Dear CIRES Colleagues,

Once again, we are approaching a critical time by which Congress must take action to avert a partial government shutdown that would go into effect Friday at midnight. At this point, a shutdown does not seem likely, but given the possibility, I wanted to send this guidance now, so you can plan accordingly, just in case. I plan to send an update when available.

For now, my overall request is the same as what you heard from me earlier this year: If the government shuts down, please do not report to work at a federal facility, and please take no action that would result in new federal government expenditures. You are a university employee, and it is our expectation that you will continue to work and continue to be paid.

During a shutdown, CIRES employees MAY: 

  • UPDATE Friday 21 December: some CIRES employees have been told that they may NOT use NOAA email during a shutdown. Please always follow federal guidance, as noted below.
  • use email addresses, Google Calendars, and access Google Drives, as long as they remain accessible.
  • use NOAA-owned laptop computers off-site to continue meaningful work 
  • VPN into NOAA networks that are still operational and allow access
  • connect to NOAA computers that are still accessible (exception: NOAA supercomputer usage may be restricted to projects deemed essential)
  • check in with your CIRES supervisor and colleagues 
  • briefly access a federal facility during designated “orderly shutdown activities” if your Division or Center director indicates that you are among those allowed access during such time. In the absence of information from federal colleagues, please do not access a federal facility during a shutdown. 

During a shutdown, CIRES employees may NOT: 

  • access federal facilities (exception: during “orderly shutdown activities” described above) 
  • work with federal colleagues who are on furlough 
  • take any action that would result in new federal government expenditures 

You should not expect that federal computers, servers, and other systems would be maintained during the shutdown: If a government system goes down, it may not come back until federal work resumes. For this reason, please ensure you can readily access your email. We have posted directions to check your mailbox through Office365 here, and for turning off any redirect (eg, to your account), here.

Since entry to federal facilities would be tightly restricted (check DSRC site status here), you would need to find other places to work. Consider working from home or from a library or coffee shop. We have identified a limited number of open desks and conference rooms; please contact our Front Office, 303-492-1143, about availability.

Finally, it is possible that you and I will receive federal guidance that is contradictory to the information above. In this case, please follow federal guidance but also inform Lornay Hansen or the Front Office of any discrepancy or confusion. Thank you. I sincerely hope you will be able to delete this email soon. 

Waleed Abdalati
CIRES Director