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Washington Update

Week of March 14 - 18
UAS Ammendment Included in FAA Reauthorization as Approved by Senate Committee

On Wednesday, March 16, the Senate Commerce Committee approved the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization Act of 2016 (S.2658), a bill to reauthorize the FAA. Included in this legislation was an an amendment with language negotiated by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by institutions of higher education for research and educational purposes. This amendment was a modified version of the legislation (the Higher Education UAS Modernization Act, S.2626) introduced by Senator Peters (D-MI) and Senator Moran (R-KS) earlier this month. 

The amendment puts the FAA on a timeline to establish a process that will expedite and make more flexible the safe operation of UAS by institutions of higher education for educational or research purposes. If the FAA is unable to establish this process within 270 days, an institution of higher education can immediately begin operating small UAS at model aircraft fields approved by the Academy of Model Aeronautics or seek approval from the FAA to utilize an alternative designated outdoor flight field for UAS flight.

Senator Peters' press release on the inclusion of this amendment states: “It is important that Michigan’s students, researchers and educators have the ability to fly unmanned aircraft systems so they can not only work to advance these technologies, but can also get the training they need to ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of this growing industry. That is why I am pleased that my bipartisan UAS amendment is one step closer to passage, so that our education and research institutions can fully participate in these innovations, which will create good-paying jobs and boost our economy.”

U-M Vice President for Research, Jack Hu stated: “The University of Michigan thanks Senator Peters for introducing an amendment during today's FAA Reauthorization markup. This amendment is a step in the right direction and will begin to provide relief for the use of UAS for the purposes of research and education at institutions of higher education. We look forward to continuing this discussion and finding ways to increase and support opportunities for UAS innovation and education at our nation's universities.”

 

 
U-M Professor Dr. DeCicco Testifies Before House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
U-M Professor John DeCicco visits with Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who chaired the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee // Photo Credit: Madeline Nykaza
 
Dr. John DeCicco, a research professor at the U-M Energy Institute, testified on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Subcommittee on Interior and Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules about examining the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) management of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program was created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and requires an increasing percentage of biofuels to be added into the nation’s gasoline supply.  The hearing specifically looked at the EPA’s delays in issuing annual mandates on the RFS.

Dr. DeCicco, whose research examines transportation energy use, testified that according to his research, the RFS has been harmful to the environment and has increased rather than decreased the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere compared to petroleum fuels such as gasoline. Dr. DeCicco’s work uses real-world data to show the flaws in the model that was used to develop the RFS. The Committee will use the testimony of all the witnesses to inform their work as they examine the RFS and the role of biofuels. 

To watch the testimony, click here. To read a copy of Dr. DeCicco's testimony, click here.

Rep. Moolenaar (R-MI), Rep. Dingell (D-MI), & President Schlissel Pose for a Photo at the UM Congressional Breakfast // Photo Credit: Leah Genetti

On Wednesday, March 16 the 65th Annual U-M Congressional Breakfast took place in Washington, D.C. This event, organized by  the U-M Alumni Club Of Greater Washington, DC, with help from the U-M DC Office, featured remarks from President Schlissel and keynote speaker and double U-M alum, Representative Tom Price (R-GA).

President Schlissel gave introductory remarks at the breakfast. He mentioned a primary focus of his will be "to position U-M for perpetual excellence and public impact in research, creative work, performance and education". To do this he noted the university needs to "encourage research that addresses major societal issues, and support scholarship and creative work that promote understanding and enrich the human experience". He also mentioned his goal of encouraging U-M faculty to engage in the public sphere. He noted U-M's depth and breadth of expertise that we should share with government and fellow citizens. President Schlissel also discussed U-M's efforts to address the Flint crisis, and specifically the work of U-M Flint Chancellor Susan Borrego. Representative Price (R-GA) discussed his time at U-M as both an undergraduate and medical student.

