2006-004 Rice University - Faculty Position - Department of Earth 
	2006-010 Rice University - Faculty Position - Department of Earth 
	2006-011 Vassar College - One-year sabbatical replacement position - 
Department of
	Geology and Geography

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


You are invited to join the Seismological Society of America in San 
Francisco to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and 
kick off the SSA's centennial celebration at the "The 100th Anniversary 
Earthquake Conference".  SSA will be meeting jointly with the 
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for their 8th National Earthquake 
Conference and the California emergency management community for their 
annual Disaster Resistant California conference at the Moscone Convention 
Center on April 18-22.  The conference is also being co-sponsored by 
more than 50 organizations from around the world, including AWG.

This will be a golden opportunity for exchange between earth 
scientists, structural engineers, emergency managers and policy makers. 
Throughout the four-day meeting, there will be plenary sessions highlighting the 
1906 earthquake, lessons from recent large earthquakes worldwide, and 
the outlook for earthquake research and loss reduction in the 21st 
century.  Each day both plenary sessions and concurrent technical sessions 
will be offered, as will tutorials and field trips. Additional field 
trips will be available the weekend following the meeting. The SSA portion 
of the meeting will cover the full range of topics of interest to your 
membership.  Registrants may attend any sessions at the meeting, 
whether they are sponsored by SSA, EERI or DRC.

To commemorate the two centennials, the meeting will feature an 
Earthquake Anniversary Gala Reception and a SSA Centennial Reception and 
Banquet in addition to the traditional SSA icebreaker and annual luncheon.  
All four of these activities are included in the registration fee.

Registration and hotel information is online at the 100th Anniversary 
Earthquake Conference website: www.1906eqconf.org.  (SSA's headquarters 
hotel is the historic Palace Hotel; book early for a greatly reduced 


2006 Joint Assembly
Abstract submissions are being accepted for the 2006 Joint Assembly and 
will continue until 1 March 2006.  The 2006 Joint Assembly, a 
partnership between AGU, GS, MB, MSA, and SEG is being held 23-26 May 2006 at 
the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland.  Visit 
http://www.agu.org/meetings/ja06/ for a list of sessions.

* * * * * * * * * * 
Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting
Abstract are being accepted for the Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting.  
The submission deadline is 16 March 2006.  The Western Pacific 
Geophysics Meeting, 24-27 July 2006 will be held in Beijing, China.  Visit 
www.agu.org/meetings/wp06/for a list of sessions.


Paleontological Society research grants 
The Paleontological Society invites applications from student members 
and members with postdoctoral research appointments for a limited number 
of $500 Stephen J.Gould Grants in support of research on any aspect of 
paleontology.  The deadline for applications for this year is February 
28th, 2006.  For detailed instructions and an application form 
(electronic), please go to this page on the Society's website: 
To be eligible for these grants, applicants must be members of the 

U.S. National Science Foundation funds for travel to Beijing 
NSF has agreed to fund a limited number of $1000 travel grants for U.S. 
students who plan to participate in the Second International 
Palaeontological Congress, June 17-21, 2006, in Beijing, China. Full details of 
plans for this forthcoming event can be found at the conference website, 
To apply for one of these travel grants: 1) Send a message requesting 
this support, indicating the institution and degree program in which you 
are enrolled, and include the abstract of your presentation or other 
statement of purpose for attending this meeting.  2) Ask you advisor to 
send a message confirming your U.S. student status and endorsing your 
application for support.  Both messages should be sent by February 10 to 
David J. Bottjer, at dbottjer@earth.usc.edu.  Late applications will be 
considered if funds are still available, following consideration of 
applications received by this date.  This information also appears on the 
Society's website, at:  http://www.paleosoc.org.

The Paleontological Society, which applied for the funds, will 
administer these NSF travel grants.  However, they are not limited to members 
of the Society.  All eligible applicants will receive equal 
consideration.  Eligibility for these grants is limited to "U.S. persons", that is 
U.S. citizens and permanent residents. 


The Department of Geosciences at Hamilton College is pleased to be 
hosting an NSF-OPP sponsored workshop on the micro-morphology of glacial 
sediments taught by Dr. John Menzies (Brock University) and Dr. Jaap van 
der Meer (Queen Mary, University of London). The workshop will be 
conducted in a new state-of-the-art microscopic laboratory in the college's 
new Science Facility on the scenic Hamilton College Campus. Both 
microscopy and field sampling techniques in glacial sediments will be covered 
as the facility is within walking distance of excellent exposures of 
Quaternary glacio- and glaciolacustrine deposits. We will also review new 
advances in the observation and interpretation of laminated Antarctic 
glacial marine sediments as instructed by Dr. Jennifer Pike (Cardiff 
University), as long jumbo piston cores (25 m in length) will be available 
for examination and study. Hamilton College is located in the eastern 
end of the Finger Lakes landscape, is adjacent to the Adirondack 
Mtns, and the glacially sculpted Mohawk Valley and Ontario Lowland. The 
course will run from June 5th to June 9th with arrival and a welcoming 
reception planned for June 4th. Travel support will be available for 
students. Space is limited to 20 participants. Please contact  Danelle 
Parker for registration details (dparker@hamilton.edu) by April 1st, 



AWG provides Student Award for Geoscience Excellence (SAGE) 
certificates through Science Service, the sponsoring organization of the 
International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), to young women whose projects 
exemplify an understanding of our world and its processes. As the AWG 
point-of-contact for Science Service, fair directors often contact me 
with requests for science fair judges. I would like to share information 
concerning several fairs searching for judges from the AWG membership.  
Please contact Valerie Honeycutt (styles@hpnc.com or 972-723-2260) to 
find out how you can help!  Thanks!  

