May 25, 2024

Government shutdown causes cancellation of UT Science Forum

University of Tennessee’s Science Forum was cancelled last Friday due to government shutdown.

Stacy Clark, Ph.D, was scheduled to present at the UT Science Forum on Friday Oct. 4. Clark, a research forester for the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Forestry, was suppose to present her research titled Bringing Back the Mighty Giant. However, because her research is federally funded, the federal government has prohibited employees from presenting or traveling.

Clark was scheduled to present on the American Chestnut Tree. According to the American Chestnut Restoration Project’s Federal site, “The U.S. Forest Service, The American Chestnut Foundation, and the University of Tennessee have been conducting research and tests to produce a blight-resistant American chestnut, with aspirations of restoring the species in its grandeur, throughout the Southeast.”

On Sept. 25, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was issued a contingency plan for operations in the event of a lapse in appropriations. The government shutdown began Tuesday, Oct. 1 after the Republican House and the Democratic Senate failed to approve a budget for government funding.

Clark was unreachable for comment with automatic replies stating that “messages will be returned as soon as possible once funding has been restored.”

“We had heard that there would be a possible issue and that the speaker we had scheduled might not be able to speak. We chose to not scramble to find another speaker, mainly because we want to respect the students, teachers and community members and not provide anything rushed,” said Amanda Womac, president of the UT Science Forum. “The UT Science Forum is a very valuable resource for students, professors, and other researchers alike and we appreciate the support of the UT Community.”

To comment on the shutdown, visit the UT Science Forum website here.


Edited by Nichole Stevens

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