Issue 50, August 8, 2013

Table of Contents


1. New SPA Advocacy Committee




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      *    *    *         AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION        .

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    *  *********  *         SPA SECTION NEWSLETTER    .    .. 

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*  *  ***********  *  *       Volume XX, Issue 50    .      o       .       

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    *  *********  *              July 25, 2013      .    .. 

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      *    *    *              Editor: Peter Chi            .

    *      *      *    Editorial Coordinator: Sharon Uy       . . . . . . .

           * 		    Email: editor at        

                  SPA Web Site:



1. New SPA Advocacy Committee


From: James Klimchuk <James.A.Klimchuk at>

As I am sure you are aware, our discipline is being threatened.  Budgets 

have sharply declined, and further cuts are being considered.  To reverse 

this dangerous trend, it is imperative that we speak up as a unified 

community.  Strong advocacy has worked effectively for other disciplines, 

but we are perceived as being complacent.  The squeaky wheel gets the 

grease!  I have therefore created a new SPA Advocacy Committee.  Its charge 

(see below) is to lead the effort to remind the various stakeholders of the 

importance of our science and its value to the nation.  The members of the 

Committee are Len Fisk (Chair), Dan Baker, Gordon Emslie, Maura Hagan, and 

Harlan Spence.  You may notice a lack of junior and mid-career scientists.  

I feel this is warranted for this initial committee due to the extreme 

urgency of the situation.  These first members are all highly experienced 

leaders in this arena who can act quickly and decisively.  However, we need 

everyone's help.  If there are letter-writing campaigns, please participate.  

Congressional staffers consistently tell us that this works.  The Committee 

may choose to create task forces.  If asked to serve, please do.  Or 

consider volunteering even before you are contacted.  We are all in this 

together.  If we act as a cohesive Heliophysics community, we can make 

positive things happen!  Thanks.


                          SPA Advocacy Committee



The American Geophysical Union Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) Advocacy 

Committee is established on July 24, 2013.  The charge of the Committee is 

to promote support for the field of Space Physics and Aeronomy, especially 

by the funding agencies and by the government in general.  This will be done 

by all appropriate means, including letter writing campaigns, personal 

visits, newspaper editorials, and position statements.  Audiences include 

Congress, the leadership of the funding agencies (especially NASA and NSF), 

the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Science and 

Technology Policy.  The Committee will monitor and evaluate the political 

environment, develop advocacy strategies, and implement those strategies.  

The Committee is free to pursue its objectives as it sees fit, including the 

option of recruiting members of the SPA community to serve on task forces.  

Each task force would be led by a Committee member, with the entire 

Committee providing oversight.  The task forces should be representative of 

the community and include junior and mid-career scientists.  The Committee 

will keep the elected SPA Officers apprised of its activities.  Any 

especially significant or highly visible statements made on behalf of the 

SPA must be approved by the Officers. 


The Committee will consist of five members, including the Chair.  The term 

of office is two years, commensurate with the terms of the SPA Officers.  It 

is preferable that some members be reappointed for a second term to maintain 

continuity.  Each of the four science sub-disciplines of the SPA will be 

represented:  ionospheric (ITM), magnetospheric, heliospheric, and solar 



Note:  I submit this article as President of the SPA and not as a federal 



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