The science fairs currently requesting Special Awards judges to present 
the AWG certificate are as follows:

1)	The Arkansas Valley Regional Science Fair to be held February 24-25, 
2006 in La Junta, CO at Otero Junior College.  Contact Dr. Joel Gray at 
(719) 384 6892 or at joel.gray@ojc.edu for fair information.

2)	The Central Western Oregon Science Expo to be held February 24-25, 
2006 in Monmouth, Oregon.   See http://www.nwse.org for fair 
information.  Please contact Dr. David Hackleman (Chemical Engineering, Oregon 
State University) at (541) 737-8988 or David.Hackleman@oregonstate.edu. 
If you are interested in helping judge some interesting Science and 
Engineering Projects at the Central Western Oregon Science Exposition, we 
need you to help us determine the winner of a certificate of merit from 
AWG.  Fair Dates:  24/25 February.  Judging is Noon – 7PM on 24 
February and the awards ceremony is on 25 February.  This fair is in Monmouth, 
Oregon, on the WOU campus.  For more information, go to 
http://www.nwse.org > Judge Registration > REGIONAL FAIRS > Central 
Western Oregon Science Exposition, or contact me directly.  Judging the 
science and engineering projects of these young individuals is rewarding 
both because you have a chance to help them develop their own abilities 
but also you get to see some quite interesting ideas!   To give you an 
example, a young woman from Salem, Oregon did a rather detailed study 
of the geoscience of the moon Europa, coming up with her own theories on 
the reasons for the observed surface features, a relatively unique 
theory that
 seems rather plausible to folks that judged her at our regional, the 
state and international fairs.  Last year, the fair had 110 
participants, and was three times the size of the fair the prior year.  This year, 
we are not certain of the size, but are expecting it to grow from 110.  
David Hackleman

3)	The Seminole County Regional Science, Math, & Engineering Fair to be 
held on Saturday, February 18, 2006 in Sanford, Florida.  See 
http://www.seminolescience.org for fair information.  Please contact 
the Fair Director, Dr. Suzy Behel, at 407-320-3603 or sbehel@cfl.rr.com.

The Seminole County Regional Science, Math, & Engineering Fair is 
Saturday, February 18, 2006.   Last year, 30 Seminole students went on to 
compete and many took prizes in the State competition. Four individual 
students and two teams from Seminole County High Schools went to 
International and several came home with prizes!  Professionals in the 
sciences, math, and engineering fields are needed to judge the event from 9 AM 
until 3PM on February 18.  In addition, sponsorships and awards from 
professional societies, companies, and individuals are needed, and 
volunteers are needed to assist in logistics for the event.  There are also 
year-round opportunities to mentor students who are preparing projects.  
Don't miss the public display of projects during mall hours on February 
18 at the Seminole Towne Center Mall in Sanford, FL. For more 
information, contact the Fair Director, Dr. Suzy Behel, at 407-320-3603.

4)	2006 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), to be 
held in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 7-13, 2006. They are looking for 
50 individuals including qualified women (in academia, government and 
industry) who can judge in the earth/space category as Category Judges, 
not just Special Awards judges. Judges need either a Ph.D. or 6 years 
experience beyond the master's degree, and will need to be present on 
Tuesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 10, 2006. Please contact Anne Argast, 
Dept. of Geosciences, Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne at 

5)	AWG would also like to field a team of at least three AWG Special 
Awards judges at the 2006 ISEF (Indianapolis, Indiana, May 7-13, 2006). 
AWG presents three female students with awards each year at the ISEF, 
but we can't present these awards if we don't have judges!  We need YOU!  
Judging is on Tuesday afternoon May 9 and all day Wednesday May 10, 
with the Special Awards presentation on Thursday evening, May 11.  I have 
several resources to share, including a "calling card", the certificate 
paper and certificate templates, AWG judging guidelines, and other 
miscellaneous information. Some travel funds may be available.   AWG 
members interested in participating as an AWG Special Awards judge at the 
ISEF are invited and encouraged to contact Valerie Honeycutt at 
styles@hpnc.com by no later than February 15, 2006.  The ISEF requires 
that it's Grand Award Judges have either a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent 
_OR_ a minimum of 6 years professional experience in one of 14 specific 
plines including behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, botany, 
chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental 
science, mathematics, medicine and health, microbiology, physics, space 
science, and zoology.  So, in accordance with the ISEF guidelines for 
judge’s experience, we welcome AWG members with those qualifications to 
volunteer as an AWG Special Awards judge.

6)	Other - Over 600 ISEF-affiliated regional fairs are held world-wide 
each year, many in the United States, and these fairs are also looking 
for judges to present the AWG SAGE certificates at their fairs. If 
anyone in your Chapter might be interested in participating as a judge, or 
if your Chapter is interested in sponsoring an additional award at a 
local fair, please contact Valerie Honeycutt at styles@hpnc.com or 
972-723-2260 for affiliated local fair information in your area. You can also 
visit the Science Service website for more information or a list of 
their regional affiliated science fairs at 



Applied Science Associates (ASA) has been awarded Northrop Grumman 
Corporation’s suppliers’ excellence award.  The award honors suppliers who 
have contributed substantively to Northrop Grumman’s success through 
their technical capability and commitment to producing quality products 
and services.  It signifies that ASA has met Northrop Grumman’s highest 
criteria for delivery, quality, cost and schedule management, and 
customer satisfaction. 

