Today, the White House released their proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year. The proposed cuts look to directly reduce federal support for Earth science research and science education.
The Trump administration takes aim on the Offices of Education at both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), cutting both offices entirely. Potentially included in this cut is the Hollings Scholar Program.
Every year, the Hollings Program provides scholarships and internships for a hundred undergraduates interested in Earth science. This program has been a launching platform for over a thousand bright, young scientists. Several Hollings alumni took to Twitter to express their appreciation for the program:
Also included in the cuts were several NASA missions including the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3) and the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO). Both OCO-3 and CLARREO are designed to help scientists better understand Earth's climate.
In a similar vein, President Trump and his staff has proposed to cut the Global Climate Change Initiative, a program started by President Obama. The initiative is designed to invest in cleaner energy and support sustainable and resilient development in countries adversely impacted by climate change.
While many of these proposed cuts will most likely not make it through Congress, what message does it send? What message does it send federal employees striving to educate and build a stronger scientific workforce? What message does it send the World, looking for leadership in science and technology? Whatever the message, it's not a good one.