Nearly halfway through the fiscal year, Congress has passed six spending bills for the remainder of FY24 that include budget cuts for key federal science research agencies. These cuts are harmful to the advancement of science and the protection of people and the environment. AGU strongly advocates for policymakers to prioritize science as they wrestle with the remainder of the government’s funding this fiscal year and as they shift their sights to fiscal year 2025. 

As a result of the spending deal, NASA’s overall budget shrunk by 2% compared to last fiscal year, with the bulk of the cuts coming from within the Science Mission Directorate, which saw a 6% cut compared to the previous year. And persistent inflation has weakened NASA’s purchasing power even more over the past few years, placing strain on existing science projects and missions. 

NOAA’s climate and weather research has been dealt a flat budget, but cuts have been made to several ocean-focused initiatives, including the National Sea Grant College Program, which partners with universities to support strong and sustainable economies in our coastal communities; and the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, which facilitates ocean science research and education with academia and the private sector. 

The EPA is staring down a 10% funding reduction, with the hammer falling primarily on the Superfund program, which is responsible for cleaning up the most contaminated lands in the country, and their Science and Technology account, which saw its budget slashed by 6%. 

Other science research agencies are also taking a hit. The National Science Foundation — the nation’s premier funder of basic science — is down by 5%, while the USGS faces a nearly 3% cut compared to 2023. 

While the budget shortfall for these programs is a setback for science, deliberations for fiscal year 2025 are just getting underway. I am heartened by the actions of scientists who, through our Local Science Partners program, took to Capitol Hill on Wednesday and urged lawmakers to prioritize science funding in the upcoming fiscal year. AGU’s Local Science Partners program empowers scientists to build lasting relationships with their federal legislators to communicate the value of science in their local communities and states.  

If you’re interested in advocating for science or simply want to learn more, I encourage you to explore AGU’s science policy opportunities. Our Science Policy and Government Relations team helps scientists learn how science policy works from the ground up, and the relationships forged with fellow scientists can last a lifetime. 

To take immediate action, please consider participating in AGU’s direct email-to-action campaign urging lawmakers to prioritize science funding in fiscal year 2025. Together, we hold the power to enact meaningful change. 

AGU reaffirms its position that robust government investment in Earth and space science is essential for a resilient, sustainable society, and we continue to stand in solidarity with the geosciences community. 

 

Sincerely,  

Lisa J. Graumlich, Ph.D. 
2023-2024 AGU President   











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