The Morning Report

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Recent Editions  


Point Reyes National Seashore (CA)
Three Dead, One Missing Following Boat Wreck

On the evening of Friday, April 17th, the Coast Guard began a search for an overdue 21-foot pleasure craft with three men and one woman on board in waters near Point Reyes National Seashore.

The search continued into Saturday, when a floating debris field and grounded vessel matching the description of the missing craft were discovered within the park’s boundary in the area of Bird Rock off of Tomales Point. Shortly thereafter, the bodies of a man and woman, later identified as Richard Hargreaves, 60, and Diane Kelly, 61, were recovered from the Tomales Point shoreline and nearby waters.

Search efforts were suspended on April 19th. During a follow-up overflight of the area on Wednesday, April 22nd, the body of Ryan Viall, 29, was recovered in the area where Hargreaves and Kelly were earlier found. Additional overflight searches of the area have produced no additional clues; one man remains missing. 

This was a large, multi-agency search that included National Park Service rangers, United States Coast Guard naval and aviation assets, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office helicopter, the Marin County Fire Department Water Rescue Team, the Marin County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team, California State Park rangers, and Tomales and Bodega Bay Volunteer Fire Departments. Media interest was high.

[Submitted by David Schifsky, Chief Ranger]


Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial (VA)
150th Of Appomattox Surrender Commemorated

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, commemorated the fall of the Confederate capital of Richmond and the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House by conducting two special events on April 4th and 9th.

The events were meant to show the wide range of reactions to the collapse of the Confederacy and the final days of the war.

The first, an evening program on the anniversary of President Lincoln’s visit to Richmond, focused on the triumph and relief felt by Union soldiers and freedmen living on the Arlington estate at the time contrasting with the despair felt by the Lee family. Music, dancing, and tours of the mansion and Civil War graves were conducted by NPS volunteers. A candlelight vigil was held to honor all those who lost their lives in the war, including over 15,000 who are buried at Arlington and Abraham Lincoln, whose memorial stands just a mile from General Lee’s.

The second was conducted at the exact time of the surrender of Lee to Grant on April 9th. Living historians Kenneth Serfass and Frank Orlando, portraying Generals Grant and Lee, read from the correspondence and reminiscences of the two iconic figures. A park ranger gave commentary while the Federal City Brass Band provided music. At 3:15 p.m. all paused to ring bells as part of the “Bells Across the Land” program.

Arlington House was the pre Civil War home of General Robert E. Lee and his family. Seized by the United States Government during the war, it is now the nation’s memorial to him, honoring him for leadership in promoting reunion and reconciliation after the war. The Lee Memorial is symbolically joined to the Lincoln Memorial by Memorial Bridge across the Potomac River.  

[Submitted by Matt Penrod]

Office of Communications
Mobile-Friendly Park Websites Now Live On

Park websites on from A (Acadia) to Z (Zion) are now mobile-friendly! Visitors using phones and tablets to visit park websites now have a user-friendly experience to enhance their virtual visits. A team of designers, developers, and testers from the Digital Strategy Division, Web Services Division, Harpers Ferry Center, Resource Information Services Division, and Digital Content Division made this possible.

What does it mean to be mobile-friendly? Previously, visitors using mobile devices to access park websites saw a smaller version of the website scaled to fit the size of their screen. Now, the content will adjust to fit small screens while providing the same functionality available to those visiting the site using a desktop or laptop.

Other types of sites that use the content management system (CMS), including subject and organization sites and national-level pages, will become mobile-friendly in the coming weeks.

Read more about the responsive web design project in this InsideNPS article or on the Digital Community Site.

[Submitted by Ginny Reams, Office of Communications,]

Workplace Enrichment
2015 Employee Viewpoint Survey Set To Begin

Beginning on/about April 27th and continuing for six weeks, we will be conducting our annual Employee Viewpoint Survey (EVS) through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).   OPM’s survey will be sent to all full and part-time permanent employees who were on board before October 2014.  The NPS will also administer the same survey for all temporary, Subject-to-Furlough, Term employees as well as any permanent employee who came on board after October.  The results will be available this fall to each park and office with more than 10 respondents.

