The Morning Report

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Recent Editions  

INCIDENTS



Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Airplane Wreckage Found Near Emerald Canyon

Members of a private boating trip reported the wreckage of an airplane to park rangers at Diamond Creek on May 20th. The boaters informed the rangers that they found the plane with human remains inside during a hike near Emerald Canyon.

Inclement weather prevented rangers from responding to the scene via helicopter until this past Sunday. They first recovered the remains, which await identification from the Coconino County medical examiner, then packaged the plane in a sling load and recovered it using a long line.

The wreckage matches the description of an airplane that disappeared in 2011. That plane, a red RV6 homebuilt experimental aircraft, was last seen at Grand Canyon Airport around 8:30 a.m. on Friday, March 11, 2011. The NPS used both an airplane and a helicopter in search efforts at that time, covering 2,000 air miles over a 600-square-mile search area.  Civil Air Patrol’s Nevada Wing, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center assisted in that search. Search activities continued on a limited basis after April 1, 2011.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

[Submitted by Public Affairs Office]


Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
School Teacher Convicted On Sexual Misconduct Charges

On February 3, 2014, the Investigative Services Branch’s Grand Canyon Field Office began a joint investigation with park law enforcement rangers concerning possible sexual conduct between a 27-year-old Grand Canyon School teacher and a student residing within Grand Canyon National Park.

On October 2, 2014, Nina Bryan was indicted by Coconino County and charged with sixteen counts of sexual conduct with a minor. 

On May 19, 2015, she pleaded guilty to two felony counts of sexual conduct with a minor. She was sentenced in state superior court to six months in jail, lifetime sex offender registration, and three years of supervised probation upon release.

[Submitted by Investigative Services Branch]


FIRE MANAGEMENT



NIFC/NPS Fire and Aviation Management
National Fire/Incident Situation Highlights

National Fire Activity – Preparedness Level 1

NIFC is at Preparedness Level 1.

Fire Weather Forecast

Daily fire weather reports are not yet available. To see a NOAA map of today’s critical fire weather areas, click on this link: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/fire_wx/fwdy1.html

Fire Summary (Five Day Trend)

NICC daily fire summaries are not yet available.


NPS Fire Summaries

Big Cypress NP – The lightning-caused Mud Lake Complex fires, which began on May 8th, have now burned over 35,321 acres – an increase of 321 acres from yesterday’s report – and are 51% contained. A Type 1 IMT (Dueitt) has been assigned to the complex; at present, 319 firefighters and overhead are committed. Precipitation amounts have varied widely across the complex, and fire behavior is expected to vary from moderate to very high depending on local precipitation amounts. For additional information, including maps and photos, go to this InciWeb site.

*****

For additional information on all fires, check the following web sites:


NEWS AND NOTES



Office of Communications
Director Jarvis To Hold Webchat Today

Director Jarvis will hold a webchat today at 3 p.m. Eastern. He will be joined by Associate Director of Natural Resources Stewardship and Science Ray Sauvajot for a discussion about citizen science.

This is an open forum with the director, and as in previous webchats, there will be time for the director to answer questions submitted by employees.

Click this link to access the chat just before 3 p.m. (or click “Webchat” on the right side of InsideNPS). For those employees who are not on the VPN and not on the network, please access the webchat from http://apps.doi.gov, choose InsideNPS and click on the “Webchat” link on the homepage. If you’re not close to a computer during the live event, you can dial in to a listen-only conference line: 1-888-455-3802, passcode WEBCHAT.

To submit questions, feedback, and future webchat topic ideas, please email DirectorWebchats@nps.gov; anything emailed today will be considered for the following webchat. Questions can also be submitted during the webchat via the Livestream chat function.

[Submitted by Suki Baz]


Washington Office
Director Honors Two Fallen NPS Employees

On Friday, May 18th, the director, deputy director, all seven regional directors and others gathered in the director’s hallway in the Udall (Main) Interior Building for a very respectful and peaceful ceremony to honor two fallen National Park Service employees by adding their names to the Memorial Board. 

Joseph Wysocki and Charles “Chuck” Caha’s names became the 227th and 228th names displayed on the board, which honors fallen employees all the way back to 1908.

