© 2014 Association of Ecosystem Research Centers

AERC: Association of Ecosystem Research Centers 2012 Meeting

2013 Events

AERC-Sponsored Congressional Briefing on The Role of Ecosystem Science in Food Security

This year’s one-hour congressional briefing was attended by a total of 51 people from a variety of governmental, non-governmental, academic, and professional organizations. Staff members from 15 congressional offices participated, 10 House and 5 Senate, with two additional interns from the Senate Agriculture Committee, two members of USAID, and a representative of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Also participating were one to three members from professional societies (AAAS; Agronomy, Crop and Soil Society; AIBS; Chinese Academy of Sciences). Graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members from 10 universities and research institutes from across the U.S., and one from Canada, rounded out the briefing audience, with most of these coming from AERC member institutions. After the three briefing presentations, the speakers responded to numerous excellent questions. Many in the audience stayed after the formal Q & A to talk with these experts on ecosystem science and food security.

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Association of Ecosystem Research Centers' President, Dr. Jay Arnone, summarizes the mission of the organization and introduces the three distinguished briefing speakers. A total of 51 attended the briefing. Staffers from 15 congressional offices (10 House and 5 Senate), representatives of 3 federal agencies, 4 consulting firms, and graduate students, postdocs, or faculty members from 12 AERC member and non-member organizations, along with staff from the American Institute of Biological Sciences Public Policy Office, took part in the event to learn about the Role of Ecosystem Science in Food Security. Dr. William Easterling, Professor of Geography and Dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State University, speaking to House and Senate staffers, and other interested attendees, in the U.S. House of Representative Rayburn Office Building on October 24, 2013 on how ecosystem science helps address challenges of U.S. and global food security in the face of climate change, Post-presentation question and answer period with the three invited distinguished speakers (l to r): Drs. William Easterling (Penn State University), Elena Bennett (McGill University), and Dorceta Taylor (University of Michigan), and moderator, AERC President Dr. Jay Arnone (Desert Research Institute, far left).

Briefing Speakers

Dr. William Easterling, Professor and Dean, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Geography

Title: Can the World's Farmers Feed 10 Billion People While the Climate Changes?

Elena Bennett

Dr. Elena Bennett, Associate Professor, McGill University, Department of Natural Resource Sciences

Title: The Role of Ecosystem Science in Managing Food Security

Dorceta Taylor

Dr. Dorceta Taylor, Professor, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and the Environment (AERC member institution)

Title: Food Insecurity, Health, and Public Policy

Congressional briefing feedback from survey (Was the policy briefing helpful? - 100% said "yes")

“It was good to see how prominent scientists present ecosystem research for a general audience.”

“Good to see the level of staffer attendance.”

“I thought it was insightful to see what staffers actually took notes on.”

“It was helpful to hear what questions the staffers asked because it helped me figure out what types of information intrigued them.”

“I felt like we were making a direct impact on policy.”

“It was very helpful to see how policy briefings are done.”

“I do believe I used a few insights I gained at the briefing later in my Congressional visits.”

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