging 
the validity of the 10,000-year safety limit for the release of radiation 
set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The court decision 
requires DOE to adjust the application to meet safety standards 
recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.  According to the Nevada 
Agency for Nuclear Projects, the state plans to use the courts to block NRC 
from accepting the application. 

Controversy over NRC's testing standards of nuclear waste shipping 
casks flared up in August. NRC insists that its method of crashing the 
150-ton containers at 75 miles per hour into a train and engulfing them in 
flames is adequate to determine the durability of the casks.  Nevada 
officials are dissatisfied with the method, arguing that it is more of a 
demonstration than a scientific test.  The safety of nuclear waste 
transportation is an important issue to Nevada, as the Bush Administration 
still plans to ship radioactive material to Yucca Mountain. 

For more information about Yucca Mountain, visit 

*** Mountaintop Mining Made Easier ***
An article published in the Aug. 17 Washington Post highlighted how 
Bush administration policy changes have made it easier for coal companies 
to practice mountaintop mining.  The process involves cutting off the 
top of a mountain and depositing the debris in adjacent valleys, 
permanently burying streams and disrupting watersheds.  In May 2002, the 
administration changed the word defining mining debris from "waste" to 
"fill," legally entitling companies to dump the debris into streams.  Under 
the new rule, "fill" is defined as rock, sand, clay, plastics, 
construction debris, wood chips, and overburden from mining, with garbage the 
only material specifically forbidden. 

The Bush administration claims the revision is an attempt to clarify 
existing rules and ease regulatory burdens for the coal industry, which 
they see as a necessary component of national energy security.  They 
maintain that the rule changes are not an effort to weaken environmental 
accountability, but instead are an effort to acknowledge the reality 
that these rules are not commonly followed, and to bring regulatory 
stability and predictability. 

Opponents claim that the modifications to environmental regulations 
make it easier for coal companies to dump in streams and harder for those 
actions to be challenged.  Government studies have shown that waste 
rock and debris has buried more than 700 miles of headwater streams in 
central Appalachia, where those who oppose mountaintop mining outnumber 
supporters two to one.  The article emphasized how slight changes to 
environmental policies have been quite common during the Bush 
administration, often inflicting huge environmental impacts. 

The article is available online at 

*** Abandoned Mine Money Used Inappropriately *** 
Another article, written for the Charleston Gazette on Aug. 16, 
summarized an investigation that revealed Abandoned Mine Land (AML) money, 
intended for the cleanup of abandoned coal mines, has been used to fund 
low-priority and unrelated projects in Wyoming.  The money, which is 
collected from a coal surface mining tax of $0.35 per ton, is slated to be 
used to cleanup coal mines abandoned before 1977, with priority given 
to the most hazardous sites.  Established in the 1977 Surface Mining 
Conservation Reclamation Act, the tax is distributed as a 50-50 split: 
Half of the ALM money goes back to the original state, and the other half 
is distributed by the Office of Surface Mining (OSM). 

Problems have arisen because Wyoming has significantly fewer abandoned 
mines predating 1977, yet produces more than half of the coal mined in 
the United States annually.  This gives more ALM funds to Wyoming than 
to states in the East, where coal production has steadily decreased and 
a large proportion of abandoned mines remain.  Congress included a 
loophole in the act to enable states who cleanup their high priority sites 
to use the money for specific public facilities in coal communities. 

According to the Charleston Gazette, in 1984, Congress questionably 
"certified" that Wyoming had cleaned all of its high-priority sites.  A 
subsequent Government Accountability Office report concluded the state 
should not be certified because it cleaned up only its most severe sites 
rather than all of its abandoned coal mines.  Instead of cleaning up 
the lower priority sites, the state has since spent more than $90 million 
of ALM money on roads, sewer systems, hospitals, schools, and a new 
geology building for the University of Wyoming.  Additionally, Wyoming has 
legally used ALM funds to reclaim noncoal mines that were run by 
industries that pay no tax to supplement cleanup efforts.  OSM, however, has 
poorly monitored how these funds have been spent.  The state also 
claims that it has discovered more than 1,700 abandoned mines since they 
received certification, prompting a request of more ALM money from 

The article is available online at 

*** USGS Creates New National Geospatial Programs Office *** 
Environmental biologists that regularly utilize U.S. Geological Survey 
(USGS) geospatial data and tools will be interested to know that USGS 
Director Charles Groat has announced a plan to reorganize USGS 
geospatial data programs.  According to Groat, the new agency structure will 
strengthen geographic research at USGS by consolidating existing 
geospatial data programs in a new National Geospatial Programs Office.  As part 
of the reorganization, the National Map program will now be located in 
the Geospatial Information Office.  Agency officials contend that the 
new structure will allow the survey's existing expertise in geography to 
focus attention on geographic research and will enhance USGS leadership 
in both geospatial data programs and geographic research.   