 "This award honors suppliers who have made significant contributions 
and provided outstanding support to Mission Systems," said Jerry Agee, 
corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Mission 
Systems.  "They are an asset to our company and are critical in ensuring 
that we achieve our customers' mission objectives." 

ASA is working closely with Northrop Grumman on rapidly evolving 
technologies to evaluate the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) 
development plan.  The IOOS is a coordinated national and international 
network of observations and data transmission, data management and 
communications (DMAC), and data analyses and modeling that systematically and 
efficiently acquires and disseminates data and information on past, 
present and future states of the oceans and coastal waters.  The IOOS is the 
U.S. contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the 
Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).  

ASA is also working with Northrop Grumman to develop SAROPS, the latest 
advancement in search & rescue technology for the United States Coast 
Guard.  This software will be deployed throughout the U.S. Coast Guard 
in 2006.  

"This successful collaboration demonstrates the power of a large 
systems integrator working with small companies like ASA that have highly 
specialized domain experience", says the CEO of ASA, Eoin Howlett, “and 
allows us to work on projects with national and international 

ASA is an international leader in the development and application of 
computer tools to investigate marine and freshwater environments.  Since 
1979 ASA has been helping clients understand and manage marine and 
freshwater environments worldwide. Combining proprietary computer modeling 
tools with the consulting capabilities of an exceptionally diverse 
technical staff, the firm provides a broad range of services to 
international, national and local government agencies, private industry and 
educational institutions.  ASA has extensive experience with clients involved 
in oil and gas, power generation, ports and harbors, wastewater, 
coastal management and crisis response, ecological risk assessment, 
hydrodynamics, dredging, water quality and coastal engineering.

In addition to its Narragansett, RI headquarters, ASA has offices in 
Australia, Brazil, France and Scotland.  The company’s website, 
www.appsci.com, contains numerous scientific reports written by its staff and 
extensive information about its services.



A web version of the Monthly Review is available at 

 1. Final Congressional Budget Battles Sink ANWR 
 2. Budget Deficit Bill Targets Student Loans 
 3. AAAS Summarizes Science Research and Development Spending for 2006 
 4. NASA Reauthorization Act Signed Into Law 
 5. Congressional Visits Day Scheduled for March 28-29 
 6. AGI Accepting Congressional Science Fellow Applications 
 7. NSF Requesting Your Comments on New Strategic Plan 
 8. Congress Reviews the National Environmental Protection Act 
 9. International Year of Planet Earth, 2008 
10. Energy Department Revises Energy Prices Forecasts 
11. Great Lakes Basin Water Compact 
12. Evolution Round-up a. Dover Decision 
13. Multihazard Mitigation Report 
14. Record Breaking 2005 Hurricane Season Ends as Katrina Gets 
15. Going Back to the Moon 
16. Stardust Coming Back to Earth 
17. Geoscience Teacher Training Grants from NSF 
18. Education Teachers Can Spend a School Year in Washington DC 
19. Government Affairs Program Welcomes New and Old Faces 
20. Federal Register 21. New Updates on the Web Site

1. Final Congressional Budget Battles Sink ANWR 
Congress ended December with a blitz of legislative maneuvers and 
classic battles among congressional veterans, finishing fiscal year 2006 
appropriations on December 22 with the passage of two final bills, one for 
the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and 
Related Agencies and one for Defense.  President Bush signed the bills 
on December 30.

The defense bill included a controversial provision for drilling in the 
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a 1% rescission for all 
appropriations bills and $29 billion in Hurricane Katrina relief. ANWR stalled 
the defense bill in the Senate as Senator Robert C. Byrd (WV) opposed 
the ANWR provision inserted by Senator Ted Stevens (AK) on a procedural 
rule, authored by Byrd, which does not allow extraneous provisions to 
be added to appropriations bills.  Both made strong appeals to their 
colleagues to support their position and in the end, the ANWR provision 
was deleted from the bill along with 3 other provisions that were deemed 
to violate the procedural rule. The ANWR provision also provided 
funding for energy and mineral school education grants, geologic data and 
mapping and about $6 billion in hurricane relief funds for Louisiana from 
future ANWR royalties.  All of these provisions were also dropped from 
the bill because their source of revenue was gone. 

After ANWR was dropped the Senate went into a prolonged quorum call 
when no legislative business could occur that lasted more than 8 hours.  
During this time, senators worked out compromises on the hurricane 
relief supplemental in the defense bill and concurrently compromises on the 
separate but highly controversial US Patriot Act reauthorization.

Eventually the Senate ended the quorum and completed legislation on the 
Patriot Act and the defense bill.  Hurricane Katrina relief remained 
intact at about $29 billion in the defense bill. Specific spending in the 
supplemental includes $2.9 billion to repair and upgrade levees;
$1.6 billion for hurricane-ravaged schools as well as schools that took 
in displaced students from the hurricanes; $11.5 billion in Community 
Block Grant spending; $2.75 billion to repair roads, bridges and other 
transportation infrastructure in the Gulf Coast; $350 million to NASA to 
repair space facilities; $135 million to repair damage in national 
parks, wildlife refuges and forests; $30 million to repair waterways or 
watersheds; $618 million to help farmers and ranchers affected by the 
hurricanes; and $441 million for Small Business Administration disaster 
loans.  The Senate then approved the defense bill by a vote of 93-0 and 
the House voted for passage a short time later.