Director Jarvis opened the ceremony with personal comments about both men – Joe, a dedicated, 10-year volunteer videographer at Channel Islands National Park, and Chuck, a seasoned, heavy equipment operator at Death Valley National Park, both of whom perished in 2013. 

Joe died when he fell from a dock ladder on Anacapa Island while boarding a NPS vessel for a return trip to the mainland following an interpretive production and Chuck died from heat-related illness while walking to his work truck in extremely high temperatures following the breakdown of his road grader.

During the ceremony, a US flag was removed to reveal the newly added names, and the director placed a wreath in front of the board, which will remain for a week to alert passersby of the additions and to pay tribute to these gentlemen and their families.

Director Jarvis closed the ceremony by describing how it feels to know nearly all of the names on the second of two boards and how he consciously takes in the number of lost employees as he passes the boards many times daily. 

We can never take their sacrifices lightly and we must continue to learn the lessons from their deaths – it is how we can best honor Joe, Chuck, and the 226 others we have lost over the years.  

[Submitted by Michael K. May, Chief, Office of Risk Management]


Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Services
High Angle Rescue Accident Learning Analysis Report Released

On Wednesday April 8th, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area High Angle Rescue Team personnel experienced a significant injury accident while conducting a joint-agency high angle rescue (HAR) training session at High Point State Park in northwestern New Jersey.

An accident investigation was subsequently conducted utilizing the facilitated learning analysis process, which is routinely employed by the wildland fire community.

A facilitated learning analysis (FLA) is more detailed that an after-action review and less involved than a serious accident investigation. The FLA is a non-punitive accident review process which seeks to understand the events of an accident through the process of “sensemaking”. The FLA process seeks to understand “how” it made sense to those involved, rather than “how” it makes sense in hindsight.

The FLA process supports a learning organization, which is one that completely values opportunities for continuous self-improvement through information and experiences gained in the work place. This is particularly true of safety related issues, particularly the examination of near-misses or accidents. 

A learning organization directly addresses identified deficiencies so they can be avoided in the future. The FLA process is focused on the lessons learned rather than determining the causal factors of an accident.  Learning-focused accident investigations support a “Just Culture”.

All NPS personnel involved in technical rescue operations are encouraged to review this report, which is available at the “More Information” link directly below.

[Submitted by Ken Phillips, NPS Branch Chief of Search and Rescue]

 More Information...
Park Facility Management Division
Donna (Compton) Hagen Is Retiring

Donna Hagen is retiring on May 30th following nearly 35 years with the National Park Service.

Donna has spent her entire NPS career with the Washington Office and most of that with the Park Facility Management Division.

Throughout her facilities management career, Donna had the opportunity to travel to NPS sites across the country, where she worked and collaborated with much of the NPS community, who became like family. For the past 13 years, Donna has been stationed at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Donna learned just how special the NPS community is when her husband, Kip Hagen, then superintendent of Steamtown NHS, suddenly passed away 17 months ago. The overwhelming response of her National Park Service family during such a difficult time provided Donna strength and comfort that continues to support her through her transition.

“I don’t know what I would have done without the many friends who offered so much support,” she says, “especially the staff at Steamtown and PFMD. The Park Service is a special organization, and I am truly blessed to be part of it.” 

Donna has been a mentor and friend to many of her fellow coworkers throughout her career, and she will be dearly missed. She is taking with her a wealth of knowledge that cannot be replaced, but she leaves behind a legacy of dedication, teamwork, and commitment to the Park Service mission.

Donna now prepares to relocate to Austin, Texas, where she looks forward to spending time with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (WV)
Student Citizen Scientists Find Their Park At Harpers Ferry

Stewardship of parks is vital to the continuation of “America’s best idea.”  On May 14th, 10th grade students from Martinsburg High School in Martinsburg, West Virginia, heeded the call for stewardship and participated in a service learning project where they picked up trash along the Maryland Heights trail and documented areas of graffiti within the park. 

This was all part of the “Park Stewards Program Grant” sponsored by the National Park Foundation.  Harpers Ferry Education Specialist Stan McGee applied for and received an $18,000 grant for the purpose of working with local students to develop curriculum and service-learning activities that meet state education standards while simultaneously fostering an interest in parks in the younger student population.