The reorganization will consolidate USGS geospatial programs under the 
new National Geospatial Programs Office located within the Geospatial 
Information Office (GIO).  The National Geospatial Programs Office will 
oversee the portfolio of national geospatial programs for which USGS 
has responsibility, including the Federal Geographic Data Committee, the 
Geospatial One Stop project, the Department of the Interior Enterprise 
Geospatial Information Management activity, and the National Map. 

To read the USGS press release about these upcoming changes, visit 

*** Mercury Pollution Reaches All-Time High *** 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials announced on Aug. 
24 that mercury contamination in the nation's waters have reached an 
all-time high.  This conclusion was based on the fact that the number of 
fish advisories issued between 2002 and 2003 has increased by roughly 6 
percent in lakes and 35 percent in rivers.  EPA Administrator Mike 
Leavitt attributed these statistics to the rise in assessment of the 
nation's waters through monitoring and fish sampling.  He also stated that 
human-made mercury emissions are decreasing, with power plant emissions 
dropping 45 percent between 1990 and 1999.  Rising levels, he explained, 
are partly due to pollution from other countries, specifically in Asia, 
which accounted for 53 percent of global mercury emissions in 1995.  
Leavitt also acknowledged the wide variety of testing and warning 
programs administered throughout the states.  Washington and Montana, for 
example, are the first states to issue statewide advisories of mercu
ry contamination, rather than posting warnings for specific sites. 

The upward flux of advisory warnings has spurred significant economic 
consequences.  The seafood industry is concerned that mercury warnings 
will deter consumers from taking advantage of the health benefits 
offered by consuming fish.  Several states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, 
Ohio, and Michigan, have significant stakes in the recreational fishing 
industry and have been worried that increased mercury pollution will 
continue to threaten jobs and cost the state millions of dollars in lost 
revenue.  In response to the increase in mercury contamination, the 
Bush administration has focused on two options.  The first, an 
across-the-board cap on mercury emissions favored by environmentalists, would set 
limits for each pollution source, as dictated by the "maximum 
achievable control technology" standards.  The administration prefers the second 
choice, which is a cap-and-trade program that would enable industries 
to trade pollution credits under a national emissions standard. 

For more information about mercury, visit 

*** States Say Mercury Contamination Harming Sportsfishing Industry *** 
On August 18, Greenwire reported that a coalition of more than 50 
Midwest environmental groups released a series of reports on the impact of 
mercury contamination in the region on the sportsfishing industry.  The 
coalition said that the total cost to the industry in four states 
--Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio -- exceeds $1.8 billion annually, 
threatening thousands of jobs.  The greatest cost will be incurred by 
Minnesota, with a projected $706 million annual loss due to a 25 percent 
decrease in the sport.  The American Sportsfishing Association 
estimates that 34 million people spend $41.5 billion annually fishing.

The environmental groups that released the reports suggest reducing 
mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants by 90 percent.  Fish 
accumulate the toxic form of mercury, methylmercury, through a conversion 
process that takes place in sediments, after deposition of the contaminant 
from the air into waterways from polluted air.  Environmentalists have 
expressed disagreement with the Bush administration's preferred 
cap-and-trade approach to limiting mercury emissions, which will be specified 
next March.  Coal industry representatives maintain that the proposals 
in the environmental groups' reports are unrealistic and that they 
single out the coal industry, when there may be other sources of mercury 
contamination.  They also note that global mercury emissions not under 
U.S. control contribute significantly to contamination. 

*** MTBE Vapors Threaten Environment *** 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials announced last 
week that vapor from the gasoline additive MTBE also poses a threat to 
groundwater supplies.  Recent efforts have focused on monitoring and 
preventing liquid leaks in underground tanks, but have largely neglected the 
threat of vapor leaks, possibly underscoring recent efforts to improve 
liquid leak detection and prevention. 

