CW3E Graduate Student Attends the American Meteorological Society Summer Policy Colloquium

June 12, 2018

Colloquium participants visiting the Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: AMS)

CW3E graduate student Tashiana Osborne was selected to attend the June 2018 American Meteorological Society (AMS) Summer Policy Colloquium, and was awarded full support by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a nationwide competition.

During the 10-day AMS Summer Policy Colloquium in Washington, D.C., Tashiana learned from numerous perspectives on how science can inform policy (science-informed policy), and also how policy governs the science we do (policy for science). The colloquium attendees visited the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, hearing from senators and House representatives, scientists who transitioned into policy, U.S. intelligence agents (addressing global and national water security), congressional science analysts and staffers, U.S. negotiators, science advocates, registered lobbyists, leaders in private and public sector organizations (focusing on technology, research, development, and implementation), and others.

For one multi-day exercise, small groups were each assigned to act as if representing a particular U.S. senator. Tashiana’s group reviewed a recent carbon tax bill (which, in reality, did not pass into law), negotiated with other “senators”, and eventually proposed amendments to the bill before voting on it. The goal was to take on the views of the assigned senator while considering the unique needs and wants of the constituents they represent. This exercise and others highlighted some of the intricacies and nuances, potential motives, and varying priorities involved in politics. The program also showcased where and how well-communicated scientific information might come into play when it comes to decision-making.

The Summer Policy Colloquium leader, Dr. William (Bill) Hooke, blogged about this year’s program (now in its 18th year!):