More information about the 2015 Survey and Definitions of terms used in the survey are available for your use. 

We have been using the survey results to address both national and local needs to improve the workplace.  We recently completed independent research and evaluations to assess workplace issues and develop broad recommendations that would increase employee satisfaction and engagement.

Overall more than 1300 NPS employees, managers, and leaders from a breadth of NPS parks and offices participated in these efforts – those who took the survey and those who did not – those who had high scores and those that did not. The researchers heard a set of workplace attributes that when in place resulted in a more engaged workforce – and when absent led to employee frustration. Attributes found to be most effective are: communication, leadership orientation, empowerment, accountability, and recognition. You can read more about the research and adopt some of these habits.  We are exploring ways in which to incorporate these into the fabric of NPS through training, coaching, and other formal programs.

Southeast Region
Doyle Sapp Selected As Superintendent Of Guilford Courthouse

Doyle Sapp has been selected as superintendent of Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Sapp currently is the superintendent of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park in Alabama.  He will begin his new assignment in mid-June.

“We are very pleased to have Doyle transition from Horseshoe Bend to Guilford Courthouse,” said Regional Director Stan Austin. “He has a great track record of engaging employees, as well as building and sustaining relationships with park partners and stakeholders.  His solid foundation of resource stewardship will serve Guilford Courthouse and its surrounding community very well.”

Sapp hails from Americus, Georgia, and graduated from Georgia Southwestern State University with a bachelor’s degree in history.  He served as a police officer in Americus in the early 1990s.  It was there that he began his National Park Service career, initially as a volunteer with Andersonville and Jimmy Carter National Historic Sites. 

He served in several seasonal park ranger positions in 1993 and 1994, and was a student trainee from 1994 to 1997 with Andersonville and Jimmy Carter National Historic Sites.

Most of Sapp’s NPS career has been devoted to educating park visitors by providing information about natural and cultural resources.  In 1997, Sapp became an interpretive park ranger at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  In 1999, he moved to Death Valley National Park.  He served there until 2002, when he moved to Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia.  In 2003, he was selected as the chief of education and visitor services at Appomattox Court House.

Sapp was selected to be the chief of interpretation at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in 2007 and served in that capacity until 2011 when he became superintendent at Horseshoe Bend.

While superintendent at Horseshoe Bend, Sapp worked with tribal and local partners to present a meaningful and balanced commemoration of the bicentennial of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, which was the largest event in the park’s history.  He also built a solid foundation of natural and cultural resource documentation for future planning and stewardship needs.

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve at Guilford Courthouse, one of my ‘dream’ parks in the National Park System,” Sapp said.  “I look forward to working with the staff and our partners to build upon the foundations laid by those who have gone before.  It will be an honor to preserve this special place and connect its compelling stories with the next generation of visitors, stewards, and advocates.”

Sapp will move to Greensboro with his wife Noelle and their two rescue cats.  In his free time Sapp enjoys hiking, exploring historic sites, reading and playing golf.

[Submitted by Bill Reynolds]

Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve (ID)
John Apel To Retire This Week

John Apel will retire on May 2nd, almost 39 years to the day after starting a career with the National Park Service. 

Currently the chief of resource management at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, John began his NPS career as a park technician at Bryce Canyon National Park in 1976. After a summer hiking and riding horses on backcountry trails and conducting guided hikes/campfire programs, John decided a NPS career would be a good life.

Several more seasons at Bryce Canyon led to a permanent position as an interpreter at Big Thicket National Preserve in 1980. There John transitioned into a resource management and protection position, which included an extended visit to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

A move in 1985 to Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site provided an introduction to cultural resource management and an opportunity to participate in the third class of the NPS natural resource management trainee program.

Following the training program, John moved onto a natural resource management specialist position at Buffalo National River. While at Buffalo River John met Marny, his “wife to be” at a meeting with the Forest Service.

After a decade at Buffalo River, John took on his current role at Craters of the Moon National Monument. The creation of the new 410,000-acre Craters of the Moon National Preserve, just a few years into his stay at Craters, resulted in many new resource management challenges which fully occupied the remainder of his NPS career.

