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Federal agency travel has been restricted for several years but the situation has worsened with the looming budget sequestration that will automatically cut the budgets of every federal agency by 8.2%.
Those planning conferences and trying to project attendance should be aware of the virtual cessation of authorization of federal employee travel. This applies to every federal agency, not just the USGS, but this memo from the USGS demonstrates how serious a situation this is.
The USGS has decided to suspend employee participation in upcoming conferences. The details of the announcement are laid out in following email, which was distributed to USGS staff on Friday, February 22.
Email sent to USGS staff:
Effective today, because of the uncertainty of the budget and at DOI direction to reduce or cancel attendance at conferences, the USGS is implementing the following:
- All February, March, and April attendance at conferences is suspended. This means USGS-hosted and non-hosted meetings, both DOI-approved and pending.
- Only mission essential travel should be allowed. Even mission-critical travel is limited to no more than 14 participants.
Specific conferences on the list are:
o SME Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, Feb 24, 16 attendees $24K
o ESRI, Washington, D.C., Feb 25, 50 attendees, $54K
o PACLIM, Pacific Grove, CA, March 3, 14 USGS, 13 invitational, $20K
o Science in PNW (USGS Mtg), Tacoma, WA, March 5, 90 attendees, $35K
o AWRA Chapter Meetings, Wisconsin, March 7, 16 attendees, $4K
o Missouri Natural Resources Conf, Columbia, MO, March 11
o Natl Geospatial Advisory Committee, Wash., D.C., March 12, $46K
o SAGEEP, Denver, CO, March 17, 23 attendees, $23K
o 44th Lunar Planetary Inst Sci Conf, Houston, TX, March 17, 22 attendees, $54K
o GSA NE, Bretton Woods, NH, March 18, 37 attendees, $35K
o GSA SE, San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 20, 19 attendees, $35K
o ASPRS, Baltimore, March 24, 23 attendees, $55K
o AWRA, St Louis, MO, March 25, 33 attendees, $49K
o 78th N. American Conf., March 25, Arlington, VA, 23 attendees, $53K
o Asian Carp Science Meeting, Chicago, IL, April 2, 24 attendees
o AAG Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, April 9, 47 attendees, $84K
o ACWI (FACA), Iowa City, IA, April 9, 30 attendees, $32K
o GW WRR Conference, Athens, GA, April 10, 20 attendees, $3K
o Landscape Ecology, Austin, TX, April 13, 15 attendees, $29K
o AFS Western Division, Boise, ID, April 15, 25 attendees, $25K
o Seismology Society of America, Salt Lake City, UT, April 17, 82 attendees, $129K
o GIS Louisiana Remote Sensing, Lafayette, LA, April 23, 16 attendees, $7K
o GW Association Summit, San Antonio, TX, April 28, 29 attendees, $50K
o EURING Conference, Athens, GA, April 28, 15 attendees, $30K
o Chesapeake Bay Workshop, Shepherdstown, WV, April 30, 38 attendees, $18K
Also included in this suspension are the following:
o National Water Data Conference, Kansas City, MO, May 14
o National Map Users Conference, CDI, Denver, CO, May 20
o All sponsorships for this time period.