Engaging the public through writing an op-ed



In May, prior to the start of the 2012 hurricane season, AGU asked us to write an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle on the importance of funding hurricane research. We were excited to be asked and pleased that AGU facilitated the process by providing us with some guidance on writing the op-ed. Given the impact that Hurricane Ike had in Texas just a few years ago, we felt it was important to remind the citizens of the greater Houston metropolitan area of the societal benefits of funding hurricane research. Thanks to the assistance of AGU staff, writing the article required only a few hours of time. Our op-ed was published in the print edition of the Houston Chronicle on 1 June 2012, the official start of the hurricane season (http://www.chron.com/default/article/Tight-budgets-posing-threat-to-Texas-hurricane-3600363.php). It was picked up by the media relations office in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University and featured on the college's Web site in the dean's biweekly briefing and on its Facebook page. As a result, the op-ed reached a large and diverse audience.