I was in DC just for the day on Monday, with Dave Goldberg, meeting with the other members of the US Implementing organizations for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program - trying to decide upon a good strategy for navigating through the huge funding uncertainties of the next few years. Not sure how much progress we made - often these discussions end up being therapy for the participants more than anything else.
Speaking of funding uncertainties: one of the primary items on the ExCom agenda on Wednesday was a discussion of how the Observatory should adjust its budget to ready itself for the inevitable decreases in revenue from the endowment. No decisions as yet, but one thing is clear - given we are spending - campus wide - substantially more than $1M per year on utilities, then energy conservation is one of the most obvious and effective ways for us to save money. Pat O'Reilly is going to be sending out information in the coming weeks about how to make progress with this. A ten per cent decrease in energy use could have a dramatic impact on our budget woes - as well as decreasing our inevitably-too-large carbon foot-print.