"(T)he 16-day interruption has already resulted in deferral of some projects, and additional projects will be impacted," Scott Borg, head of the Antarctic Sciences Section, wrote in a letter sent to scientists on Oct. 18.
"NSF decisions about priorities for restart are conditioned by factors such as continuity of long-term data sets, time-criticality of observations or studies, impacts on young or early career investigators, and international or interagency partnerships," Borg wrote.
At the University of Florida, good and bad news hit colleagues in the same department on Monday. Oceanographer Amelia Shevenell gets to board a plane Thursday for Antarctica, but her fellow professor, Kendra Daly, learned her project was called off for 2013, said Vickie Cachere, a university spokeswoman.
No drilling, baby
The cancellation was a crushing blow for the WISSARD team, but not wholly unexpected.
"They made the only logical decision," said Reed Scherer, a geologist at Northern Illinois University and one of the lead scientists on the drilling project. "It's deeply frustrating," Scherer added. "After all these years of development and a tremendous amount of money, we have very little to show for it."