Requesting an Extension for a Field Campaign

In general, requests for extensions are strongly discouraged by both NSF and the facility providers to avoid negative impacts on other facility efforts, such as follow-on field campaigns, scheduled development activities, and staffing schedules, and on available NSF Deployment Pool funds. However, NSF may grant an extension under very limited and exceptional circumstances. Examples of such circumstances are:

  • The predicted occurrence of an extraordinary event (e.g., perfect storm, hundred-year flood, major disaster) that coincides with a program already in progress, where the social and intellectual benefit greatly exceeds the cost of adding a limited number of days in the field.
  • Delay of the start of the field campaign or significant interruptions during a field campaign due to major instrument or platform problems (e.g., aircraft mechanical problems, non-working instrument components, etc.). 
  • Delay of the start of the field campaign due to major logistical problems (e.g., shipping, customs, lack of flight clearance or research permits).
  • A major change in weather conditions after several weeks of anomalous atmospheric conditions with few or no sampling opportunities. While it is difficult to determine synoptic scale conditions two weeks ahead of time, there has to be a strong indication and a high level of confidence that sought-after conditions are finally developing and that conditions essential to accomplishing the program’s scientific objectives are changing.

Extensions will not be considered for the sole purpose of using up remaining resources (e.g., flight hours, expendables), or if delays to the program were caused by lack of preparations or negligence on the part of the PI team.


Extension Request Procedures

To request a one-time extension of a field campaign, the PI must submit a formal request to his/her NSF Program Officer with a copy to the NSF LAOF Program Director, the LAOF Request Coordinator, the EOL Director if NCAR facilities are involved, and the relevant Facility Manager(s). The request must be submitted no later than two weeks before the scheduled end of the campaign. The request should provide justification as to why an extension should be granted, indicate the duration of the proposed extension, list what additional resources (e.g., flight hours, expendables, staff time) might be required, describe how the PI plans to deploy the facilities during the extension, and inform NSF if other agencies/research organizations have already committed to an extension (relevant contact information must be provided). For initial fact-finding, investigators are asked to direct all inquiries to the EOL Director and/or appropriate Facility Managers and to refrain from approaching various facility staff for individual opinions

Once the request for an extension is received by NSF, the facility providers will be asked by NSF to assess the financial as well as the operational impact on other facility-related activities. This facility-prepared assessment will be forwarded to the NSF Program Officer within a week of the request. 

NSF, in consultation with the facility providers, will make a final decision to approve or decline such a request. An extension will be evaluated with the NSF Program Officer who is supporting a field project subsequent to the current campaign to ensure any potential negative impacts are understood and acceptable. NSF will contact the investigator directly to inform him/her about the decision.