Your Ocean Science Shutdown Open Thread


Are you an ocean scientist suffering from government shutdown? Are you furloughed for the foreseeable future? Do you have friends, colleagues, co-workers, collaborators, rivals, or sworn enemies feeling the sting? You better believe we do to. Here’s your open thread to talk about how the government shutdown is affecting you and affecting the ocean. Here is your chance to gripe, socialize, and commiserate. Here’s you space to share links, news, and personal stories. So pull up a chair, grab your drink of choice, and join us.

As always, we will respect your anonymity. Please try extra-hard to respect other commenters here. We’re all feeling the sting.


  1. Eric · October 1, 2013

    Of the 4 MSc/PhD graduates from our lab in past 3 years, all are furloughed. Half the MArine Science undergrad cohort that graduated 4 years ago are furloughed. Of the 13 colleagues on our Cusk + Climate change paper, 12 are furloughed. 2 current projects in our lab now on hold, we’re doing what we can, but colleagues doing a lot of work are NOAA for 1 project, NASA for the other. I could go on. But I’m sick to my stomach thinking about the stupidity of how this is affecting those fine people and their families, not to mention interruptions in their research (and ours).

  2. Nate · October 1, 2013

    Currently (now formerly) assisting NOAA with MPA research and am very disappointed to find out the project is shut down. Though not in the field yet, I hope to work for NOAA one day, and watching this unfold has proven extremely discouraging. My heart goes out to those now out of work and I am hoping a solution is reached soon, for the sake of ocean work in the US.

  3. Andrew David Thaler · October 1, 2013

    Incidentally, If anyone is in the Vallejo area looking for something to do while they’re furloughed, feel free to drop me a line, I can teach you how to build furniture.

  4. Smith · October 1, 2013

    I have been affected by the present government shut down and it is frustrating. It is difficult because I didn’t (directly) have anything to do with it. It’s not like I’m not being paid because I misused government funds or because I didn’t perform all of my tasks well and in a timely manner. No, I’m not being paid because people, most of whom I didn’t vote for, can’t compromise. I wish our society saw the value in science, especially tax funded science (I pay taxes too!), enough to prevent a complete halt in progress like this.

  5. Vicky Vásquez · October 2, 2013

    As a marine biologist and educator who is not employed by the government, I am surprised how this shutdown has still very much affected me and my colleagues. The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS), a government agency, can’t effectively continue many of their educational programs. One such example is the Sharktober event they had organized for this weekend. It was to be a wonderful opportunity for GFNMS and their partners, such as Sea Stewards, to teach the public about shark conservation. There was months of organizing that is now permanently lost, such as eco-artist, Claudio Garzon, who was flying in to teach the public about the detriments of plastic pollution.These may seem like small problems in light of the bigger issues, but it’s events like these that give scientists and conservationists a chance to unite in their joint message of ocean awareness. It is these types of partnerships that help make lasting impressions on the public perceptions of sharks and ocean conservation. If this shutdown has affected me and my local ocean community this much, I worry to think how it has devastated those more directly involved.

  6. Megan Davenport · October 15, 2013

    I’m looking into NSF grad fellowships, but the website with application information is down! (As is, needless to say, the availability of money…)

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