Throughout the year, the program specifically focused on the Potomac River/Chesapeake Bay Watershed area and how local agriculture has come to impact this important water source. 

Led by Ranger McGee, the student citizen scientists took part in an experiential learning program called “Bridging the Watershed,” where they tested the quality of the water by searching for and documenting the existence of macroinvertabrates.  This program not only meets bio-science education standards, but also demonstrates the need for students to be aware of their natural surroundings and examine the impact of their actions on the local environment.

The students visited the park again in mid-May and took part in a service learning project. The project consisted of the students, their teacher, Renee Haines, and Ranger McGee hiking along the Maryland Heights trail and picking up trash along the way. Once at the summit of Maryland Heights, the students photographed modern graffiti and documented the GPS coordinates of the markings.

This information will be handed over to park law enforcement and park volunteers who are part of the new Park Watch program at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Youth are our future. We need to inspire the young people of the nation now so that they develop into responsible citizens who will care for these special places.

[Submitted by Caitlin Kostic]


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Cultural Resources
GS-0170-11/12 Historian

Dates: 05/20/2015 - 06/02/2015

The Cultural Resources Directorate has issued merit promotion and all source announcements for a historian.

Both close on June 2nd.

Northeast Region
GS-1601-9 Facility Management Systems Specialists

Northeast Regional Office is seeking candidates for four facility management systems specialist vacancies.

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

It closes on May 29th.
 More Information...
Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs
GS-0301-12/13 Legislative Affairs Specialist (Detail)

The Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs is offering one or more 90- to 120-day detail opportunities for the position of legislative affairs specialist (GS-12/13), starting at the end of June or later.  

The detailee(s) will serve as part of the team developing, coordinating, and implementing the National Park Service’s legislative program.  The work will entail preparing for congressional hearings, drafting briefing materials for NPS and Departmental officials, responding to Congressional inquiries, and more.  The position requires excellent oral and written communication skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to produce well-organized, accurate work under short deadlines.  Experience interacting with Congressional members or staff is a plus but is not required.

This opportunity is open to NPS employees who have at least one year of related experience at the GS-11 level or higher.  The salary will be paid by the Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs, but no travel or per diem expenses will be paid.   

Employees who would like to be considered for this detail should, after checking with their supervisors, send a cover letter and short resume by June 12th to Melissa Kuckro, Senior Legislative Affairs Specialist, Melissa_Kuckro@nps.gov.

Big Bend National Park (TX)
WG-4749-7 Maintenance Worker (Lateral)

Big Bend National Park is accepting applications for a lateral reassignment for a permanent career seasonal position in the Facility Management Division.

Duties include:

  • Carpentry: Perform light carpentry on building and housing units, such as hanging doors, cabinets, replacement of window sills, steps and siding.
  • Painting: Performs painting tasks such as prep, patch and paint building, historic structures and housing units using latex/oil paint.
  • Plumbing: Replaces plumbing fixtures, snakes sewer lines.
  • Water and waste water treatment: Performs duties such as water sampling/testing, cleaning water treatment area, pump and haul sludge.
  • Custodial: cleans daily- visitor use areas, offices, loads and unloads supplies, Falls and bucks timber, cleans campsites.

Big Bend National Park is one of the largest and most diverse national parks in the United States, encompassing over 801,000 acres of Chihuahuan Desert with varied scenery and diversity of plant and animal life. It is situated in remote southwest Texas along the Rio Grande which is the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. The park community consists of 250 people, including employees of the NPS, Concession, Border Patrol, Postal Service, School, and their families. A state-accredited elementary school (K-8) is located at Panther Junction.

Government housing maybe available. Travel, transportation and relocation expenses will be paid if the person selected for the position is eligible for reimbursement of relocation expenses under the Federal Travel Regulations.

To be considered, submit the following to Terry Boren, Human Resources Specialist, by the close of business on June 8th:

  • A resume/application that includes all experience, training and education related to the position.
  • Copy of your most current performance appraisal.
  • A current SF50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting permanent competitive civil service status.

Application materials may be emailed directly to Terry_Boren@nps.gov, Intermountain Region, Santa Fe SHRO, P.O. Box 129,Big Bend National Park, Texas  79834 (432) 477-1118.