2. Budget Deficit Bill Targets Student Loans 
Congress completed a budget reconciliation bill entitled the Budget 
Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 by a very close vote just before they left 
for the end of the year holidays and a long recess.  The bill (S. 1932) 
cut about $37.5 billion mostly from Medicaid, Medicare and student 
loans.  The Senate vote was so close that Vice President Dick Cheney had to 
shorten his Middle East travels and return to Congress to cast the 
deciding vote and break a 50-50 tie.

The bill cuts about $12.6 billion from the student loan program over 5 
years.  The spending cuts will be achieved by increasing the interest 
rate from 7.9% to 8.5%, restricting lenders from getting 9.5% interest 
on loans financed by tax-exempt bonds, require borrowers to pay a 1% fee 
to guarantors and some other accounting practices.  One positive note 
for students were increases to the loan limits, which will help students 
offset the rising costs of tuition.

Another ominous measure in the bill is a change in the $900 million for 
the Department of Education to administer the loan program from a 
mandatory spending item to a discretionary spending item.  Funds for the 
administration of the loan program must be appropriated each year by 
Congress and in any given year, Congress may choose to provide less funding 
or in the worst case scenario, no funding.

The bill does provide $3.75 billion to create a new grant program to 
support low-income students who pursue degrees in the science and 
technology fields.  The new Department of Education Science and Math Access to 
Retain Talent (SMART) Grants program, provides supplemental grants of 
$750 to $4000 to Pell-eligible college students who major in math, 
science, engineering, technology, and high-need foreign language areas.

3. AAAS Summarizes Science Research and Development Spending for 2006 
The American Association for the Advancement of Science tracks federal 
spending for science research and development every year and they have 
released a summary and detailed analysis of fiscal year 2006 funding, 
now that Congress has completed their appropriations.  Overall federal 
spending for R&D will total $134.8 billion in fiscal year 2006, a 1.7% 
increase compared to fiscal year 2005, though much of this increase is 
for defense R&D and space exploration.  Federal geoscience funding was 
mixed.  The U.S. Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation, the 
National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration, the Bureau of 
Land Management and the Smithsonian Institution received small increases 
in their overall budgets and a small fraction of these overall 
increases will fund geoscience R&D.  The Office of Fossil Energy in the 
Department of Energy received large reductions to their oil and gas R&D 
programs, though many were relieved that Congress did not end these prog
rams as requested in the President’s budget.  The National Park 
Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Minerals Management Service within 
the Department of the Interior also will have smaller budgets than they 
had in 2005.  While the National Institute of Standards and Technology 
(NIST) received a small increase to its overall budget, the National 
Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP), which is supposed to be 
directed by NIST, received no funding.  Finally the National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration (NASA) received a boost to its overall budget 
compared to 2005, however, because of many budgetary problems with the 
space station, the space shuttle and mission cost over runs; it remains 
unclear whether any of these increases will trickle down to geoscience R&D 
within NASA.

The AAAS summary and detailed analysis of R&D funding is available at:

A summary of geoscience appropriations is available from AGI at:

4. NASA Reauthorization Act Signed Into Law 
On December 30, President Bush signed the NASA reauthorization bill 
(H.R. 3070/S. 1281), which authorizes spending priorities for 2 years.  
The law authorizes $17.93 billion for NASA in fiscal year 2007 (FY07) and 
$18.68 billion in FY08.  It designates $6.17 billion for Science and 
Education, and $962 million for Aeronautics in FY07 and $6.76 billion for 
Science and Education, and $990 million for Aeronautics in FY08.
Although the law sets spending levels, Congress must still appropriate 
these amounts on an annual basis and could decide to appropriate 
different amounts.  The law also requires NASA to ensure uninterrupted 
spaceflight capabilities by accelerating the timetable in which the Crew 
Exploration Vehicle (CEV) will be ready to replace the space shuttle.  The 
CEV was originally scheduled to be ready for flight in 2014 and Michael 
Griffin the new NASA administrator promised to advance that schedule to 
readiness to 2012.  Congress however has requested the CEV be ready for 
flight in 2010 when the space shuttle is scheduled to be retired.  It 
remains uncertain whether NASA can meet congressional expectations for 
spaceflight capabilities and the President’s vision for moon-Mars 
exploration without a significant increase in funding above what is committed 
in the reauthorization act.  There is considerable concern that funding 
for science and aeronautics programs will be shifted to space 
exploration programs to meet expectations.

The full details of the bill are available at http://thomas.loc.gov by 
entering either H.R. 3070 or S. 1281 into the bill search option.

5. Congressional Visits Day Scheduled for March 28-29 
The 11th annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD) is scheduled for March 
28 and 29, 2006.  The CVD is a two-day annual event that brings 
scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, and technology executives to 
Washington to raise visibility and support for science, engineering, and 
technology.  CVD is an important opportunity to make science issues and 
science funding a priority for congress.  More information about CVD is 
available at http://www.aas.org/policy/cvd/. The site contains a 
downloadable packet of briefing materials updated to demonstrate the need for 
sustained federal investment in scientific research.  If you are 
interested in attending the CVD please contact the AGI Government Affairs 
Program at govt@agiweb.org so we can help coordinate your visit.

