Introducing Policycomnet as a geoscience policy networking site to assist GSA members effectively communicate with policymakers

James F. Davis, Richard C. Berg, D. Craig Cooper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


GSA values effective geoscience input to lay decision makers on pending public policies as part of its mission of Stewardship and Service. GSA produces consensus Position Papers on important policy issues developed by expert panels with society member input and adoption by the GSA Council. Additionally GSA encourages members to make geoscience input on specific pending policies at local, state, regional or national levels. In early 2009 GSA staff created the Policycomnet policy networking site at the request of and with the guidance of the Division of Geology and Society and the Geology and Public Policy Committee to encourage and facilitate greater member input to policy makers. GSA policy communication is founded on principles of successful science input to lay recipients established by social science research. Guidelines summarizing the principles are on the site. To be successful, communications must come from trusted sources, and be understood and believed in order to have a prospect of influencing the recipient's actions. Recipient credibility is enhanced by receiving consistent reinforcing messages from multiple trusted sources, information about previous successful policies dealing with similar circumstances and by personal contact to discuss issues by phone or in person with an advisor. A member can post a suggested message about a pending policy decision on Policycomnet and invite other members to help develop a successful communication process. This online dialog facilitates sorting out of important issues and then planning of consistent individual reinforcing messages to specific decision makers that can increase communication effectiveness. GSA Policycomnet is hosted by Wikidotcom technology at no cost to the society. Users must register and log in using a password and their email addresses. The host site does not transfer email addresses to other parties and does not provide unsolicited email to registrants. Users can invite colleagues to join.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAbstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America
Subtitle of host publicationGeological Society of America, 2009 annual meeting
Place of PublicationBoulder, CO
PublisherGeological Society of America
ISBN (Print)0016-7592
StatePublished - 2009


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