JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The government shutdown may be over, but it may be too late for a researcher at the University of North Florida.
"It's very disheartening," said Dr. Julie Richmond. She's an assistant professor of Biology at UNF.
Richmond had been preparing for a year to research seals in Antarctica. Because of the government shutdown, that trip was put on hold. Other projects, like climate change, are also on ice.
"It's been my dream since I was a little girl to go to the Antarctic to do research," she said.
Her trip isn't the only one on hold. There are hundreds of scientists involved in hundreds of projects that may not be able to make the trip. Many of the projects are time sensitive and decades in the making. Richmond said that's more troubling.
"The fact that we're going to have a gap in those sets is much more disheartening than my dream," she said.
The agency that deals with the trips, the National Science Foundation, reopened Thursday. That means the ball can get rolling to re-staff research stations in Antarctica, so researchers can do their work. Since Richmond was supposed to leave at the start of November, it may be too late.
"The fact that our Government was short-sighted in not being able to get this budget passed, we may miss out on an entire year of data," she said.
First Coast News