6. AGI Accepting Congressional Science Fellow Applications 
The American Geological Institute is accepting applications for the 
2006-2007 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship.  The 
successful candidate will spend 12 months (starting in September 2006) in 
Washington working as a staff member in the office of a member of 
Congress or a congressional committee.  The postmark deadline for 2006-2007 
fellowship applications is February 1, 2006.  Prospective applicants 
should have a broad geoscience background and excellent written and oral 
communications skills.  The fellowship carries an annual stipend of up 
to $49,000 plus allowances for health insurance, relocation, and travel. 
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and curriculum vitae 
with three letters of reference to:

William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship American 
Geological Institute 4220 King Street Alexandria VA 22302-1502

Several of AGI's Member Societies also sponsor Congressional Science 
Fellowships.  For further information, contact the American Geophysical 
Union, Geological Society of America or Soil Science Society of America.
AAAS also offers a number of fellowships for Congress and the executive 
branch.  It is acceptable to apply to more than one society.  Stipends, 
application procedures, eligibility, timetables, and deadlines vary.

For more information on the AGI fellowship and links to other 
fellowships visit: http://www.agiweb.org/gap/csf/index.html

7. NSF Requesting Your Comments on New Strategic Plan 
As reported in a December 20 Action Alert, the National Science 
Foundation (NSF) is requesting input from the science and engineering 
community on their new strategic plan for fiscal years 2006 through 2011.  The 
agency is specifically interested in comments regarding how the agency 
is meeting the current needs of the science and engineering 
communities.  Comments will be accepted until January 20, 2006 and can be 
submitted at http://www.nsf.gov/about/performance/input.cfm.

The complete text of the action alert is available at 

8. Congress Reviews the National Environmental Protection Act 
Congress is showing growing interest in revisiting and perhaps 
rewriting the nation’s most comprehensive environmental legislation, the 
National Environmental Protection Act.  The act was established in 1969 and 
most recently amended in 1982.  The House of Representatives’ Committee 
on Resources established two task forces (Task Force on Improving the 
National Environmental Policy Act and the Task Force on Updating the 
National Environmental Policy Act) to consider changes to NEPA.  On 
December 21, the two task forces released a joint report and the report is 
open for public comment until February 6.  All comments about the report 
must address specific recommendations and must be received in writing.

The 30-page report and instructions for submitting comments is 
available as a pdf document from the House Resources Committee web site at:

9. International Year of Planet Earth, 2008 
On December 22, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by 
consensus a Resolution by the United Republic of Tanzania and co-signed by 82 
nations, to proclaim 2008 as the United Nations Year of Planet Earth.  
The press release stated, "By a draft on the International Year of 
Planet Earth, 2008, which the Committee approved without a vote on 11 
November, the Assembly would declare 2008 the International Year of Planet 
Earth.  It would also designate the United Nations Educational, 
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to organize activities to be 
undertaken during the Year, in collaboration with UNEP and other relevant 
United Nations bodies, the International Union of Geological Sciences and 
other Earth sciences societies and groups throughout the world.  Also 
by that draft, the Assembly would encourage Member States, the United 
Nations system and other actors to use the Year to increase awareness of 
the importance of Earth sciences in achieving sustainable developm
ent and promoting local, national, regional and international action."

Geoscientists and geoscience societies are strongly encouraged to 
participate in the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE).

More information about IYPE is available at: http://www.esfs.org/

10. Energy Department Revises Energy Prices Forecasts 
On December 12, the Energy Information Administration of the Department 
of Energy revised their 20-year forecast on energy prices.  They 
concluded that oil prices will remain near about $45 per barrel and average 
about $54 per barrel in 2025 compared to earlier projections of prices 
dropping to $30 per barrel.  They also predicted lower prices for 
natural gas, falling from current highs of $14 per thousand cubic feet to 
less than $5 per thousand cubic feet as long-term demand, especially for 
electricity production wanes.

They also scaled back the expected growth of liquefied natural gas in 
the United States as worldwide demand increases, forecast that coal will 
remain the primary fuel for producing electricity until at least 2030 
and predicted United States energy demand will increase by 1.1% per year 
until 2030.

The full report is available at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/

11. Great Lakes Basin Water Compact
On December 13, the governors of the states of Illinois, Indiana, 
Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin and the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania signed an agreement on rules and regulations for drawing 
water from the Great Lakes watershed, the largest single source of fresh 
water in the world.  The Great Lakes account for 20% of the world’s 
fresh water and 90% of the United States’ fresh water.  The rules would 
limit Great Lake states, excluding Illinois, from withdrawing more than 
100,000 gallons per day and would not allow communities outside of the 
watershed (again excluding Illinois and thus Chicago, which reversed the 
flow of the Chicago river in 1900 and removed the city from the 
watershed) to draw any water without special permission from the compact.  The 
compact must now be approved by the 8 state legislatures and the United 
States Congress.  The current Great Lakes Compact was approved by the 
state legislatures and given consent by Congress through public la
w 90-419 in 1968.

