List of Correspondence

27 November 2017

Subject: Scheduling your FY17 CDI Funded Project Presentation

Dear FY17 Funded Project PIs,

We would like to start scheduling the final presentations for your project during a CDI Monthly Meeting this upcoming spring (2nd Wednesday of the month from 11am-12:30pm Eastern Time).

If you could please mark all dates you or a team member would be available to give a 8-10 minute presentation. (You may indicate preferences in the comments section of the poll.)

Please fill out the Doodle poll at your earliest convenience but by Dec. 18 at the latest

March 14, 2018

April 11, 2018

May 9, 2018

Here are all previous PI communications for your reference, including information about the final reports due March 2, 2018:

Let me know if you have any questions!



06 October 2017

Subject: CDI FY17 Funded Project Next Steps

Dear FY17 Funded Project PIs,

Here is more information about things to consider as you finish up your CDI projects.

At this point, we just want to help you complete your project and communicate the results to the wider community. Recent feedback has helped us to identify where we can improve the CDI’s role in helping you do this. The process this year is different from previous years so please read through this message carefully.

1. CDI FY17 Annual Report:

We will follow up with you individually about a plain-language summary of your project proposal that we will include in our CDI FY17 Annual Report, which we plan to release later this calendar year. This is different from previous years where we heckled you for final project reports in the fall.

What you need to do: Reply to the email that you will receive from me soon, confirming that the summary is factually correct. (A communications specialist helped us to create these ~150 word plain language summaries and we need your confirmation that you agree with it.)

2. Final project reporting:

As mentioned earlier, your final report is due by March 2, 2018, giving you more time to complete your proposed project. The report format will be different from previous years, and hopefully easier to follow:

A. 150 word plain-language account of what is the problem, what you did about it, and what is the value to the CDI / the larger research community. (This will be some great reusable text for you to use elsewhere to describe your project if needed!)

B. Your outputs (as links or attachments)

Example: Link(s) to a white-paper, OFR, webpage, web service, or code repository.

We understand that each project will have different types of outputs. In some cases, the output may be a 1-2 page write-up of accomplishments lessons learned from the project (our previous requirement for the final report). However, we do not want to require that if it is duplicative of your other outputs (OFR, etc.). We suspect we will be having further conversations with each of you to figure out the details. Our primary goal is to have something interesting and of value to report back to the CDI, not necessarily that you completed everything that you proposed!

C. An image/figure and caption to be associated with your write-up.


We hope this new format is easier to create than the previous open-ended instructions to “give us 1-2 pages describing your accomplishments.”

What you need to do: By March 2, 2018, send us items A-C. If you’d like, you could directly update your ScienceBase item with them. Otherwise, we will help you get the information onto ScienceBase. If you have anything that is ready for linking to ScienceBase now, send it to us if you haven’t already (we like to keep the pages as current as possible!) Let us know if this guidance is not clear or you have any questions.

3. CDI Helping to promote your project:

We are really excited to help promote your project to the CDI community and beyond.

A. We will schedule presentations at the CDI monthly virtual meetings for you to report your findings. Last year these were in the form of 8-minute talks.

B. We would like to help you spread word of your project once finished, for example with a “Highlight” that gets passed up to USGS Leadership. We could coordinate with your Center Communications Specialist if you have one. To be most effective, if you remember to contact us when some output is about to be released (1-2 weeks ahead), we can help craft the announcement.

What you need to do: Let us know when your products are about to be released. (If it is afterward, that is fine too.) Be on the look-out for an email in the next few months about scheduling your presentation to CDI.

4. Feedback:

We are continually trying to improve the RFP process. We’d appreciate it if you (or your collaborators) could take 5 minutes to answer the following questions at this anonymous form.

A. Did you find the data management plan format to be useful to helping you plan your project? If not, why? (we are looking to improve it)

B. This year’s schedule gives approximately ~11 months from notification of award to deadline for final report - is this a good amount of time to expect products to be completed and written up? If not, what do you suggest?

C. We try to offer frequent support and contact throughout the funded project and are focusing on helping projects with their communication, sustainability, and adoption. Do you feel that the amount of time we spent on these topics to be useful to you?

D. Let us know anything else you'd like to tell us about the CDI proposals process.


What you need to do: Answer the questions here at your earliest convenience. Let us know when your products are about to be released. (If it is afterward, that is fine too.) Be on the look-out for an email in early 2018 about scheduling your presentation to CDI. Keep in touch to help us improve our process!


That was a long email but I hope it gives better guidance on your next steps.

