COVID-19 Action Plan & Updates

Wednesday, July 15

An announcement re: 2020 SACNAS — The National Diversity in STEM Conference

In light of the ongoing pandemic we continue to lean on our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion — knowing that safe access to community and opportunity is critical, perhaps now more than ever. Meanwhile we must also prioritize the health and safety of our attendees, partners, and staff.

We’ve monitored the situation closely, including surveying our members, partners, and supporters on their thoughts around the annual conference.

For these reasons we are excited to announce that the 2020 SACNAS conference will be fully virtual for the first time, bringing you the same unique blend of STEM, culture, and community in a whole new setting: online!

Learn more and join us at

Friday, May 29

An email to our community

Due to the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the early bird registration deadline has been extended to Tuesday, June 30.

Our hope is this extension, combined with our risk-free policy*, will provide you two very important things during this pandemic: flexibility and time. For this and all programs, the SACNAS Board of Directors and staff are continuing to monitor the situation, make adjustments, and will provide additional details toward the end of June. We appreciate your patience!
*In response to COVID-19, we’ve updated our cancellation policy to allow for refunds should the conference be cancelled because of the pandemic. Visit for full details.

Wednesday, May 6

May Enewsletter

As of today, the 2020 SACNAS conference is still planned to occur as scheduled. We will continue to modify and adjust as we monitor the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime we have updated our registration cancellation policy and extended the early bird deadline to May 31.

Monday, April 20

An email re: Research Presentations & Travel Scholarships Deadline
• Application deadline for travel scholarships and research presentations is extended to July 10, 2020 at 5pm PT.

• All undergraduate, postbac, graduate students, and postdocs are eligible to apply for research presentations now through July 10.
• All undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply for travel scholarships now through July 10.

Monday, April 13

A special April Enewsletter

As of today, 2020 SACNAS— The National Diversity in STEM Conference is still planned to occur as scheduled. In order to support our attendees and partners, we have:
• Updated our registration cancellation policy to allow for refunds should the conference be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Extended the deadline for early bird registration to May 31.

Friday, April 3

A social media update re: membership renewals

One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about right now: Your Membership.

All paid memberships that were due to be renewed between now and August 1, have been extended to August 1, 2020. For any questions, contact us at

Friday, March 13

A social media update  from Executive Director

Upon advice from the California Department of Health, Santa Cruz County Health Department, and health experts, SACNAS will close its physical office and move all employees to remote work effective immediately.

It is important for an organization that honors the intersection of science and culture to help flatten the curve of new infections through social distancing and protect the health of our employees and their families. Our staff is fully equipped to serve the organization and membership remotely. Our physical office will remain closed until further notice.

Thursday, March 12

An email from SACNAS President, President-Elect, and Executive Director

We hope you are healthy and doing well. We are reaching out to communicate the plan SACNAS staff has put in place in response to COVID-19. Since this situation is so dynamic, it is unclear what the long-term impacts will be. Based on the latest information, our short-term directives, recommendations, and contingency plans are listed below. Please know that we will continue to monitor the situation and reach out with updates as they develop. In the meantime, everyone please take care.


Sonia I. Zárate, PhD
SACNAS President

Pamela Padilla, PhD
SACNAS President-Elect

A Message from Executive Director John D. Winnett:

SACNAS has been and will continue to monitor the ever-changing, constant developments with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and any potential impact it may have on the organization. As always, our focus is the safety and well-being of our members, employees, and the communities we serve.

As COVID-19 begins to have an increased impact on our community, we are implementing the following strategies to help flatten the curve of new infections and protect our members:

  1. All chapters will immediately cease in-person meetings, gatherings, events, etc. until further notice. SACNAS is working to identify a web-based system that will allow our chapters to meet virtually.
  2. We are working with our conference management firm to determine all options surrounding 2020 SACNAS—The National Diversity in STEM Conference scheduled for October 22-24 in Long Beach, CA.
  3. Since many students, faculty, and professionals have received notices to cease non-essential travel and cannot book any travel— even for future conferences— we are extending the 2020 conference early bird registration rate until May 31, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as needed.
  4. We are asking SACNAS regional meetings, which are led by local chapters, to postpone their events to a later date in the fall or winter. We will provide resources necessary for their successful execution at a later date.
  5. We have rescheduled the NSF Grant Writing Workshop to the fall.
  6. SACNAS staff have ceased all non-essential travel.

SACNAS is following the guidance and recommendations from worldwide health organizations, experts, and our state/local health departments.

Last Thursday, the CDC posted new guidance for people over age 60 and people with chronic medical conditions and/or compromised immune systems — the two groups considered most vulnerable to severe pneumonia from COVID-19. In addition to this new guidance, SACNAS encourages all members to follow the recommendations of the CDC, WHO, and your state and/or local health departments.

For any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly at

In partnership,

John D. Winnett
SACNAS Executive Director


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