More than 300 alumni, members of Congress, congressional staffers, and Michigan corporate sponsors attended the event. The proceeds from the breakfast help fund the U-M Club of Greater Washington's scholarship efforts.

NSF Seeking Input in Candidate Search for Assistant Director for Three Directorates

Geosciences

NSF is initiating a national search for the NSF's Assistant Director for Geosciences and is seeking assistance in the identification of candidates.

The Assistant Director, GEO, leads a directorate comprised of four divisions: Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS), Earth Sciences (EAR), Ocean Sciences (OCE), and Polar Programs (PLR). Dr. Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, will head the search committee. NSF seeks your help in identifying candidates with the following qualifications: outstanding leadership; a deep sense of scholarship; a grasp of the issues facing the geosciences in the areas of research and education; experience developing and overseeing complex scientific facilities; and the ability to serve effectively as a key member of the NSF management team. Recommendations of individuals from any sector - academic, industry, or government - are welcome.

Please send your recommendations, including any supporting information that you can provide, to the AD/GEO Search Committee via e-mail (geosrch@nsf.gov) or at the following address: NSF, Office of the Director, Suite 1205, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. Please send any recommendations by May 20, 2016.

Mathematical and Physical Sciences

NSF is conducting a search for NSF Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) and seeks your assistance in the identification of candidates. The Assistant Director, MPS, leads a directorate comprised of five divisions — Astronomical Sciences (AST), Chemistry (CHE), Materials Research (DMR), Mathematical Sciences (DMS), Physics (PHY) —and the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA). Dr. Saul Perlmutter, Franklin W. and Karen Weber Dabby Professor at the U. California, Berkeley, will head the search committee. NSF seeks your help in identifying candidates with the following qualifications: outstanding leadership; a deep sense of scholarship; a grasp of the issues facing the mathematical and physical sciences in the areas of research and education; experience developing and overseeing complex scientific facilities; and the ability to serve effectively as a key member of the NSF management team. Recommendations of individuals from any sector — academic, industry, or government — are welcome. Please send your recommendations, including any supporting information that you can provide, to the AD/MPS Search Committee via e-mail (mpssrch@nsf.gov) or at the following address: NSF, Office of the Director, Suite 1205, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. Please send your recommendations by May 13, 2016.

Engineering

NSF is initiating a search for Assistant Director for Engineering (ENG) and seeks your assistance identifying candidates. The Assistant Director, ENG, leads a directorate comprised of five divisions — Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET); Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI); Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems (ECCS); Engineering Education and Centers (EEC); and Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) — as well as the Office of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA). Enclosed is an information sheet that summarizes the directorate's activities and the responsibilities of the position, together with the criteria that will be used in the search. Dr. C. Daniel Mote, President of the National Academy of Engineering, will head the search committee. We seek your help in identifying candidates with the following qualifications: outstanding leadership; a deep sense of scholarship; a grasp of the issues facing the engineering disciplines in the areas of research, education, and innovation; and the ability to serve effectively as a key member of the NSF management team. Recommendations of individuals from any sector — academic, industry, or government — are welcome. Please send your recommendations, including any supporting information that you can provide, to the AD/ENG Search Committee via e-mail (engsrch@nsf.gov) or at the following address: NSF, Office of the Director, Suite 1205, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. Recommendations made by May 27, 2016 would be appreciated.

ARPA-E Program Director Positions Available

ARPA-E is hiring Program Directors. The ideal candidates would have visionary ideas on promising areas for new energy technologies. Program Directors are responsible for program creation, design, implementation, and management.

Job opportunity details:

  • Initial term of hire is three years.
  • ARPA-E will consider hiring individuals from universities and other nonprofit organizations via an IPA.
  • US Citizenship is required.

Required qualifications:

  • Doctorate degree in an energy-relevant field of science or engineering, earned by original work.
  • Strong vision for specific program areas that are ripe for ARPA-E investment – those likely to develop transformational energy technologies.
  • Minimum of six to eight years of relevant energy-related experience in academia, industry, and/or technology investment.
  • Strong background in both program management and technology transfer.
  • Deep technical and industry knowledge.
  • Familiarity in at least one specific area of energy technology, along with a broad, interdisciplinary perspective on energy-related issues.