The warning came during a groundwater contamination conference in 
Maryland, which has experienced significant MTBE contamination in the last 
month. Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) has proposed new rules to prevent 
leaks in roughly 13,000 underground fuel storage tanks across the state, 
where more than 200 wells have been found containing MTBE.  Eight of 
these wells had MTBE concentrations 1,300 times higher than acceptable 
levels, causing widespread concern of water contamination throughout the 
For more information about MTBE and its role in the controversy over 
passing a national energy policy, visit 

*** EPA Finalizing Cap-and-Trade Plan ***  
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will publish new rules 
on power plant mercury emissions by March 15, 2005.  EPA administrator 
Mike Leavitt said in a presentation (Greenwire subscription req.) in 
upstate New York that the agency will finalize its plan for a 
cap-and-trade system to limit annual emissions to 34 tons by 2010 and 15 tons by 
2018.  He also said that the agency will finalize new rules on sulfur 
dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions by the end of the year.  
Environmentalists have criticized the mercury plan, claiming that it was largely 
written by industry, and noting a current EPA inspector general 
investigation of the rule.  Mercury rules will have the largest affect on 
coal-fired power plants, which account for 41 percent of mercury emissions. 

Administrator Leavitt's presentation is available online at 
(Greenwire subscription required)

*** Earth Observation System Will Monitor Climate Change *** 
In August, Bush administration officials Mike Leavitt of the 
Environmental Protection Agency and Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher of 
Department of Commerce met with members of the media to discuss the Global Earth 
Observation System, a network of satellites and land- and ocean-based 
sensors that will be developed in coordination with 40 other countries.

Leavitt and Lautenbacher pointed out the many benefits of the system, 
including monitoring climatic changes in polar regions, reducing damage 
from hazards such as hurricanes and forest fires, and monitoring 
private-sector environmental problems such as agricultural runoff.  The 
officials said that the greatest challenges to the development of the system 
and coordination of the data of different agencies will be 
bureaucratic, not technological.  The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration 
currently spends about $800 million a year to manage its satellite 
data, and the officials could not give an estimate of how much cost the 
additional equipment and data processing required for the project will 
incur.  A plan for network construction will be released in February 2005.

For more information about the Global Earth Observation System, visit 


*** Kansas School Board Election Produces Anti-evolution Majority *** 
Evolution opponents are set to gain a majority on the Kansas State 
Board of Education, after a closely watched Republican primary Aug. 3.  
Republican Kathy Martin defeated moderate incumbent Republican Bruce Wyatt 
in the 6th District, and Republican Steve Abrams won the primary in the 
10th District.

According to the National Center for Science Education, this tips the 
board to at least a 6-4 anti-evolution majority.  Martin and several 
other Republicans are running unopposed in the November election. 

*** Mississippi Defeats Attempt to Question Teachings of Evolution *** 
On March 9, a bill addressing evolution in textbooks died in the 
Mississippi House of Representative's Education Committee, when it failed to 
receive a vote before the deadline to report House bills out of 
committee.  House Bill 1288 would have required the State Board of Education 
to display a disclaimer on the inside front cover of science textbooks 
that states that evolution is a theory.  The bill modeled its language 
after the disclaimers pasted into Alabama textbooks in 1996, which are 
no longer required.

Republican State Rep. Wells-Smith introduced the bill along with 19 

The following is the disclaimer language proposed in the bill: 

"The word 'theory' has many meanings: systematically organized 
knowledge, abstract reasoning, a speculative idea or plan, or a systematic 
statement of principles.  Scientific theories are based on both 
observations of the natural world and assumptions about the natural world.  They 
are always subject to change in view of new and confirmed observations.

This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some 
scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things.  
No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any 
statement about life's origins should be considered a theory.

Evolution refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces 
produced living things. There are many unanswered questions about the 
origin of life that are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the 
major groups of animals suddenly appear in the fossil record (known as 
the Cambrian Explosion), no new major groups of other living things 
appeared in the fossil record, major groups of plants and animals have no 
transitional forms in the fossil record, and all living things possess a 
complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body.  
Study hard and keep an open mind." 

