The Morning Report

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Recent Editions  

INCIDENTS



Yosemite National Park (CA)
Fraud Indictment Returned Against Former Lodge Employee

Following a two-year-long investigation by the Investigative Services Branch, a federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment on August 28th against Jason Wilson, 34, former resident of Yosemite, California, charging him with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and taking property from Yosemite Lodge.

Between October 2011 and December 2012, Wilson, who was then assistant manager at Yosemite Lodge, reversed hotel charges on existing and fabricated reservations.  He then directed the hotel to credit his and his wife’s personal accounts rather than the account of the person whose name appeared on the reservation.  

In total, Wilson manipulated approximately 50 reservations. He stole and embezzled and defrauded the hotel out of over $87,000 in funds to which he was not entitled.

[Submitted by Investigative Services Branch]


NEWS AND NOTES



Office of Communications
NPS Birthday Marked By Successful Social Media Posts

Kudos to everyone who participated in the social media campaign for the National Park Service’s 98th birthday. Approximately 150 parks and programs posted messages on Facebook and/or Twitter using the designated hashtag #NationalParks. The posts were shared widely and “liked” by thousands of people.

Across the board, parks and programs showed amazing creativity with their birthday posts. Many even incorporated meaningful interpretive messages specific to their park’s story.

The Office of Communications created a Facebook gallery consolidating nearly 250 park and program photos that incorporated the sign with the new Centennial logo. There was so much excitement over the celebration that it was a challenge to keep up with all the posts and photos. View the album and find your favorites.

There have been Servicewide social media campaigns in the past for the holidays and National Park Week. However, the 2014 birthday campaign was the biggest effort to date based on how many parks and programs participated. Well done everyone.

Using social media platforms at the same time with the same message enables the National Park Service to make a big impact. Coordinated social media campaigns allow us to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates – a critical goal of our centennial effort. Each campaign will get bigger and better.

In addition to the social media campaign, many of you put out press releases about the fee free day, which resulted in nearly 400 media stories nationwide about our 98th birthday.

Horace M. Albright, our second director, would be proud of us at 98 years old. In his farewell address to the NPS in 1933, he said: "Do not let the Service become just another Government bureau. Keep it youthful, vigorous, clean and strong." We will, Mr. Albright.

Learn more about social media policies and best practices on the NPS Digital Community site.

[Submitted by Jody Lyle, Chief, Digital Content]

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Valley Forge National Historical Park (PA)
Summer Of Bugs Concludes With 24-Hour Insect Inventory

The Summer of Bugs provided a season-long opportunity for Valley Forge National Historical Park visitors and distance learners to become citizen scientists, join in fun and educational biodiversity discovery activities, and collect data on a group of animals for which the park had little information.

Valley Forge National Historical Park in partnership with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University encouraged public participation in monthly butterfly searches, an on-going PhotoBlitz, and two 24-hour BugBlitzes. People were encouraged to share their findings and follow along on social using the hashtag, #summerofbugs. The park and the academy wrapped up the Summer of Bugs with the second 24-hour BugBlitz in late August.

During the BugBlitz, public volunteers and professional entomologists from 13 different academic institutions teamed together to collect and identify as many insects as possible over a 24-hour period, which included a very popular nocturnal insect search.

Visitors interested in learning more about insect diversity in the park attended family-friendly insect hikes, visited insect exploration stations, got up close and personal with local insects and insectivores, and interacted with researchers working in the pop-up Insect Lab.

“I never knew all these bugs were under our feet the whole time,” said one young citizen-scientist. Several other visitors commented on how excited they were to have the opportunity to work with so many different experts.

During the blitzes and extending throughout the summer, visitors and volunteers were also asked to submit photographs of insects observed in the park to the ‘Summer of Bugs’ project on iNaturalist.org, an online species database, so their observations could be included in the invertebrate inventory. Photographs submitted by park visitors documented forty additional species that had not been observed by researchers during on-site field work.  

Specimens are still being cataloged but over 400 different species have been identified to date, including several county records and one cranefly species that had not been previously recorded in Pennsylvania.

Over 200 volunteers directly participated in Summer of Bugs inventory activities, and countless others followed along through social media or just stopped by the Insect Lab to observe. By holding events throughout the summer more volunteers had the opportunity to participate, the park was able to document species active at different times, and participants were introduced to seasonal variation in invertebrate biodiversity.

