Monday, August 3, 2009: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
Ruidoso, Albuquerque Convention Center
Environmental challenges abound and many ecologists feel compelled to become more involved in shaping policy decisions that affect the environment. Whether it is through meetings with congressional staff in Washington, DC, through one-on-one meetings with representatives while they’re back in their home districts, or through a well-timed and articulate letter, ecologists have many options for interacting with policymakers, but often feel ill-equipped on how to proceed. This hands-on session will supply participants with the information and training necessary to effectively inform policy. It will cover the "ins and outs" of connecting with policymakers at the federal level, and the "who", "what", and "when" of participating in public policy. Emphasis will be on the unique role of scientists in the policy arena. The session will review the major policy players and current political realities, show participants how to build and maintain relationships with policymakers and how to develop and convey an effective message. Several mini-lectures will be capped by mock congressional meetings to give session participants an opportunity to test their communication skills. Organizers will provide all session participants with handouts that will be useful in a wide range of policy outreach activities, including the ESA Directory of the new 111th Congress. A cash bar and snacks will be available.