*** EPA Announces Graduate and Undergraduate Fellowship Opportunities 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science to Achieve 
Results (STAR) program offers graduate fellowships for master's and doctoral 
level students in environmentally related fields of study.  EPA has 
announced that the next deadline for receipt of pre-applications is Nov. 
23, 2004.  Subject to the availability of funding, the agency plans to 
award approximately 100 new fellowships by July 21, 2005.  The 
fellowship program provides up to $37,000 per year of support.  For more 
information, visit http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2004/2005_star_grad_fellow.html.
Additionally, EPA plans to award 20 fellowships to master's or doctoral 
students in environmentally related fields through its Greater Research 
Opportunities (GRO) program.  The pre-application deadline for the 
fellowships is also Nov. 23, 2004.  For additional information visit 

Finally, EPA's GRO program also plans to award 15 new undergraduate 
research fellowships for bachelor level students in environmentally 
related fields of study.  Undergraduate fellowships provide students support 
for their junior and senior years as well as for a summer internship at 
an EPA facility.  The undergraduate fellowships provide up to $17,000 
per year in support and up to $7,500 to support the summer intern 
experience.  For additional information, please visit

*** Government Affairs Program Seeks Director ***
The American Geological Institute (AGI), a nonprofit federation of 43 
geoscience societies, is seeking a director of Government Affairs.  This 
position is responsible for all phases of AGI's Government Affairs 
Program, working actively with member societies, Congress, and federal 
agencies to bring accurate science into the decision-making process of 
public policy; serve as a focused voice for the shared policy interests of 
the geoscience profession; monitor and analyze legislation and policy 
developments affecting the geosciences; and develop AGI congressional 
testimony and policy positions on national geoscience issues.

Candidates should have an advanced degree in the geosciences, with a 
Ph.D. preferred, as well as experience in science and public policy.  
Demonstrated outstanding written, verbal, and management skills are also 
required.  A strong familiarity with the geoscience community through 
active society participation is desired.

Candidates should submit a resume, including salary requirements and 
the names of three references, with cover letter to: Government Affairs 
Director Search, AGI, 4220 King Street, Alexandria VA 22302-1502 or 

For more information on the program, see http://www.agiweb.org/gap.

Applications will be considered on a continuous basis until the 
position is filled.  EOE.

*** Goodbye Wonderful Summer Interns ***
Bridget Martin and Ashlee Dere, 2004 American Geological 
Institute/American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) summer interns 
concluded their time in Washington on Aug. 20 and Sept. 1, respectively.  
Bridget will be returning to Vassar College to finish her final semester 
and continue work on research she performed earlier this summer on 
vineyard soils.  Ashlee will return to California Polytechnic State 
University to complete her senior year and begin the search for a graduate 
school.  This summer, Bridget became the resident expert on the timely issue 
of high oil and gas prices as well as mercury contamination.  Ashlee 
spent time working on budget issues, Yucca Mountain, and natural hazards 
legislation.  Both interns also had the opportunity to meet with many 
people involved in different aspects of science policy and learn about 
various career options in Washington.

The Government Affairs Program would like to thank AIPG for their 
generous contribution that makes this program possible as well as Bridget 
and Ashlee for their hard work and dedication.  

*** AGI/AAPG Spring Semester Intern Applications Welcome ***
The American Geological Institute (AGI) is seeking outstanding 
geoscience students and recent graduates with a strong interest in federal 
science policy for a 12-week geoscience and public policy internship in 
spring 2005.  Interns will gain a first-hand understanding of the 
legislative process and the operation of executive branch agencies.  They will 
also hone both their writing and Web-publishing skills.  AGI gratefully 
acknowledges support from American Association of Petroleum Geologists 
for the semester internships.  Applications must be postmarked by Oct. 
15, 2004. For more information, please visit 

*** List of Key Federal Register Notices ***
Below is a summary of Federal Register announcements regarding federal 
regulations, agency meetings, and other notices of interest to the 
geoscience community. Entries are listed in chronological order and show 
the federal agency involved, the title, and the citation.  The Federal 
Register is available online at 
http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont04.html. Information on 
submitting comments and reading announcements are also available online 

Department of Commerce: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) is requesting comments on its Five-Year Research Plan Draft 
and Twenty-Year Research Vision Draft.  The Five-Year Plan can be 
viewed at ftp://www.oarhq.noaa.gov/review/5, and comments should be 
submitted to Review.5Year@noaa.gov.  The Twenty-Year plan is available at

ftp://www.oarhq.noaa.gov/review/20, and comments should be sent to 
Review.20Year@noaa.gov.  For both documents, comments may also be sent 
to: NOAA Research, c/o Dr. Terry Schaefer, Silver Spring Metro Center 
Bldg. 3, Room 11863, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 
20910.  Comments must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2004.  Volume 69, Number 
161 (20 August, 2004): pp. 51637-51638.

