Dear LBA-ECO Researchers and Staff Members:
As you may recall, LBA-ECO field research activities were originally scheduled to end in 2004, and the LBA-ECO Project Office was planning for this deadline and discussing a timely transition with you as recently as our Brasilia '04 Business Meeting. Thanks to ongoing support from NASA, INPA, and MCT, LBA-ECO field activities have been extended through the end of 2005 and we look forward to another successful, productive field season this year. While preparing for this season's field activities, we will also simultaneously be planning for the end of NASA-supported LBA-ECO field operations.
First, we would like to let you know that it has been a truly memorable experience to work with all of you over the past five and half years. We would also like to take this opportunity to outline the transition plan that has been developed together with the LBA Central Office, based on their vision for the future of LBA and on feedback from the LBA-ECO science team over the past nine months. Although these changes will result in the end of LBA-ECO field activities, we consider this a transition (and not a project shut-down) because many of NASA's current resources and responsibilities will be transferred to Brazilian leadership and will continue to be available to the overall LBA Project.
In mapping out this transition, our top priority has been to maintain field support for the LBA-ECO science team for as long as possible, within our current budget constraints. Taking this into consideration, and to ensure sufficient time for a well-coordinated effort with our Brazilian partners, this transition will be conducted in several steps over the course of this year. During the first half of 2005, we will focus on ending or reducing support for personnel, goods, and activities that are not directly related to the intense LBA-ECO field activities planned for this year. As the period June-August field season wraps up, we will significantly reduce our field logistics staff and support at most of the Regional Offices. The few staff members that will remain into the beginning of 2006 will be dedicated to helping with the final take down and transfer activities of the LBA-ECO Project.
While this transition will mark the end of NASA support for LBA-ECO field activities, it will not be the end of LBA research in Brazil. Many of you are already making plans to continue your own participation in this extraordinary and unique research endeavor. The LBA Central Office will continue to provide logistical support to LBA researchers and has already begun to assume some aspects of research support that the LBA-ECO Project Office provided in the past. As part of this, they have already assumed some staff members in Manaus and additional personnel will be maintained in other cities as they plan for ongoing LBA field activities. We hope that we can count on everyone to help make this transition as smooth and transparent as possible.
LBA-ECO Project Manager
TRANSITION PLAN FOR LBA-ECO FIELD ACTIVITIES
Phase 1 - January 2005
Manaus: First round of LBA-ECO/STFP staff layoffs
Logistics Aide (Ruth Araújo)
Field Technician (Julio Souza)
Base Camp Caretaker (Napolião Dias da Silva)
Note: The LBA Central Office has agreed to assume the costs for all three of these staff positions as they will continue to be valuable resources for ongoing LBA research activities. The Central Office has contracted Ruth and Julio to continue in their same positions.
Phase 2 - March/April 2005
First round of LBA-ECO vehicles transferred to the LBA Central Office
1 in Belem, 2 in Ji-Parana, 2 in Manaus, 1 at SINOP (MT), 1 in Santarem
Note: These are all field vehicles and will continue to be available as a first priority to LBA-ECO researchers, but are now also available to the wider LBA research community.
Sell 2 vehicles (funds will be used for take-down activities).
Manaus: Reduce operational support
End base camp maintenance funding
Reduce office operations funding
Ji-Parana: End LBA-ECO logistics support
Lay-off Logistics Aide (Keila de Souza Aires)
End office funding
Note: For the time being, the Logistics Aide position in Ji-Parana will be suspended, but this LBA Regional Office will continue to support field activities.
Santarem: Transfer Facilities for the Training and Education Sector (Annex)
Complete construction of new Student Office
End operations funding of Student Office and restore current facility
Note: The LBA Central Office has already assumed operational responsibility for the new Student Office, located on UFPa's campus.
