AGU Position Statement Committee

The Position Statement Committee administers the Union’s portfolio of position statement, short statements that present the Union’s policy positions on various topics from state of the science to issues of international and national science policy relevance. The committee determines if expiring statements should be renewed/rewritten, responds to requests to revise/edit current statements, and considers proposals to create new position statements.  Members serve as spokespeople and support communication and outreach for the program.

Chair
Jana Davis, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Annapolis, Maryland

Members
James Evans, Bowling Green State University
Rebecca French, Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation
Miriam Kastner, Scripps
Kevin Reed, Stony Brook University
Randy Richardson, University of Arizona
Margaret Spring, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Staff Liaison
Lexi Shultz, Vice President
Elizabeth Landau, Assistant Director, Public Affairs

Charge

The committee will manage the AGU position statement portfolio. In addition to review of proposed, expiring, current, and draft statements, discussions will include developing detailed guidelines for position statement panels, updating the statement review/creation process to reflect the current environment and needs, and developing and implementing ideas for educating members about position statements.

Key Initiatives

  • Review the position statement adoption process and make changes as necessary to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency.
  • Review any position statements expiring in this year.
  • Review any proposals for new position statements as well as any requested edits to existing position statements.
  • Nominate AGU members for position statement panels.

Annual Calendar

The committee meets by phone quarterly. The committee may communicate by email or phone more frequently, as needed.

Position Statement Committee Work Flow and Schedule

The Committee shall meet quarterly, six weeks in advance of AGU Council meetings.  Tasks to be accomplished at each quarterly meeting are as follows:

Late January meeting (in advance of March Council meeting):

  • Major Task: Expiring statements: Review all statements set to expire in the upcoming calendar year to determine whether they should be allowed to expire, renewed as is, renewed with minor modification, or renewed with major modification. For those in the last two categories, PSTF members should be prepared to suggest experts (minor modifications) or panel members (major modifications).  Votes are to be taken on decisions pertaining to all statements set to expire.
  • Ongoing Tasks as Needed:
  1. New statements in process: Review final product of any panels working on new position statements completed since the previous PSTF meeting.  Vote to approve and send to Council and Board.
  2. Existing statements – minor modification requests: Review any requests for minor modifications to existing position statements and review any final minor modifications to statements.

Late April meeting (in advance of June Council meeting):

  • Major Task: Expiring statements: Review the work of the panels working on the position statements that experiencing major or minor modification.
  • Ongoing Tasks as Needed::
  1. New statements in process: Review final product of any panels working on new position statements completed since the previous PSTF meeting.  Vote to approve and send to Council.
  2. Existing statements – minor modification requests: Review any requests for minor modifications to existing position statements and review any final minor modifications to statements.

July meeting (in advance of September Council meeting):

  • Major Tasks:
    1. Full portfolio exercise: Evaluate full portfolio of position statements. Identify any gaps in the context of current science policy climate, and consider new proposals to fill those gaps.
    2. New statement proposals: Review any new proposals that have been submitted since the previous PSTF meeting. Votes to approve, approve with contingency/edits, or decline new proposals shall be taken.
  • Ongoing Tasks as Needed:
  1. New statements in process: Review final product of any panels working on new position statements completed since the previous PSTF meeting.  Vote to approve and send to Council.
  2. Existing statements – minor modification requests: Review any requests for minor modifications to existing position statements and review any final minor modifications to statements.

September meeting (in advance of December Council meeting):

  • Major Task: Expiring statements: Evaluate final statements from all panels constituted after the January PSTF meeting to revise expiring statements.  Vote to send final statements to Council and Board for approval.
  • Ongoing Tasks as Needed:
  1. New statements in process: Review final product of any panels working on new position statements completed since the previous PSTF meeting.  Vote to approve and send to Council.
  2. Existing statements – minor modification requests: Review any requests for minor modifications to existing position statements and review any final minor modifications to statements.

Annual Process for Existing Statements Set to Expire:

January: Position Statement Committee  identifies statements for expiration (recommendation goes to March Council meeting), reaffirmation (recommendation goes to March Council meeting), minor modification (expert reviewers established by April PSTF meeting), and major modification.

For statements undergoing major modification:
February-March: Panels created by team of AGU staff, one PSTF member, and Council
April-June:  Work period for panels
July-early August:  30-day Comment period (in Eos and other outlets)
Mid-August-September:  Panel incorporates comments
October: Committee  vote
December: Council/Board action

For statements undergoing minor modification:
February-March: Panels created by team of AGU staff and PSTF member recommendations
April-June:  Work period for expert reviewers
July: Committee  reviews expert recommendation and votes

Questions about this committee can be directed to Elizabeth Landau (elandau@agu.org).