Update, March 14: Further reductions in NPS attendance mandated
(Posted March 14, 2017) • A second round of reductions in NPS attendance has come down from the Department of the Interior. These additional reductions will be reflected in the conference program. To date, only about 10 of the original 108 scheduled Concurrent Sessions have been canceled outright, with about 25 individual presentations also canceled. However, these numbers are almost certain to go higher as NPS sorts its attendance out. Nonetheless, we still have a vigorous and varied program to offer, and expect overall attendance to be 250–350 people.
To see the latest version of the daily program schedule, click the link below.
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 update posted below (dated March 15) is the last one we will publish on the website prior to the conference. The pages from this update are what will appear in the printed Program Guide that will be distributed at the conference. All changes received between March 15 and the conference will be noted on a Late Changes handout.
GWS2017 Daily Program Schedule as of March 15, 2017
GWS2017 List of Posters & Exhibits as of March 14, 2017