Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will be presented with the annual USGS Coalition Leadership Award at a congressional reception on Monday, 14 September 2009. They will be honored for their continuing support for the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Senator Feinstein is the Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment and Senator Murkowski is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Additionally, the USGS Coalition reception will highlight the research, information sharing, and services provided by the USGS.

Dr. Robert Gropp, co-chair of the USGS Coalition and director of public policy at the American Institute of Biological Sciences said, “Data and products derived from USGS research benefit everyone. The work conducted and supported by the USGS informs drinking-water studies, biological and geological resource assessments, natural hazards monitoring, and other activities. The USGS is more essential than ever before to our national efforts as we try to conserve a growing list of threatened species, develop sustainable and cleaner energy sources, ensure that all Americans have access to clean water, and understand how our rapidly changing environment will impact our way of life.”

“Senators Murkowski and Feinstein are keenly aware of recent volcanic eruptions in Alaska and ongoing wildfires in California,” said Dr. Craig Schiffries, co-chair of the USGS Coalition and director for geoscience policy at the Geological Society of America. “The USGS provided advanced warning of explosive volcanism at Alaska’s Mt. Redoubt and it is working with other agencies to provide maps of California wildfire locations and the potential spread of fires. The USGS helps prevent natural hazards from becoming natural disasters. It plays a pivotal role in reducing risks from volcanic eruptions, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, and other natural hazards that jeopardize human lives and cost billions of dollars in damages every year.”

USGS scientists and their collaborative partners will be on hand at the reception to discuss the vital work the USGS conducts in the biological, geographical, geological, and hydrological sciences. The reception will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 PM in the Gold Room (Room 2168) of the Rayburn House Office Building.

For more information about the USGS Coalition, please go to


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