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COVID-19 and AHAC

COVID-19 and AHAC

To the SBA Family,

As I am sure everyone is aware, the pandemic of COVID-19 is having not only a major impact on society, but it is also very far-reaching in its effects. Everyone at the Stratospheric Ballooning Association wishes to convey that everyone stays healthy and safe. It is for that reason that we at the SBA are working hard to make sure that we keep everyone safe, healthy and that we follow all local, state and federal guidelines as we battle this pandemic.

As we have announced, the Academic High Altitude Conference is currently scheduled for the week of June 24th, 2020. The conference is scheduled to be held at Iowa State University. On March 18th, 2020, Iowa State University announced that all courses are to be taught online and that no activities are permitted throughout the semester. At this time, we do not know if this will continue into the summer and affect the conference. If it does continue, however, we will not be permitted to hold the conference. The SBA board of directors and the ISU conference planning committee are closely monitoring the situation and we are getting up to date information almost daily from administrators at the university.

At this time, we are not canceling or postponing the conference. However, this is an ever-evolving situation and we are continuing to get new information as we assess our options for the conference. This could include conducting a virtual conference, postponing the conference, or canceling the conference for this year. Currently, all options are on the table. As we get closer to the conference we will have better information on how things will look for June. At this time, I anticipate making a decision about the conference no later than April 30th and sooner if possible. This is before the May 8th abstract submission date and should give everyone time to adjust their travel plans.

Once again, I hope that everyone is staying safe during this very historic and interesting times that we find ourselves in. Information about the conference will be posted on this page, our Facebook page and our Twitter account. We will continue to keep everyone up to date as we get more information.

Sincerely,

Matthew E. Nelson
SBA President and Co-founder