Gov Relations

Washington Update Archive

UCAR Washington Update is a service of UCAR Government Relations to keep the atmospheric and Earth system science community informed about federal budget and policy news affecting science. To get the Update delivered to your email inbox, sign up at right.

Voters mark their choices at voting booths
Expected changes in Congressional leadership, political balance, and positions of key science and appropriations committees could affect how the atmospheric sciences are funded, authorized, and otherwise viewed at the federal level.
U.S. Capitol Building, east side steps and dome
Thirty-seven U.S. geoscientists engaged in over 100 meetings with members of Congress and their staff across Capitol Hill, sharing a message about the value of strong and sustained federal funding for the geosciences.
The short-term continuing resolution prevents a government shutdown, while putting off major funding decisions for FY15 and maintaining FY14 funding levels for discretionary spending, including for the federal science agencies.
Extending subseasonal outlooks: Photo of flood waters surrounding traffic sign, Davenport, Iowa
During a speech to the United Nations, the President made several commitments for new directions and investments in weather and climate prediction at the federal science agencies, including a new focus at NOAA on subseasonal outlooks for extreme weather.
Stephen Volz will be the next Asst Admin of NESDIS
Stephen Volz will be the next Assistant Administrator of NESDIS, the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service.
First-ever National Plan for Civil Earth Observation: Satellite view of Hurricane Katrina
The Plan is an overarching federal approach to prioritizing and coordinating the nation's federally funded surface, atmospheric, and satellite Earth observation missions.
FY16 budget priorities: Solar panels at sunset
The OMB and Office of Science & Technology Policy have released a memorandum unveiling the Administration’s science and technology priorities for the Fiscal Year 2016 federal budget. New this year: Earth observation data.
Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown
Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown has been nominated to be the next Assistant Secretary for Observations and Prediction at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The position serves as NOAA's second-in-command on weather and satellite matters.
National Science Foundation headquarters
Paul Shepson will be the new Director of AGS. Patrick Harr is coming on board as AGS Section Head for Atmosphere.
Cora Marrett
Cora Marrett will leave her position as Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation, effective August 24. Richard Buckius will serve as acting Chief Operations Officer of NSF following Marrett's departure.
Researcher explains instrumentation to student during RICO field project in Barbuda
Members of the scientific community have expressed concern with some of the directives in the bill, including shifting decisions on NSF Directorate budget allocations from Foundation management to Congress.
Capitol Dome
The bill, which includes funding for the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, contains $51.2 billion in total discretionary funding, a reduction of $398 million below the FY 2014 enacted level.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski opens Senate Appropriations hearing on Driving Innovation through Federal Investments
The April 29 hearing on Driving Innovation through Federal Investments drew a lot of attention. Well over 100 institutions, including businesses, federal labs, universities, and scientific associations, provided written testimony.
Portion of FY 2015 budget request graph for NSF Geosciences
The Obama Administration released its FY 2015 budget request on March 4, including plans and proposals for the federal science agencies that fund the atmospheric sciences. We break down the numbers.
Rainbow in western Colorado
Last week the House passed by voice vote HR 2413, the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act, introduced by Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) last summer and approved by the House Science Committee last fall.
Kristin Mooney and Melissa Burt at NSF GEO workshop, UCAR, March 2014
On March 13, the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology favorably reported HR 4186, the FIRST Act (Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology).
Mike Chapman and Wendy Abshire on Capitol Hill, March 2014
Scientists from the private sector, universities, and Federal labs needed roller skates to navigate the hallways of Congress last month during the 14th annual Science, Engineering, and Technology Congressional Visits Day.
NSF building facade
The Senate voted on March 12 to confirm astrophysicist France Córdova as head of the National Science Foundation. She comes to NSF after leading Purdue University as its president.
Gene Takle (Iowa State University)
Several researchers participated in the day, which features nonpartisan visits with Members of Congress and their staffs to discuss the latest climate science information.
Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator
The oceanographer, whose résumé includes astronaut and former NOAA chief scientist, has been confirmed by the Senate as the new Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Omnibus funding passes: Photo of western sky after a storm has passed
The spending bill follows passage in mid-December of a budget agreement that provides the federal agencies with partial relief from sequestration for two years. We break down the numbers and highlight language of interest to the atmospheric and Earth system science community.
White House Climate Action Plan: Image of Community Climate System Model simulation
Released last June, the plan has three prongs: to cut carbon pollution in the U.S., to prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change, and to lead international efforts to combat global climate change and prepare for its impacts.
Forecasters: photo courtesy NWS
The Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard hosted a hearing on December 12 to conduct oversight of the National Weather Service and assess past and ongoing efforts to improve the timeliness, accuracy, and accessibility of weather forecasting and prediction services.
NSF/NCAR C-130 aircraft before takeoff
The National Science Foundation has posted public notice of a third leadership opportunity: Section Head of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Facilities Section, which oversees planning, management, and funding of NCAR and reports to the Division Director of AGS.
Submerged building and street, Midwest flood of 1993
The day after much of Washington was closed due to snow and ice, the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing titled “A Factual Look at the Relationship between Climate and Weather.”
Seal of the U.S. House of Representatives
Update: On December 18, by a vote of 64 to 36, the Senate gave final approval to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and sent the bill to the President for his signature.
Washington Update: 48-hr forecast map of the U.S., NCEP/HPC
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee has approved two bills with bipartisan support: the Committee Manager’s amendment to the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013 and the National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act of 2013.
Landsat data: Global forest cover gain and loss since 2000
The agencies are being encouraged to foster government-industry-research projects, and to be prepared for additional rounds of spending cuts in FY 2015.
NSF/NCAR C-130 aircraft at TOPSE Field Project
House and Senate committees have taken steps toward a third reauthorization of the Act. Both the House and Senate have held hearings on reauthorization in the last month, and the majority and minority on the House Science Committee have released alternative draft proposals.
Photo of facade of NSF headquarters
This term-limited position oversees all grant and cooperative agreement proposals and programs in the atmospheric sciences, including management of NCAR.
People costs: chart showing impacts of weather, climate, on lives, livelihoods
To keep the federal government open, Congress will need to agree to appropriate additional discretionary funds by that date.
Antarctic researchers with PistenBully and submersible research vehicles
The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2014 became law on October 17, ending a 16-day partial government shutdown and reopening the federal government, including the science agencies.
U S House of Representatives
The question of whether the new fiscal year starts with a continuing resolution to keep the federal agencies open or the federal government shuts most operations down due to lack of funding is again front and center in Washington.
Washington Update: Aerial view of the White House
The President's FY14 budget request, released in a constrained fiscal environment, includes a mixture of proposed funding increases and decreases for the atmospheric sciences community.
Washington Update: U.S. currency
The passage and signing of a resolution to fund the federal government through the end of FY 2013 has impacts on the research, operations, and education activities supported by NSF and NOAA.
Washington Update: UCAR President Thomas Bogdan
Leaders from the National Science Foundation, UCAR, and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies in support of the FY2014 NOAA, NASA, and NSF budgets.
Hurricane Sandy: street of severely damaged houses at Breezy Point, NY
The presidents of UCAR and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership sent a joint letter to congressional leaders today, highlighting the role of observing systems in forecasting destructive storms.
NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center
The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, being hailed as the world's most powerful weather and climate prediction machine, brings new capability to the nation to advance a broad range of geoscience research with potential benefits to society.
Lamar Smith
Texas Republican Lamar Smith has been selected to chair the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee in the 113th Congress.

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