Federal Advocacy and Legal Guidance for Geographers

Type: Virtual Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 29
Organizers: Michelle Kinzer
Chairs: Michelle Kinzer


As a scientist it can be difficult to stay engaged in the democratic process while also navigating the legal constraints of federal research funding. While it's important to share your expertise with policymakers, it's equally crucial to understand your rights and limitations, including the difference between public work and private activity.

This panel will arm you with the tools and information needed to reach out to your elected officials as well as defend yourself against some common legal hurdles in the world of science and research. You will learn tips on communicating with members of Congress and their staff, translating your work into the most impactful terms for policymakers, anticipating and protecting yourself from the aggressive use of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, participating in federal Notice and Comment periods, and more.

We'll start with Esri's Public Policy Manager, John Wertman, providing an overview of the change in political landscape since the fall 2020 elections and what these differences mean for science policy going forward. Next, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund's Augusta Wilson will offer a presentation on how to navigate common legal questions as a federally funded scientist. Finally, AAG Government Relations Manager, Michelle Kinzer, will touch on our organization's revamped public policy and advocacy initiative, including our policy priorities for the coming year.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Panelist John Wertman Esri 35 11:10 AM
Panelist Augusta Wilson Climate Science Legal Defense Fund 35 11:45 AM

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