Policy & Decision-Making

NCSE has a longstanding history and commitment to working with all levels of government and is particularly dedicated to a nonpartisan approach to support environmental policymaking. By virtue of its mission, NCSE will pursue all opportunities to inform policy- and decision-making through science and pair opportunities between institutes of higher education and federal, state, and local government. 

Science Policy

The NCSE policy work is motivated by the belief that environmental decisions will be more robust if science is effectively connected to the decision-making process and scientists are engaged participants. We are committed to working with all levels of government and are particularly dedicated to a nonpartisan approach to support environmental decision-making.

The NCSE policy- and decision-making program works to:

  • Facilitate and catalyze science-policy dialogue through webinars, convenings, roundtables, and briefings.

  • Connect NCSE Members with opportunities to engage with, influence, and collaborate with local, state, and federal decision-makers.

  • Provide opportunities for NCSE Members to develop specific skills for science-policy communication and engagement.

  • Keep NCSE Members informed on policy context relevant for environmental science through our electronic publication, NCSE Pathways.

Government Policy Engagement

NCSE is accelerating its work with government to leverage leadership, research, economic development opportunities (that include workforce training), and sustainable development. Specifically, NCSE connects its Members with opportunities to engage with, influence, and collaborate with local and state decision-makers.

Federal Government Engagement

Academic-Federal Dialogue (AFD) convenes academics and policy representatives from environmental programs. It provides an opportunity for academic leaders to hear perspectives from Congress and the science-policy community. The AFD offers direct interaction with federal agencies such as DOE, NSF, NASA, EPA, USDA, Forest Service, NOAA, and NIEHS on program priorities and funding opportunities.

NCSE and the Security and Sustainability Forum (SSF) organized a series of webinars to connect NCSE Members to leaders within federal agencies. These webinars provided more information about research, funding, educational collaboration and partnership, and other programs happening in their agencies. Please visit our webinars page to view past recordings. 

State Government Engagement

Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future is a bipartisan initiative that help states capture clean energy opportunities across the country and tackle growing energy challenges. States involved in the Accord will:

  • Diversify energy generation and expand clean energy sources

  • Modernize energy infrastructure

  • Encourage clean transportation options                                                         

  • Plan for energy transition

  • Work together to make transformational policy changes

  • Secure a stronger national energy future

The Governors' Accord was announced in February 2016 by a bipartisan group of seventeen governors and represents more than 123 million people and 35 percent of all electricity consumed in the United States.

While each state’s energy needs and resources are unique, collaboration on a national scale is key to energy policy progress. Governors participating in the Accord are committed to working together to achieve a stronger national energy future for the 21st century. Learn more.

Local Government Engagement

NCSE Applied Solutions serves as a resource connecting local governments and decision-makers to a national network of leading scientists and academics engaged in research and scholarship. This network provides an open platform for local governments, regional councils of governments, public utilities, public agencies, state governments, and federal governments to collaborate. Sonoma County Water Agency helped create Applied Solutions in 2008 and continues to collaborate with NCSE to further the Applied Solutions mission. Learn more