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Update on Government Shutdown-25 Jan 2019

Dear CIRA Colleagues and Friends,


After yesterday’s end-of-day frustrations, but with the silver lining of real negotiations ongoing, I decided to wait with guarded optimism before writing another update on the partial government shutdown.  I’d like to say that by doing so I saved myself a lot of time, but the reality is that most of that time was spent instead on mitigation planning and preparing documents in connection with Colorado State University to demonstrate the ripple impact and apply pressure in Washington. The good news, of course, is that the government is now on a path for re-opening–at least, for the next three weeks.  


In light of current events, many of the things I had planned to share with you today are now no longer relevant.  Instead, I will simply share that we are now in communication with our Federal partners with hopes that they can expedite processing on the near-term project needs and other actions that require their input.  We would also like to secure these items prior to 15 February, for obvious reasons.  We are trying to be vigilant.  Without spending too much time preparing your future “shutdown disaster kits” I might also suggest thinking in retrospect about what things (if any) you wish you had done in advance of the shutdown that would have made your down-time easier or more productive in some way.


CIRA Associate Director Bonny Strong has updated our Boulder staff, who collectively were perhaps most affected by this shutdown.  To reiterate her words, there is a Boulder Labs site status page ( and Jennifer Mahoney (Acting Director, Global Systems Division at ESRL) will hold an all-hands meeting in GC402 at 1:00 PM on Monday. There may be some fits and starts to the re-opening, dealing with CACs, etc., and everyone’s continued patience is appreciated.


If nothing else, this experience has taught me key lessons of where vulnerabilities and resiliencies reside in our Institute that will serve well in the future.  At least I can wish you a good and restful weekend, free of these extraneous worries for the time being, and with anticipation of a productive week ahead.  Thank you again for your admirable patience, calm, and positive attitudes throughout this disruptive process.


In the midst of the chaos, I wanted to share some great news from Haonan Chen, who recently received a distinguished Editors Award at the 2019 American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, held in Phoenix on 6-10 January.  Haonan’s citation was for contributions made to the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology:  “For numerous and effective reviews on cloud and precipitation measurement methods and technologies.”   Congratulations, Haonan!  


They can try to shut us down, but they can’t shut us up!  🙂


Best Regards,



Steven D. Miller

Acting CIRA Director