I am so disappointed that we had to cancel last week’s ESDSWG meeting. We were really hoping, right up until the last minute, that Congress would be able to agree some sort of funding bill that would allow GSFC to remain open and NASA to continue working. We had 140 people registered for this meeting and it would have been a great opportunity for the existing working groups to share their findings with the ESDSWG community and for us to reach a consensus on future working group activities. As soon as normal operations are resumed, we will be looking to reschedule the meeting but, given the number of people involved and the difficulty of scheduling a suitable venue at short notice, it is likely to be a while before we can announce a new date. Meanwhile, I am looking at options to keep the working groups operating and minimize the disruption resulting from the shutdown.

The most likely scenario is as follows:

Existing working groups that had submitted a follow-on proposal –

We (probably by the ESDSWG Manager, ESDSWG Coordinator, and ESDIS POCs) will conduct a brief review of the 2013 WG deliverables and 2014 WG proposals. We will work with the WG technical chairs to either agree an interim set of activities that will tide the WG through to the date of the rescheduled meeting or, where we feel that we need to wait for  input from the broader ESDSWG community, put the WG on a temporary hiatus until the rescheduled meeting.

Existing working groups that had not submitted a follow-on proposal –

We will ask the working groups that have not submitted a follow-on proposal to bring their activities to a graceful conclusion (wrap up any outstanding deliverables etc.). We will look for a suitable opportunity for these WGs to present their findings to the ESDSWG community – either at the rescheduled ESDSWG meeting or earlier, via a WebEx-type meeting that is open to the full ESDSWG community.

New working group proposals –

I will work with the ESDSWG Manager and ESDSWG Executive Council to review and prioritize the new working group proposals. Proposers of some of the higher priority proposals will be invited to initiate some preliminary activities (fact finding, gathering community input, more detailed planning etc.) in preparation for full working group status after the ESDSWG meeting. The lower priority proposals will probably be deferred for review at the ESDSWG meeting.


Over the next few days, I will be contacting the non-furloughed technical chairs of the current working groups to discuss how we can best move forward. Please feel free to contact me is you have any questions.