Faison said during the first few days of the shutdown, she followed the news closely, anticipating that she could be called back any day. But by week two, "I just kind of fell into my own personal routine," she said.
She said she considered teleworking for the first day or two but eventually decided "I might as well just get back into the swing of things."
Hydrologist Julian Wayland, carrying his lunch in a paper bag, said he wasn't sure how much work had piled up during the shutdown. His primary job is determining the age of groundwater samples.
"We're definitely behind," he said. "I'm glad it's over."
Nationwide, the impasse had shuttered monuments and national parks. In Florida, the closure of the Everglades National Park had put almost all Florida Bay off limits, but commercial fishermen were set to return Friday. Parks across the country made similar plans.
The shutdown also mostly closed down NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department. Critical functions of government went on as usual, but the closure and potential default weighed on the economy and spooked the financial markets.
Standard & Poor's estimated the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy.
Crary reported from New York. Associated Press writer Matthew Barakat in Reston, Va., contributed to this report.