As of Aug. 25, 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew 
a direct final rule published on June 2 (69 FR 31008), concerning three 
additional analytical methods for compliance determinations of uranium 
in drinking water.  As dictated in their previous publication, EPA said 
they would withdraw the rule should they receive adverse comments 
before the June
2 deadline.  Volume 69, Number 164 (25 August, 2004): pp. 52181-52182.

The U.S. Geological Survey will hold their eighth Scientific Earthquake 
Studies Advisory Committee (SESAC) meeting from 8 a.m. Sept. 13 to 5 
p.m.  Sept. 14 at the Teton Mountain Lodge, 3385 West Village Drive, 
Teton Village, Wyoming 83025.  The meeting will focus on USGS involvement 
in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.  Volume 69, Number 
160 (19 August, 2004): pp. 51470-51471.

*** New Updates to Website ***
* Energy Policy Overview (8-25-04) 
* Mercury Policy (8-24-04) 
* Political Challenges to the Teaching of Evolution (8-24-04) 
* High-Level Nuclear Waste Legislation (8-24-04) 
* Climate Change Policy Overview (8-20-04) 
* Mining Policy (8-19-04) 

Monthly review prepared by Emily Lehr Wallace, AGI Government Affairs 
Program and Ashlee Dere, AGI/AIPG 2004 Summer Intern

Sources:  American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Institute 
of Physicists, Greenwire, National Science Teachers Association, 
National Council for Science and the Environment, THOMAS legislative 
database, Charleston Gazette, Washington Post, John Kerry for President, and 
Bush-Cheney '04, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological 



Does your academic program prepare your students for today's jobs and 
provide skills for long-lived careers? How do you know? What can you do?

Join us at:
Geoscience Classroom to Workforce: Skills and Partnerships for the Real 

Sat., Nov. 6, 8 a.m.-noon. Cosponsored by the Council on Undergraduate 
In this workshop, attendees will hear from and talk with faculty who 
will discuss their programs -- developed in active partnerships with 
industry/employers -- and with employers who will discuss hiring and 
downsizing trends and the workplace skills desirable in today's market. Also, 
current data on geoscience enrollment and degree trends, as well as 
trends in employment (AGI, NSF, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Labor) will 
be presented. Participants will explore their institutional scenarios in 
breakout discussion groups to begin to formulate their own strategies 
for departmental improvement.

Intended audience: College and university faculty. Fee: $60. 
Register with GSA (see K-16 course #604) at 
Note: Subaru grants will cover one-half of the registration fee for 
member and non-member earth science and geology faculty of Colorado state 
2-year colleges.



U.S. Geological Survey Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) invites applications for the 
Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program for Fiscal Year 2006.  The 
Mendenhall Program provides opportunities to conduct research in 
association with selected members of the USGS professional staff.  Through 
this Program the USGS will acquire current expertise in science to assist 
in implementation of the science strategy of its programs.  Fiscal Year 
2006 begins in October 2005.

Opportunities for research are available in a wide range of topics.  
The postdoctoral fellowships are 2-year appointments.  The closing date 
for applications is December 1, 2004.  Appointments will start October 
2005 or later, depending on availability of funds.  A description of the 
research opportunities, and the application process are available at 
http://geology.usgs.gov/postdoc.  The U.S. Geological Survey is an 
equal opportunity employer.

* * * * * * * * * * 
Cornell College
Tenure-Track Appointment - Hard Rock Geology