Throughout it all, John has enjoyed collaborating with many dedicated co-workers and resource professionals both in and outside of the NPS. Also rewarding has been working with the increasingly younger (at least it has seemed that way to him) and brighter seasonal employees and interns he has had the privilege to know. John believes that 39 years helping preserve the natural and cultural resources of the National Park System has been time well spent.

John and Marny will remain in the area while they devote considerable time determining their ultimate retirement location. Meanwhile they’ll work on their bucket list of trails to hike, streams to fish, garden produce to harvest (Marny) and roads/trails to be bicycled. There are a number of national parks remaining on that bucket list and reportedly some deferred maintenance at home to address. They can be reached at


Glacier National Park
GS-1640-12 Supervisory Facility Operations Specialist

Glacier National Park has issued an announcement for a supervisory facility operations specialist.

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 14th,
 More Information...
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT)
WG-5786-9 Small Craft Operator (Diving)

Dates: 04/27/2015 - 05/01/2015

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has posted an announcement for a small craft operator (diving).

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

For more information, please contact Waterways, Roads and Trails Supervisor Patrick Horning at (928) 608-6514.

This announcement closes May 1st.

[Submitted by Pat Horning,, (928) 608-6514]

 More Information...
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (MI)
GL-0025-7/GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Detail)

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has issued an announcement for a 90-day detail for a GL-7 or GL-9 protection ranger. It closes on May 8th.

The park is seeking a GL-7 or GL-9 ranger with a law enforcement commission for a 90 day detail in the Platte River District this summer.  The detail will start in early June and run through August.  This is strictly a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion.


Primary duties are as follows:

  • Conduct frontcountry patrols via SUV and on foot
  • Conduct river patrols via canoe
  • Assist with emergency operations (EMS, SAR and wildland fire)
  • Assist with numerous special events

Premium pay, travel, and shared government housing will be paid by Sleeping Bear Dunes.  Base salary will be covered by the home park.

Interested individuals should submit their most recent non-award SF-50 and a resume detailing their work history, educational background, and any special qualifications they might possess. Resumes should be submitted to Human Resource Specialist Terry Martin by electronic mail to:  no later than COB May 8th.

Please contact District Ranger Joe Lachowski at 231-326-4822 or with additional questions about the detail opportunity.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (TX)
GS-0401/1301-12 Chief Of Resource Management (Detail)

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is seeking candidates for a detail of 90 to 120 days as the park’s chief of resource management. The EOD date will be around May 31st.

The person selected will serve on the park’s management team and advise the superintendent on issues of natural and cultural resource management, including geology and paleontology, plant and animal ecology, species and habitat restoration, rare species conservation, historic site and structure protection, exotic plant and animal management, and air and water quality.

The Resource Management Division’s base budget is approximately $450,000, with an additional $165,000 in project funding in FY15. The person in this position supervises a staff of four professionals – a GS-9/11 cultural resources manager (vacant), a GS-9/11 geologist, a GS-9 GIS/data manager, and a GS-9 biologist (vacant). The detailer will likely participate in filling both vacancies.

Major ongoing projects include implementing restoration under the park’s wilderness stewardship plan, evaluating proposals to introduce/reintroduce prairie dogs and Rio Grande cutthroat trout, repairs to historic structures and landscapes, archeological inventories, and new data management and geology management plans.

Other duties (depending on applicant’s experience and qualifications) include responsibility for ensuring the park’s compliance with NEPA, NHPA, and ESA, co-chairing the wilderness committee, overseeing IPM, monitoring task agreements, and performing as resource advisor during incidents.

During this detail, salary will be paid for by the selectee’s home park. Travel and per diem will be paid by Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This is a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion. Selectee’s salary will remain the same. Please contact Chief of Resource Management Janet Coles at (915) 828-3251 ext. 2400 with additional questions about the detail opportunity. 

Government housing may be available for this detail.

Interested individuals should discuss the opportunity with their first-line supervisors and obtain concurrence from their superintendents or managers prior to applying. Once approval is gained, they should submit a one-page resume detailing work history and educational background.

Resumes should be submitted by electronic mail to: Connie Wilson ( no later than May 8th.