For the full text of the current Great Lakes Compact, please see:

For the full text of the new, proposed compact agreement, please see:

12. Evolution Round-up - Dover Decision
On December 20, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III barred the Dover, 
PA school district from suggesting intelligent design as an alternative 
theory to evolution.  Judge Jones wrote a critical 139-page opinion in 
Kitzmiller et al. versus the Dover Area District et al. that includes a 
definition of science, a description of how scientists work and an 
explanation of the differences between intelligent design and science.  He 
wrote, “The overwhelming evidence is that Intelligent Design is a 
religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism and not a scientific 
theory.”  The breadth of Jones’ decision will make it very difficult for 
intelligent design proponents to win legal victories in any future cases.  
The Dover Area School District, which has 8 new members after the 
November 8 election removed proponents of intelligent design from the board 
said they do not plan to appeal this decision.  On January 4, the Dover 
school board rescinded the policy of presenting the intelligen
t design alternative to students.

Intelligent design proponents dismissed the Jones’ decision as 
inappropriate and biased.  Former Dover school board member, William 
Buckingham, responded to the Associated Press that “I’m still waiting for a judge 
or anyone to show me anywhere in the Constitution where there’s a 
separation of church and state.”  He added “We didn’t lose; we were robbed.”  
The Discovery Institute issued a press release stating that “The Dover 
decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread 
of a scientific theory and even prevent criticism of Darwinian 
evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate,…”  The 
Discovery Institute intends to continue its efforts to show that 
intelligent design is science even though it is not.

The full text of Judge Jones’ decision is available at:

See “The Constitutional Debate over Teaching Intelligent Design in 
Public Schools” by Anne Marie Lofaso, published in December 2005 by the 
American Constitution Society for a brief and useful discussion of the 
differences between science and intelligent design and a summary of legal 
issues.  http://www.acslaw.org/pdf/Intelligent_Design_White_Paper.pdf

13. Multihazard Mitigation Report
The Multihazard Mitigation Council of the National Institute for 
Building Sciences released their report on the cost of mitigation.  The study 
shows that money spent on mitigation saves lives, reduces risks and 
reduces economic losses.  On average for every $1 spent on mitigation, the 
United States will gain about $4 in future benefits.
FEMA grants to mitigate hazards from 1993 to 2003 are expected to save 
at least 220 lives and prevent about 4,700 injuries over the next 50 
years.  Societal benefits from FEMA grants over the same period yielded a 
discounted present value of $14 billion compared to the $3.5 billion 
employed in hazard mitigation programs.  The potential annual savings to 
the federal treasury is about $970 million compared to $265 million per 
year in costs for the grants.  The council recommends that the federal 
government invest in mitigation on an ongoing basis before and after 
disasters, increase knowledge and promote institutional commitments to 
mitigation at the local level and support a structured process for the 
assessment of buildings and infrastructure before and after disasters.

The full report is available at: www.nibs.org/MMC/mmchome.html

14. Record Breaking 2005 Hurricane Season Ends as Katrina Gets 
Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the Atlantic Ocean on December 30 and 
became the long-lasting storm in January as it drifted northwest before 
petering out on January 7.  This ended a record breaking year for the 
hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean.  Among the many records broken:
-27 named storms (previous record: 21 in 1933)
-14 hurricanes (previous record: 12 in 1969) -Four major hurricanes 
hitting the U.S. (previous record: three in 2004) 
-Three category 5 hurricanes (previous record: two in 1960 and 1961) 
-Seven tropical storms before August 1 (previous record: five in 1997) 
-Costliest Atlantic season ($107 billion+) (previous record 2004, $45 
-Costliest hurricane: Katrina ($80 billion+) (previous record Andrew, 
$26.5 billion - 1992 dollars)

In related news, on December 22, researchers downgraded Hurricane 
Katrina from a Category 4 storm to a Category 3 storm when it made landfall 
on the Gulf Coast.  The change was made after researchers analyzed data 
from hurricane hunter aircraft, including from dropsondes, devices 
dropped into the hurricane that measure wind speed, temperature, humidity 
and atmospheric pressure, stepped frequency microwave radiometers and 
radar images.  The maximum wind speeds were probably about 125 mph at 
landfall.  New Orleans, which is about 63 miles northwest of landfall, 
probably only experienced category 1 or 2 wind speeds.  Ground-based 
anemometers measured maximum wind speeds of only 95 mph at a NASA facility 
in eastern New Orleans.

15. Going Back to the Moon
Paul Spudis, a lunar scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied 
Physics Laboratory and a member of President Bush’s Commission on the 
Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy published an editorial in 
the Washington Post on December 27, 2005 on why the U.S. should go back 
to the moon.  He stated that lunar exploration was important for 
science, inspiration and resources.

The full text of Spudis’ editorial is available at:

16. Stardust Coming Back to Earth
NASA’s Stardust spacecraft is returning to Earth on January 15 with the 
first direct samples of a comet and interstellar space dust. Stardust 
was launched on February 7, 1999 and collected interstellar particles 
before its rendezvous with comet Wild 2 and collected cometary particles 
in January 2004.  Stardust will enter Earth’s orbit at an altitude of 
128 km and a velocity of about 12.8 km/s, it will drop for about 3 km in 
a free-fall mode and then deploy a parachute to reduce its velocity for 
a soft landing.  Stardust is targeted to land within a 30 km by 84 km 
error ellipse within the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range, 
southwest of Salt Lake City at about 5:12 am (Eastern Time).  The samples 
will be sent to NASA – Johnson Space Center for analysis by geochemists 
to improve our understanding of the solar system’s origins.

