On 26 June 2007 the NSC Alliance participated in the 13th Annual Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Capitol Hill Science Exhibition and Reception. Representing the NSC Alliance and the broader collections community were Dr. Joseph Cook and Ms. Natalie Dawson. Cook is curator of mammals at the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico and Dawson is a doctoral student in biology at the University of New Mexico.

Cook and Dawson were on hand to discuss the importance of natural science collections to biological and environmental research. To illustrate this point, Cook and Dawson displayed a poster illustrating how their research on Alaskan mammals is contributing to an improved understanding of global climate change and the emergence of pathogens.

The CNSF reception has become the premiere Capitol Hill event dedicated to illustrating the breadth and significance of NSF-supported science, education and training programs. This year’s event saw a record crowd of just under 500 people, including many members of Congress and senior NSF officials. Among the government officials to visit the NSC Alliance exhibit were Representative Heather Wilson (R-NM), NSF Deputy Director Dr. Kathie Olsen and NSF Assistant Director for Biological Sciences Dr. James Collins.

The CNSF is an alliance of over 100 organizations united by a concern for the future vitality of the national science, mathematics, and engineering enterprise. CNSF supports the goal of increasing the national investment in the National Science Foundation’s research and education programs in response to the unprecedented scientific, technological, and economic opportunities facing the United States. The NSC Alliance is an active member of CNSF.