Cornell College, a private undergraduate liberal arts college, invites 
applications for a tenure-track appointment in its Department of 
Geology.  The successful candidate will teach hard rock courses, including 
Mineralogy and Igneous and Metamorphic petrology, and will develop an 
upper-level course in his/her area of expertise.  The new hire will also 
teach Physical Geology, and will develop an introductory course for 
non-majors and a mid-level course that may be integrated into the Collegešs 
interdepartmental Environmental Studies program (Geologic Hazards, for 
example).  The new faculty member will be expected to continue the 
departmentšs strong commitment to student-faculty research.  Analytical 
facilities include an XRD, alpha spectrometers, luminoscope, wet chemistry 
lab, and ArcGIS workstations.  The nearby University of Iowa Department 
of Geosciences houses a stable isotope lab and a newly completed clean 
lab for radioisotopic analysis.  Appointment at the Assistant Pr
ofessor level to begin in the fall of 2005, pending administrative 
approval.  Ph.D. required and post-doctoral or college teaching experience 
preferred.  Cornell College has attracted national attention for its 
distinctive academic calendar under which faculty members teach and 
students take one course at a time in month-long terms.  The College is 
committed to excellence in teaching and research, and encourages 
interdisciplinary interests among its faculty.  Send paper copies of letter of 
application, curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation to: 
Ms. Ann Opatz, Office of Academic Affairs, Cornell College, 600 First St. 
West, Mount Vernon, Iowa 52314-1098.  Formal consideration of 
applications begins December 1, 2004.  Cornell College is an EOA/AA employer and 
encourages applications from women and minorities.  Visit our website 
at www.cornellcollege.edu.

* * * * * * * * * *
Pennsylvania State University
Faculty Position in Solid Earth Geosciences
The Department of Geosciences at Penn State University invites 
applications for a tenure-track faculty position in Solid Earth Geosciences at 
the assistant professor level.  We seek an outstanding candidate who 
will complement and broaden our existing strengths in active tectonics, 
lithospheric evolution and dynamics, earthquake and field seismology, 
experimental geophysics, and cryospheric dynamics.  We are particularly 
interested in individuals who creatively combine observational, 
theoretical, experimental and/or analytical techniques to address problems in 
lithospheric deformation, and who are poised to take advantage of 
emerging opportunities and new initiatives in the solid Earth geosciences.

Applicants should demonstrate a strong record of scholarship and the 
potential for developing an internationally recognized research and 
teaching program at Penn State.  Review of applications will begin December 
1, 2004 and will continue until a suitable candidate is found.  
Applications should include a complete vita, details of published work, a 
statement outlining teaching and research interests, and names and 
addresses of four or more references.  Send application materials to: Search 
Committee Chair, Department of Geosciences, 503 Deike Building, The 
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and 
the diversity of its workforce. Women and members of underrepresented 
groups are encouraged to apply. For more information on the Department of 
Geosciences go to http://www.geosc.psu.edu.
* * * * * * * * * *
Carleton College Department of Geology
Structural Geology/Neotectonics/Geophysics
The Geology Department at Carleton College invites applications for a 
full-time tenure-track position in structural 
geology/neotectonics/geophysics.   We seek an individual with broad interests in crustal and 
surface processes.  Applicants should have a Ph.D. substantially completed 
at the time of appointment. This position includes teaching structural 
geology on a regular basis. 
We are looking for an individual with a commitment to excellence in 
both teaching and research.  The ideal applicant will have demonstrated 
outstanding teaching skills with an emphasis on field- and 
laboratory-oriented, hands-on learning.  In addition, we seek someone who will be 
actively engaged in a strong research program that can include 
undergraduate students in an integral way.  All Carleton geology majors complete a 
senior integrative exercise; we expect our new colleague to help 
students design and carry out these projects.  
The successful candidate is expected to teach four courses and 
associated labs each year, including introductory courses, structural geology, 
and specialty courses.  Most Carleton geology courses include a variety 
of field experiences.  Carleton.s geology department averages between 
15 and 30 majors in each graduating class; it is a vibrant place that 
emphasizes cooperation, discussion, field work, inquiry-based learning, 
creativity and intellectual depth in a supportive atmosphere.  
Carleton.s geology department has a strong, successful tradition of teaching 
geology as one of the liberal arts and we are looking for someone to help 
carry on that tradition.
The position begins in late August 2005.  Interested individuals should 
submit applications (either paper or electronic (.pdf only) format), 
including curriculum vitae, a statement outlining research and teaching 
experience and interests, and the names and addresses of three referees 
to Professor Mary Savina, Chair, Department of Geology, Carleton 
College, Northfield, MN  55057.  To ensure full consideration, applications 
should be received by October 30, 2004.
Carleton College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  
We are committed to developing our faculty to better reflect the 
diversity of our student body and American society. Women and members of 
minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

* * * * * * * * * *
Government Affairs Program Director
AGI/AAPG Spring Semester Intern

Information on these positions can be found in the August 2004 AGI 
Government Affairs Monthly Review (above).



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