More information about the mission is available at:

17. Geoscience Teacher Training Grants from NSF 
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences has 
initiated a grant program called GEO-TEACH.  The program will support 
projects to improve the quality of geoscience instruction, primarily at 
middle to high school levels.  The deadline for submitting a letter of 
intent is February 15, 2006 and the deadline for proposals is April 17, 
2006.  More information about the program is available at

18. Education Teachers Can Spend a School Year in Washington DC 
The Einstein Fellowship program brings outstanding mathematics, 
science, and technology education teachers to Washington, DC to spend a school 
year working on Capitol Hill or in one of several participating Federal 
agencies.  The purpose of the program, as stated in the Albert Einstein 
Distinguished Educator Act of 1994, is to provide outstanding educators 
with an opportunity to serve in the public policy arena and to bring 
the expertise, unique insights, and know-how of classroom teachers to the 
Congress and appropriate branches of the Federal government.  
Application deadline has been extended until January 16, 2006.  For more 
information go to http://www.triangle-coalition.org/ein.htm

19. Government Affairs Program Welcomes New and Old Faces 
AGI’s Government Affairs Program welcomes Donald Juckett as the head of 
the AAPG Geoscience and Energy Office in Washington, DC (GEO-DC). He 
retired in 2003 from Department of Energy, where he served as director of 
the Office of Natural Gas and Petroleum Import and Export Activities in 
Washington, D.C.  Prior to joining DOE he worked for 14 years with 
Phillips Petroleum in various research and research management positions.  
The GEO-DC is housed at AGI’s Alexandria, VA, headquarters. 
An AAPG Explorer article on the new GEO-DC is available at 

Margaret Anne Baker, who formerly worked for AGI’s Government Affairs 
program before leaving to complete a master’s degree in geology at the 
University of Maryland, has returned.  The Government Affairs Program is 
delighted to have Margaret back and look forward to a great year. You 
can reach Margaret by email at mab@agiweb.org or by phone at 
703-379-2480, x212.

20. Federal Register
Below is a summary of Federal Register announcements regarding federal 
regulations, agency meetings, and other notices of interest to the 
geosciences 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/frcont05.html. Information on 
submitting comments and reading announcements are also available online 
at http://www.regulation.gov.

USDA/Forest Service: The Forest Service is seeking comments on a 
proposed change to directives related to activities that are categorized as 
having no significant impacts on the environment, meaning that these 
activities normally do not require further analysis in either an 
environmental impact assessment or an environmental impact statement.
The proposed amendment would add a new categorical exclusion to 
facilitate the implementation of limited oil and gas projects on leases on 
National Forest System lands that do not have significant effects on the 
human environment.  This exclusion will not apply where there are 
extraordinary circumstances, such as adverse effects on threatened and 
endangered species or their designated critical habitat, wilderness areas, 
inventoried roadless areas, wetlands, and archeological or historic 
sites.  Comments must be received in writing by February 13, 2006. 
Additional information about this proposed change and about submitting comments 
are available from the Federal Register: December 13, 2005 (Volume 70, 
Number 238).

FAA: The Federal Aviation Administration published a 123-page proposal 
to regulate the budding commercial spaceflight industry.  The 
rulemaking would establish requirements for crew training and qualification as 
well as establish requirements for space flight participants.  Comments 
will be accepted until February 27, 2006.  Additional information on 
the proposed regulations is available at http://dms.dot.gov [Federal 
Register: December 29, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 249)].

MMS: The Minerals Management Service is seeking comments on the 
development of a regulatory program to implement portions of the Energy Policy 
Act of 2005 regarding energy development from sources other than oil 
and gas and alternate uses of existing facilities on the outer 
continental shelf.  Comments will be accepted until February 28, 2006.  [Federal 
Register: December 30, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 250)].

21. New Updates on the Web Site
Action Alert: NSF Requests Your Input (12-20-05) Hearings on Energy 
Policy (12-20-05) Hearings on Water Resources (12-20-05) Political 
Challenges to the Teaching of Evolution (12-14-05) Hurricane Katrina, Response 
and Recovery (12-12-05) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (12-12-05) 
Energy Policy Overview (12-12-05) Public Access to Federally-funded 
Scientific Research (12-5-05) Hearings on Hurricane Katrina (12-8-05)

Monthly Review prepared by Margaret Anne Baker and Linda Rowan, 
Government Affairs staff

Sources: Federal Register, Thomas, CNN, Washington Post, The Associated 
Press, and AAAS



*** Come to Capitol Hill for Congressional Visits Day on March 28-29, 
2006 ***

The beginning of February marks the start of another budget cycle for 
the Federal government, and what better time to come to Capitol Hill and 
meet with your members of Congress.  Federal geoscience agencies are 
again feeling the pressure of a shrinking federal research budget.  More 
than ever, the geoscience community needs to make a strong case to 
Congress about the value of these programs. 

A great opportunity to make your voice heard is to come to Washington 
on March 28-29 for the 11th Annual Science-Engineering-Technology 
Congressional Visits Day (CVD).  Each spring, CVD brings more than 200 
scientists and engineers to Capitol Hill to visit members of Congress and 
their staff right at the start of the congressional budget cycle. It will 
consist of an opening day of briefings by key administration and 
congressional leaders (including a morning pre-briefing at AGU for geoscience 
participants) followed by a day of constituent visits with senators, 
representatives, and their staff.  We can help arrange your visits, 
either as an individual or as a group and we can provide you with 
information about government processes or updates on legislation being considered 
in the spring.