Especially relevant backgrounds include:

  • Electrochemical energy storage and conversion
  • Photovoltaic energy conversion
  • Advanced engines/vehicle technologies
  • Chemical catalysis/reaction engineering for biofuels, industrial processes, and other energy applications
  • Biological approaches to energy conversion/biofuels
  • Low temperature waste heat recapture/thermodynamic and/or solid state cycles
  • Fossil energy conversion/carbon capture and conversion
  • Wind power/ocean and wave power/aerodynamics and fluid dynamics
  • Grid scale energy storage
  • Energy harvesting materials and devices
  • Building efficiency technologies/HVAC/building envelope/smart buildings
  • Advanced lighting technologies
  • Advanced materials for energy applications
Further information is available here.

Legislative Activities
The Senate stands adjourned and will convene for a pro forma session only. They will reconvene on Monday, April 4. The House of Representatives is in session next week Mon. - Wed. (21 - 23). They will then go into recess until Tues., April 12.

Committee Activities

Tuesday, March 22

House Committee on Appropriations
Interior-Environment Subcommittee Hearing: FY17 Budget: EPA
9:00 a.m., B-308 Rayburn

House Science, Space and Technology Committee
Full Committee Hearing: FY17 Dept. of Energy Budget
Witness: DoE Secretary Ernest Moniz
10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn

House Committee on Appropriations
Defense Subcommittee Hearing: Budget Hearing: Defense Health Program
10:00 a.m., 2359 Rayburn

House Education and the Workforce Committee
Full Committee Hearing: “Strengthening Education Research and Privacy Protections to Better Serve Students”
10:00 a.m., 2175 Rayburn

House Science, Space and Technology Committee
Research and Technology Subcommittee Hearing: Overview of FY17 NSF Budget Proposal
Witnesses: NSF Director France Córdova & NSB Chairman Dan Arvizu
2:00 p.m., 2318 Rayburn


House Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Hearing: Examining the Missions and Impacts of the President's Proposed FY17 Budgets for Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, and the Bureau of Reclamation and the Power Marketing Administrations
2:00 p.m., 1324 Longworth

Wednesday, March 23

House Committee on Appropriations
Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Hearing: Budget Hearing for the CDC
Witness: CDC Director Thomas Frieden
10:00 a.m., 2358-C Rayburn

Agency Advisory Committee Meetings of Interest
 
This year, we introduced a new section -- Agency Advisory Committee Meetings of Interest. This section will include public agency meetings which may be relevant to your work. If a meeting is of interest, and happening in the Washington, D.C. area, please contact Madeline in our Washington, D.C. office, and she may be able to attend on your behalf.

DOE/NSF: Nuclear Science Advisory Committee
The DoE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee will meet to discuss:
  • Perspectives from Department of Energy and National Science Foundation
  • Update from the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation's Nuclear Physics Office
  • Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Overview
  • Status of the Canadian Long Range Plan for Subatomic PhysicsShow citation box
  • Update from the NUPECC Chair
The meeting will be held Wednesday, March 23rd from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bethesda, MD.

President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Committee Meeting
During this open meeting, PCAST is scheduled to have presenters brief on the topic of One Health. They will also hear from speakers who will remark on National Science Foundation Science and Engineering Indicators and who will discuss cancer research frontiers.
The meeting will be held on March 25 from 9 a.m. until noon in Washington, D.C. A live and archived video of the meeting will also be available.

CDC Office of Infectious Diseases: Board of Scientific Counselors
The Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) will meet to discuss: administrative/budget issues, current emerging infectious disease outbreak responses, and reports from recent program meetings.
The meeting will be held Monday, March 28 from 2 - 4 p.m. via teleconference.

