Week 2: Oceanshots and Bill Tracker

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Tuesday, June 15, 2021


Julia Bauer

I hit a milestone this week. On Monday, I began what I believe is the third-to-last of the “new” FYI summer assignments. My mentor has given me the opportunity to complete work on four of FYI’s branches: This Week, bill tracker, budget tracker, and bulletins. While I have become more accustomed to performing certain tasks, the variety within science policy writing and the different styles that accompany each piece have provided a continual (and very enjoyable) challenge.

I began the week by attending the House Science Committee’s Oceanshot hearing and later began my first full-length bulletin on the subject. Chairwoman Sherrill (D-NJ) remarked at the beginning of the meeting that we know more about the moon and Mars than the ocean. Oceanshot is similar to the better known “moonshot” in that it proposes a thorough mapping of the world ocean. The proposal includes a suggested investment of three billion dollars—roughly the cost of a mission to Mars—and is timely given the United Nation Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’s launch in 2021. My first bulletin will cover the ninety-minute committee meeting in roughly 1,200 words, which is my longest piece of writing to date at FYI.

My week continued with work on FYI’s bill tracker. I read seven bills in their entirety and summarized them in bullet point format for easier consumption. The content of the bills included critical mineral mining and protection, quantum information science promotion, and other efforts to continue U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing. I expect that I will have the opportunity to contribute to another set of bill summaries next week.

Until then,

Julia Bauer