2020 Environmental Systems Science PI Meeting Goes Virtual
BER has been carefully monitoring the rapidly evolving situation regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic. Many local and state governments have placed new mandates (e.g., work from home, shelter in place, halting meetings >10 people, etc.) to help reduce the spread of the virus. In light of these changes and to ensure the safety of our PIs, we have decided to postpone this year’s meeting until 2021. We are actively working with the host hotel to reschedule the specific dates, but anticipate the meeting to be in the May 18-19, 2021, timeframe. For those of you who have made a hotel reservation, our decision explains why many of you have received a notification from the hotel cancelling your lodging reservation.
However, to ensure continuity of communications between DOE program managers and the ESS community we will host and plan a number of alternative events over the next nine months, including:
- Virtual All-Hands Meeting: Two webinar style meetings are being scheduled to provide updates to the ESS community. The first, scheduled Tuesday, May 19, 2020 (2:00-3:300pm eastern/11:00-12:30pm pacific), will focus on programmatic updates from TES and SBR as well as from other joint efforts (e.g., ESS-DIVE, etc.). The second call, scheduled for Wednesday May 20, 2020 (2:00-3:30pm eastern/11:00-12:30pm pacific), will include a plenary science and program talks (e.g., budget talk, cyberinfrastructure update, etc.). More details on this call, including the Zoom link, will be released shortly.
- Community Town Halls: TES and SBR will host town halls and/or informal get togethers at this year’s larger scientific meetings such the Goldschmidt 2020 Meeting, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, and the American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting. More details will be transmitted just before the respective meeting.
- Exploring Additional Virtual Sessions: We realize that in addition to program updates, the PI meeting is also an opportunity for information exchange and discussion between projects and investigators. While we can’t wholly replace this function, we are exploring whether and how some PI meeting planned sessions might translate to a virtual format. Such sessions would be limited in number and may be scheduled throughout the year. We will share more information as we explore this option.
With respect to this year’s meeting logistics:
- Meeting Registration Fees: Our logistics contractor (ORISE) will be refunding the registration fees, any questions or concerns should be directed to Tracey Vieser at CESD_Team@orau.org.
- Hotel Reservations: The Hyatt Regency, Bethesda has already cancelled reservations made through our room block and emails were sent out. If you made a reservation through any other means you will need to cancel it directly. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Tracey Vieser at CESD_Team@orau.org.
- Student Travel Awards: Student travel awardees that were notified last week will have an option to postpone until the 2021 meeting. If a student isn’t eligible next year (e.g., graduation or other commitments), they should contact Jennifer Arrigo (Jennifer.Arrigo@science.doe.gov) to discuss other options for their travel award.
- Travel: Most airlines are allowing travelers to cancel, rebook, or transfer their tickets during the pandemic. Please contact your respective travel offices or airline for specific details and processes.
- Side Meetings: Participants that were planning to attend the ESS Cyberinfrastructure Working Group Meeting before the PI meeting or SFA program reviews after the PI meeting will receive additional guidance over the next few weeks.
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