Funding support was provided by the NPS Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate and directly supports accomplishment of C2A #7 Next Generation Stewards. The Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University is a leading natural history museum dedicated to advancing research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science.   

[Submitted by Amy Ruhe, Natural Resource Manager]


Interpretation/Education Division
New Cooperative Agreement On Migratory Birds Signed

A cooperative agreement has been signed with Environment for the Americas (EFTA) that will foster interdisciplinary cooperation related to bird habitat, promote public education, promote and protect the environment for the benefit of native bird populations and disseminate EFTA-designed bilingual teaching tools and educational content.

The keystone education program of EFTA, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), raises awareness about bird conservation throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

This cooperative agreement has been developed with the support of the Interpretation, Education and Volunteers Directorate and the Natural Resources Stewardship and Science Directorate.

EFTA has created a Latino partnership that provides youth ages 15-25 with the skills necessary to effectively compete for positions in avian research, environmental education positions and other natural resource positions.  Another benefit to working closely with EFTA is disseminating their bilingual teaching materials about migratory birds widely to NPS staff. 

[Submitted by Lynne Murdock or Margie Ortiz, lynne_murdock@nps.gov, 202 513 7195]

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Jimmy Carter National Historic Site (GA)
Citizenship Ceremony Held On Founders Day

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site joined several other units of the National Park Service last month in a celebration of citizenship.

Twenty visitors to the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site became American citizens during a citizenship ceremony held at the site.  The ceremony took place inside the auditorium of Plains High School on Founders’ Day.

To add to their special day, the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, was in attendance and offered a few words of wisdom and welcomed all the new citizens. He congratulated them on their journey and also challenged them to not only grow, but contribute to the growth of America.  

Founders’ Day is the perfect opportunity not only to take an active role in preserving the National Park Service's special places, but to explore and enjoy them as well.

[Submitted by Steve Theus]


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
GS-2210-12 Supervisory IT Specialist

Yellowstone National Park has issued an announcement for a supervisory IT specialist.

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

Contact Branch Chief Telecommunications Bret De Young at 307-344-2070 or bret_deyoung@nps.gov for more information about the position.

It closes on September 9th.
 More Information...
Kings Mountain National Military Park (SC)
GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)

Kings Mountain National Military Park is seeking qualified Level 1 commissioned candidates interested in a lateral reassignment to a permanent law enforcement ranger position.

The ranger selected for the position will be perform a wide array of “traditional ranger” duties, including law enforcement, boundary management, EMS, search and rescue, and various resource protection activities. The park has a very active fire program with prescribed fire as a major component. Kings Mountain National Military Park also provides law enforcement coverage for Cowpens National Battlefield, Ninety Six National Historic Site, and Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.

The park is in the piedmont area of South Carolina conveniently located between Greenville, South Carolina, and Charlotte, North Carolina. All basic services are located within 30 minutes of the park. The area offers easy access to many cultural and natural areas. The 3,945-acre park is adjacent to Kings Mountain State Park (SC) and minutes from Crowders Mountain State Park (NC). The average temperature in the winter is 40 degrees Fahrenheit; with an average high in the summer of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Permanent change of station costs (PCS) will be paid by the government in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulations. Relocation costs including services of a relocation contractor will be paid; however, guaranteed home sale and home marketing incentive will not be paid or reimbursed by the park.

Candidates must meet the National Park Service standards in law enforcement including medical screening, drug screening, fitness standards, background investigations, and required training. Candidates must also be able to pass the arduous duty pack test for wildland firefighting and maintain a minimum of a firefighter type 2 incident qualifications card.

This position is covered by law enforcement officer retirement provisions of 5 U.S.C. Section 8336(c) and 5 U.S.C. 8412(d). Proof of special retirement coverage MUST be provided with resume. Applicants who are currently covered should include a copy of a recent SF-50 documenting coverage.

Interested individuals should submit the following – a resume/application, a copy of your last performance appraisal, copy of wildland fire qualifications, and a current SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action documenting permanent status. Application and supporting documentation, should be sent to Kings Mountain National Military Park 2625 Park Rd. Blacksburg, SC 29702 and must be received by September 15th in order to be considered.

North Cascades National Park (WA)
GS-0025-12/13 Chief Ranger

North Cascades National Park has issued an announcement for a chief ranger.

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 September 8th.
 More Information...