Thank you to those of you who did a quick email check in around Sept 30, and also thanks for working to spend the funds on the compressed schedule due to this year’s unique budget situation. We know that the CDI funded project process may be “a little bit different” than others you are used to, but we hope it is different in a good way, helping to support and promote your work!

Are you still wondering about something I missed? Give me a call or email.


28 August 2017

Subject: CDI FY17 Funded Project Check-in

Dear CDI FY17 Funded Projects PIs,

As the end of the fiscal year approaches, I just wanted to send a note to see if you had any questions or concerns about the final "official" month of your CDI project.

A few updates and reminders for the upcoming months: 

  • Sept 30: Upload code (if applicable) to USGS CDI Bitbucket repository or send us the link to your existing repository. If you need your Bitbucket repository set up, email me the repository name and email addresses of admins.

  • Sept 30: We will check in about your project's ScienceBase entry.

  • Sept 30: Check in with us to let us know which deliverables are completed, which are in progress, and if any plans have changed.

  • March 2, 2018 *: Submit your project's final report to CDI. (We will remind you in the upcoming months.)

We are trying something different with this year’s final project reports. In the past, we’ve collected final reports in October and included them in our CDI Annual Report (published as a USGS Open File Report). Many projects were still in progress at that time, and we missed some of the later accomplishments in the report. To have a report that captures more accomplishments, we’d like to publish just the Proposal Abstract in our Annual Report, and ask for the final reports in March 2018 (you can of course file the report earlier if you’d like.) You can see examples of past project reports in the Annual Reports (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).

I also wanted to check in to see if you anticipate any change of plan or difficulty in spending your project funds, just let me know if that is the case.


07 July 2017

Subject: CDI FY17 Funded Project Check-in

Dear CDI FY17 Funded Project PIs,

Thanks for scheduling your CDI project check-in for July. The calls are meant to be brief and informative. We have a few goals:

  1. Timeline: Look at timeline from your proposal - discuss if any modifications are needed

  2. Data Management Plan: Look at Data Management Plan from your proposal - discuss if any modifications are needed

  3. Your project’s ScienceBase Item: view and discuss any content, links, or needs.

  4. Code repositories for scripts and software: if applicable, discuss any needs, provide information about the current USGS options (see this post for more information).

  5. Discuss any other questions you have for CDI.

You do not need to prepare any other materials to present, (but of course we would not decline to see anything you wish to show!).

We intend for the calls to take less than 30 minutes.

Call info:
Phone: 703.648.4848 / 855.547.8255,  47919#

CDI Wiki page with information we have sent you about FY17 funded projects

Best regards,


13 June 2017

Subject: CDI FY17 Funded Project Check-in

Dear CDI FY17 Funded Projects PIs,

Greetings! We've found it useful to check in with you occasionally to make sure you have everything you need to make your CDI funded project a success. It’s hard to believe that almost three months have passed since we announced the awards!

Please do not hesitate to contact Madison and me at with any questions.

  1. Timeline

    1. You have all specified your own timelines in your proposals, but here is a general reminder

      1. June - schedule summer check in with CDI office

      2. July - complete summer check in over WebEx (see item 2)

      3. Sept - finish spending out budget by Sept 30!

  2. Summer check-in

    1. The purpose of the check-in is for funded project teams to give an informal update on their proposed timelines and have an opportunity to ask any questions to the CDI coordination team (Leslie and Madison).

    2. Please use the Google Appointment Slots link below with your USGS Google Calendar to select a 45 minute appointment slot. However, we expect the calls to be <30 minutes.

    3. Slots are available July 17, 18, 19, and 20. If none of the dates work, email us at to schedule another date.

    4. It is your decision who to include from your project team on the call (it could be just you, or a large group).

  3. Use this link to select a slot, name it with your last name, and “Save” to your calendar.  
  4. Correspondence with FY17 PIs Wiki page

    1. For your records, here’s a CDI Wiki page with information we have sent you about FY17 funded projects.

Let us know if you have any questions! Otherwise, we look forward to seeing your scheduled check-in call.

Leslie and Madison

28 March 2017

Subject: CDI Funded Project and 2017 CDI Workshop Information (Denver, May 16-19, 2017)


Dear FY17 Funded Project PIs,

Congratulations again on your FY17 CDI Funded Project!

Over the next year, we will be keeping in contact with the Lead-PI with occasional information to make sure you are up to date. Let me know if you would like any other project leads included on these messages.