Participants in CVD are asked to carry forward a core message that 
federally funded research is the Nation's foundation for the future.  In 
addition, participants can advance their own messages about programs that 
they see as valuable examples of the federal science and technology 
enterprise emphasizing, for example, the value of the geosciences to the 
economy and national security.

It is vital for geoscientists to be represented in science-community 
efforts if our discipline is to be a distinctly recognizable and valued 
element of the congressional view of "science."  For anyone interested 
in science policy, this is an opportunity to meet your elected officials 
and experience Capitol Hill at the height of political activity. If you 
have participated in CVD previously, this is a chance to continue 
building a relationship with your members of Congress and their staff. 
If not, there is no better time than now to sit down and talk about 
funding priorities that are important to you and the larger science, 
engineering and technology community.  We especially encourage the 
leadership of AGI's Member Societies to attend.

More information about CVD and the core message is available on the CVD 
website at http://www.setcvd.org.  As March 28th and 29th approach, the 
site will add more information, including a downloadable packet of 
briefing materials to update you on the need for sustained federal 
investment in science research, help orchestrate your visit and familiarize you 
with the legislative process.  In addition, AGI has a number of 
articles and updates on its Government Affairs website 
(http://www.agiweb.org/gap) that can provide background and context for 
some of the issues you may want to discuss.

If you would like to participate or have any questions or would like 
our assistance in setting up a visit, call Margaret Anne Baker in AGI's 
Government Affairs Program at (703) 379-2480 x. 212 or e-mail at 

CVD is organized by the Science-Engineering-Technology Work Group (of 
which AGI is a member).

Alert prepared by Margaret Anne Baker, Government Affairs Associate

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI 
Government Affairs Program, govt@agiweb.org



Rice University
Faculty Position - Department of Earth Science

The Rice Earth Science Department is expanding in faculty, staff, and 
facilities.  We are particularly interested in hiring in the areas of 
petrology, geochemistry, rheology, and planetology.

The successful candidate is expected to establish a process-oriented 
research program, supervise graduate research, and teach courses for both 
undergraduate and graduate students. Field and/or remote sensing based 
research with a strong quantitative component is desirable.

Although we anticipate hiring at the assistant professor level, 
unusually well qualified senior applicants will be considered.  Applications 
received by March 1, 2006, are assured of receiving fullest attention.

Please send a resume and names of five or more references to:
Search Committee Chair
Earth Science Department, MS-126
Rice University, PO Box 1892, Houston, TX   77251-1892.

Information about the department can be found at 
Rice is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer.

* * * * * * * * * *
Rice University
Faculty Position - Department of Earth Science

The Rice Earth Science Department is expanding in faculty, staff, and 
facilities.  We seek an outstanding scientist in energy-related 
research, broadly defined.  The successful candidate will be expected to 
develop and fund a graduate research program which will be of significance to 
industry, and to teach at the undergraduate and graduate level.  
Candidates at all ranks will be considered.  Distinguished mid-career or 
senior scientists will be considered for the Wiess Chair.  Applications 
received by April 10, 2006, are assured of receiving full consideration.

Please send a CV and statements of research and teaching interests to:
Energy Search Committee
Earth Science Department, MS-126
Rice University, PO Box 1892, Houston, TX   77251-1892.

Information about the department can be found at 
Rice is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer.

* * * * * * * * * *
Vassar College
One-year sabbatical replacement position - Department of Geology and 

The Department of Geology and Geography at Vassar College invites 
applications for a one year sabbatical replacement position, renewable for 
up to 3 years.  The position will begin August 2006 and will be at the 
rank of visiting assistant professor. Vassar College is an equal 
opportunity/affirmative action employer and is strongly and actively committed 
to diversity within its community.

Candidates should have completed or be nearing completion of a Ph.D. in 
geology or Earth science at the time of appointment.  The successful 
candidate will teach physical geology and historical geology at the 
introductory level, and an advanced level course in his or her specialty.  
In addition, she or he will be expected to advise undergraduate research 

Vassar College is a private liberal-arts college in New York's Hudson 
River valley.  The Geology and Geography department presently consists 
of 4 geologists with specialties in geophysics, sedimentology, and 
Quaternary Geology, and 4 geographers with specialties in cultural, urban, 
and physical geography.  The geology program emphasizes surficial 
processes and is active in the environmental studies programs. The program 
has ~20 students and graduates 6-8 students per year.

Instrumentation in the department includes XRD, laser-particle size 
analyzer, coulometer, fully equipped sedimentology, paleoclimatology, and 
clay mineralogy laboratories, GIS computer lab, various geophysical 
instruments, and a meteorological station.  In addition, the department 
shares an ICPAES with the Department of Chemistry.  Vassar College also 
owns a 500-acre ecological preserve with a laboratory field station.

Send a letter of application that includes a description of teaching 
experience as well as a description of the proposed advanced level 
course.  Please also include a curriculum vita the names and addresses of at 
least 3 references.  Address these materials to:  Department Chair, 
Department of Geology and Geography, Box 735, Vassar College, 
Poughkeepsie, NY  12604.  geo@vassar.edu.

Review of applications will begin March 15, 2006.


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