Facing Down Sequestration

© Solarseven | Dreamstime.com

© Solarseven | Dreamstime.com

The full impact of sequestration on NASA EPO and other activities is still unknown. I hate saying that one more time, but it’s the unfortunate truth.

Here’s the current state of understanding:

  • Grant related activities are safe
  • Cooperative agreement related activities are safe, but clarity is needed to understand what all falls under cooperative agreements
  • All non-grant related, nonessential travel is canceled
  • EPO activities not related to grants or cooperative activities are currently suspended, but people can seek waivers to get their programs approved to move forward
  • It is unclear what the future funding situation will be
  • Everyone is confused

We are starting get some small indications of how we will be effected. Places where normally we’d embed as part of a NASA booth experience may not have these opportunities for collaboration. This leaves me conflicted. one of our grants is focused on going to conferences and public events and using a booth as a springboard to introduce people to the idea of citizen science, and by people I mean teachers, scientists, and the general public. In order to fulfill the recruitment goals of these experiences we need to be at conferences, but if NASA isn’t going to conferences… I foresee us paying for exhibit space at conference venues that we weren’t otherwise planning to pay for. If this happens, we will use our space to highlight all related missions and programs who are otherwise restricted from being able to attend events.

Over the weekend, your generosity helped us raise over $2000 that I will use to support salaries of people who are negatively impacted by sequestration and related funding cuts, discontinuities, and renewal issues. This is a good start, but I’m hoping we can get better. To give you a sense of scale, one graduate student for one semester costs $5850 (1 year is $15,600). If I accomplish nothing else, I’d like to raise enough money to make sure my student, who is paid wholly off of mission funding, is funded through the end of the school year when he should graduate (in December).

I will be looking into running crowdsourcing campaigns. I hope to start putting those together early next week.

For now: Can we work together to make sure Joe the Graduate Student is funded through December?

Donation link on the right.

3 Responses to Facing Down Sequestration

  1. Phil (Aka Solfe on Baut) April 16, 2013 at 2:20 am #

    StarStryder, there are issues on Cosmoquest’s forum, BAUT. Are the sequestration issues at fault for the lack of response or lack of funds to fix issues with the forum?

    • Nicole Gugliucci April 19, 2013 at 2:33 am #

      Hey! (Nicole here.) The admins have been working on the issues and I *think* they have it sorted out as of this evening. The site suffered a DDoS attack.

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  1. Helping = Sharing | CosmoQuest Blog - June 17, 2013

    […] just, when you can and if you want, donate to our media like 365 Days of Astronomy. Unfortunately, sequestration and the reorganization of STEM Education funding is causing us to have to set our goals aside for a […]

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