NHTSA
: Guidelines for the Safe Deployment and Operation of Automated Vehicle Safety Technologies
NHTSA is announcing a public meeting to seek input on planned guidelines for the safe deployment and operation of automated vehicles. The intent of the operational guidance is to encourage innovative and safe deployment of automated vehicle technologies.
The meeting will take place on Friday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Washington, D.C.
Nomination Announcements

Fellowships:
 
ARPA-E Spring 2016 Fellowship

ARPA-E is looking for the next generation of scientific leaders to help solve the most pressing and exciting challenges in energy. The Fellows assist the agency in identifying possible breakthrough energy technologies through technical and economic analyses. During their two-year tenure, ARPA-E Fellows influence the direction of American energy innovation, engaging with world-class researchers in academia and industry, entrepreneurs, and government officials. Prior experience in energy and/or commercialization is not necessary.

Qualifications:
  • Ph.D. in science or engineering. Students who expect to complete their Ph.D. within the next year are also encouraged to apply.
  • Strong analytical, research, and communication skills.
  • Ability to initiate independent projects and work across disciplines.
  • Passion to change the world through energy technology research and development.
  • U.S. citizenship.
Further information is available here. Applications accepted through April 15, 2015.
 

Awards:

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

The Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is accepting nominations for the 2016 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal, presented each year by the President, is the country's highest award for technological achievement. The medal can be awarded to individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies or divisions of companies to recognize their outstanding contributions to the U.S. economic, environmental, and social well-being.

Nominations are due by midnight (EST) on April 1, 2016. Further information is available here.

Federal Advisory Committees:

EPA National Environmental Education Advisory Council

 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting applications for environmental education professionals for consideration to serve on the National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC). There are nine vacancies on the Advisory Council that must be filled.

Nominations will be accepted until April 15. Further information here.

FEMA National Advisory Council
 
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is requesting nominations for the FEMA National Advisory Council (NAC). NAC advises the FEMA Administrator on all aspects of emergency management.

Nominations will be accepted until March 16. Further information is available here.

World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee

The CDC is soliciting nominations for membership on the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). At this time the Administrator is seeking nominations for members fulfilling the following categories:
  • Environmental medicine or environmental health specialist
  • Occupational physician;
  • Pulmonary physician;
  • Representative of WTC responders;
  • Representative of certified-eligible WTC survivors.
Nominations will be accepted until March 31. Further information is available here.
 
Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response: Board of Scientific Counselors

The CDC is soliciting nominations for the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR): Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC). The BSC, OPHPR consists of 11 experts in the fields associated with public health preparedness and response. This board provides advice and guidance to the Secretary of HHS, the Director of the CDC, and the Director of OPHPR, concerning strategies and goals for the programs within the divisions; conducts peer-review of scientific programs; and monitors the overall strategic direction and focus of the divisions.
 
Nominations will be accepted until April 15. Further information is available here.
 
HHS Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections
 
The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), a program office in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is seeking four nominations for appointment to the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP). SACHRP provides advice and recommendations on issues pertaining to the continuance and improvement of functions within the authority of HHS directed toward protections for human subjects in research.

Nominations will be accepted until Monday, March 21. Further information is available here.

CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are accepting nominations for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP consists of 15 experts in fields associated with immunization who provide advice and guidance to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the CDC on the control of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Nominations will be accepted through Friday, November 4, 2016. Further information is available here.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Federal Advisory Committees

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting nominations for appointment to eight existing Federal Advisory Committees:
  • Board of Overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
  • Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
  • Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board
  • National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee
  • Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction
  • NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee
  • Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology
Nominations will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Further information is available here.
 
Council on Graduate Medical Education

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accpeting nominations to fill vacancies on the Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME). The COGME provides advice and recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services and members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on matters related to: supply of physicians in the U.S., physician workforce trends, training issues, and financing policies.

The agency will receive nominations on a continuous basis. Further information is available here.
News Articles
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