Significant changes to the conference program coming
(Posted February 13, 2017) • As many of you know, the US Department of the Interior (DOI) has a conference approval process in place that applies to DOI employees who want to attend a particular conference. It requires DOI agencies wishing to send significant numbers of employees to a meeting to prepare a proposal to DOI that includes budget figures and a list of the employees who have been agency-approved to attend. DOI then reviews the proposal and makes a decision on whether to approve or deny it, or change it in some way.
We learned today that the National Park Service (NPS), an agency within the DOI, has decided to cut by at least 50% the number of personnel it had planned to send to GWS2017. This decision was made in response to a general directive from DOI to limit such requests because of continuing uncertainty over what the final FY17 federal budget will be once the current Continuing Resolution expires in late April.
This means that the current configuration of the GWS2017 Daily Schedule and Poster/Exhibit Session lineup will need to be signicantly changed and, in the case of Concurrent Sessions, restructured.
Beyond this, as noted above the DOI still needs to review the slimmed-down request that NPS is now preparing. It is possible that further reductions of NPS attendance are possible — and even, in the most extreme case, a complete denial of the NPS attendance request. We do not have a timetable for DOI to make this decision. As soon as we know more, we will let everyone know.
No matter what happens, we expect to have a robust and valuable conference experience to offer in Norfolk. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding as we work through this process.
IMPORTANT: If you are an NPS employee who had been directed to cancel his/her attendance, please use this form to notify us.
Click the links below for PDFs of the daily schedule and the list of Posters/Exhibits. Please note: the program is tentative and will change due to a variety of factors prior to the conference.
GWS2017 Daily Program Schedule as of February 24, 2017
GWS2017 List of Posters & Exhibits as of February 24, 2017