Here’s some things you can do now:

  1. Check with your AO that the CDI project account has been set up
  2. Plan to attend the CDI workshop in Denver, May 16-19 and contribute a poster
  3. See FY16 Funded project presentations

1. Check with your Administrative Officer that the accounts are in place 

Since the funded period and timeline are pretty quick, we encourage you to verify with your AO (cc:ed on your award notice from Cheryl Morris on 3/9/17) that the accounts are set up satisfactorily. In past years, there were some hiccups, especially if multiple accounts were involved. Past awardees strongly recommended that the PI check with the AO frequently near the beginning of the project to make sure there is no hold-up.

If you have not yet replied-all to the 3/9/17 email, let me know if you have outstanding questions.

2. Plan to attend the CDI workshop and contribute a DataBlast Poster.

We asked that travel funds be included in your budget to attend in the CDI 2017 Workshop in Denver, May 16-19. We would also like you to bring a poster to the DataBlast session (poster and demo session) in order to discuss your project goals and plan. We’ve found that discussion with the CDI community, and USGS Leadership in attendance, is a great opportunity to kick-start the projects.

We noticed that most, but not all, funded projects have an attendee signed up through the USGS Conference Database. We will be sending a formal registration link to pre-registered attendees this week. If you have any questions about participating the Workshop, let me know. We’ll follow up with you if we can’t find your project participant.

Preliminary DataBlast information is here, but 2017 templates will be updated in the near future.

3. Presentations from FY16 Funded Projects

Many of the CDI FY16 projects presented at the March CDI Monthly Meeting, and another group will be presenting in April. You might be interested in seeing the outcomes of the previous projects, you can see more information here.

For your reference, we will archive all PI correspondence on this CDI Wiki page: FY17 Project PI Correspondence

Best regards,

Leslie Hsu
CDI Coordinator 

09 March 2017

Subject: 2017 CDI RFP Status of proposal


Dear Project PI,

Congratulations on your recently awarded 2017 CDI proposal!

Here is some important information that will help you get started on your project. 

1) Administrative info

2) Project check-ins, reports, and deliverables


1) Administrative info

We are working with Cheryl Davis, our Administrative Officer, to set up appropriate accounts and other information needed to initiate the change of allocation.  This will be happening over the next few weeks. 


Additionally, are there any other cost centers that are part of your project that need funding? If so, can you provide the additional information with AO contact, cost center, and the breakdown of how much funding goes to each cost center?


2) Project check-ins, reports, and deliverables

As specified in the CDI Request for Proposals Guidance “Project Reporting” section (p. 3), the following will be required:

  •  Attendance at the CDI 2017 Workshop (Denver, CO, May 16-19, 2017) - As specified in the proposal guidance, we ask funded projects to budget a trip to our in-person CDI Workshop. Funded projects present a poster at the DataBlast session, which serves as a way to network and learn about related efforts in the beginning stages of the project. CDI sponsors and USGS leadership always enjoy learning about the CDI project teams. At this time, please make sure that someone from your team is entered into the USGS Conference Database. We will send more information once the meeting is formally approved.
  • Mid-year briefing (to be scheduled July 2017) - The purpose of the mid-year briefing is to communicate status and provide an opportunity to discuss any questions from the project team or CDI. The check in is accomplished by WebEx with CDI and relevant team members. We’ll check in about a month in advance to schedule this call.
  • USGS Bitbucket Repository (due September 30, 2017) If applicable, please ensure that any software code developed for your project is available in the USGS Bitbucket Repository. All code should be accessible in Bitbucket by September 30, 2017, but can be continuously updated in the future. If you plan to maintain the project in a separate repository, such as GitHub, provide a link from your Bitbucket repository to the GitHub repository. A recorded training on the use of USGS Bitbucket is available at
  • Contribution to CDI Annual Report (due October 20, 2017) - provide a brief report describing the project purpose, objectives, benefits, and deliverables with links to products or publications. Also provide a visual representation of project accomplishments. Template is attached. See past Annual Reports for reference.
  • Data Management Plan Update (due October 20, 2017) - update and submit Data Management Planning Forms by indicating which deliverables are completed and if any are still in progress. Provide explanation if any deliverable plans have changed.
  • ScienceBase entry (ongoing, final due date October 20, 2017) We will be using your public summary to populate a ScienceBase page describing your project. You will be able to edit this page. We will link to your deliverables as relevant.

Your reply to this message will signify your agreement to providing these check-ins, reports, and deliverables.

We look forward to working with you over the coming months on your project!

Please contact CDI Coordinator, Leslie Hsu (, 303-202-4080) if you have any questions.



Cheryl Morris
Director of Core Science, Analytics, Synthesis, and Libraries