Phase 3 - July 2005
Second Round of LBA-ECO/STFP staff layoffs
Belem: Administrative Assistant (Marcia Texeira Figueiredo)
Santarém: Administrative Assistant (Adrienne de Cassia Freitas da Silva)
Santarém: Administrative Assistant (Ana Gabriela Fernandes de Oliveira)
Santarém Student Office: Office Assistant (Jose Araujo da Silva Junior)
Santarém Student Office: Caretaker (Neuma Maria Pimenta)
Santarém Student Office: Handyman (Nagib Alberto de Castro Souza)
Santarém Student Office: Watchman (Edlison Rêgo)
Santarém Training and Education Facility: End LBA-ECO logistics support
(happens as a result of these personnel cuts and previous actions)
Reduce LBA-ECO Project Office staff by ending some positions
Manaus: Project Management Liaison (Josefine Durazo)
Greenbelt: Programmer (Maura Padovan Tokai )
Greenbelt: Logistics Administrative Assistant (Janel Cassard)
Other Greenbelt positions will be reduced to part-time
Phase 4 - September 2005
Brasília: End LBA-ECO logistics support
Lay-off Logistics Aide/Data Technician (Jair Max Furtunato Maia)
End office funding
Acre, Belém, Brasilia, Ji-Parana, and Mato Grosso: End support for all LBA-ECO vehicles, which also signifies the end of all LBA-ECO logistics support in these cities
NASA plans to transfer half of these vehicles to the LBA Central Office so that they may continue to be used by the entire LBA research community. The rest will be sold and the resulting funds will be used for take-down activities.
Reduce Vehicle Support in Manaus and Santarém
Lay-off Enterprise Mechanics (Fábio de Nascimento Pereira and José Antonio Laurindo)
Manaus: Sell two vehicles (funds will be used for take-down activities).
Phase 5 - November/December 2005
Third round of LBA-ECO/STFP staff layoffs, all Santarém field support positions
Data Technician (Daniel Ferreira Amaral)
Field Labor Coordinator (Eleazar Brait)
Computer Technician (Davi Junior Silva de Oliveira)
Receptionist (Vania Almeida Pereira)
Receptionist (Sabrina Marques da Silva)
General Help/Basecamp Cook (Janitoni Lima da Silva)
Basecamp Cook (Sabino Ribeiro Coelho)
Basecamp General Services (Arminda Henrique)
Santarém: End LBA-ECO logistic support
Remaining staff focused on close-down/transition activities
Close regional office, end science support activities (including internet link)
End support for field data collection and base camp support
Begin transfer of NASA goods to Brazilian entities (towers, generators, base camp, field gear, lab and computer equipment, furniture, etc.)
Begin decommissioning of laboratories and restoration of office space
Transfer 7 vehicles
Help science teams ship equipment
Manaus: End LBA-ECO logistics support
Transfer remaining vehicles
End office funding
Phase 6 - January/March 06
Santarém: Complete close-down activities
Complete Project Office restoration
Complete transfer of NASA goods
End support for LBA-ECO vehicles, transfer last 5 vehicles
Last Round of staff lay-offs, all in Santarém
Logistics Aide (Iomar "Bill" Vidal da Silva)
Administrative Assistant (Soraia Priscila Plachi)
Caretaker (Maria Madalena Freitas Alves)
Watchman (Ronan Periera Alves)
Handyman (Genilson F. de Jesus Reis)
End LBA-ECO Project Office staff positions in Santarem
Logistics and Infrastructure Coordinator (Bethany Reed)
Data Collection Manager (Troy Beldini)
Note: The LBA-ECO Project Office is awaiting approval from the NASA Property Office to transfer vehicles and other NASA goods to our Brazilian partners. It is our intention to transfer these goods so that they will continue to be available to the LBA research community. By the times of the transfers indicated above, if we have not received NASA approval for the transfer, we may have to place goods in storage until we can obtain such approval. The LBA-ECO Project Office is exploring other possible options that will allow these resources to be available to researchers without interruption.
March 2006: NASA is completely removed from LBA-ECO field activities.
By this time, LBA-ECO expects to have transferred , 6 towers, 8 generators , 25 vehicles, and a significant amount of field support, computer, and office equipment to the LBA Central Office. While the Central Office may choose to relocate resources, we expect that they will continue to be available to LBA researchers. Please contact the LBA Central Office to discuss your field support needs beyond 2006.