Recognizing Our Outstanding Public Servants


Every day, the dedicated employees of Interior go to work for the American people. Some are preserving the past and others are planning for the future. They work in fields ranging from law enforcement, conservation, education and science to communication, administration, regulations, and maintenance. Armed with the tools of their professions and dedicated to the Department’s mission, Interior employees work to accomplish a wide variety of goals.

The people below represent a small sample of the incredible public servants you’ll meet when you visit public lands and engage with the Department of the Interior. These hardworking public servants live and work in communities all over the country.

Civil Engineer - Bureau of Reclamation

Amanda Becker stands in front a stream and bridge.
Amanda Becker stands in front of a stream. Photo by Kelly Sewell, Department of the Interior.

The Bureau of Reclamation is responsible for managing, developing, and protecting water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. Reclamation has constructed over 600 dams, reservoirs, and powerplants across the 17 western states, making them the largest wholesaler of water and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the country. They bring water to more than 31 million people, supply one out of five Western farmers with irrigation water, and generate over 40 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. Reclamation employees are dedicated to fulfilling their important mission and work collaboratively to achieve it. 

When Reclamation Civil Engineer Amanda Becker considered her first career after graduation, she was interested in a chance to work in water which she describes as a niche field. She says the chance to work with the Bureau of Reclamation combined doing good for the public while working in her field of interest — water. Amanda says, “My work challenges me all of the time. I’m learning new skills. I’m doing computer modeling and it’s something I never thought I’d venture into. My job gives me a chance to look at these absolutely critical water supply questions and work on long-term answers for them and that is so fulfilling”.  

Learn about the GS-0810 Civil Engineer occupation series. 

Human Resources Specialist – Interior Business Center

Brittany Gonzalez speaks to a colleague outside.
Brittany Gonzalez (right) speaks with an IBC colleague. Photo by Kelly Sewell, Department of the Interior. 

The Interior Business Center offers acquisition, financial management, and human resources systems and services to federal organizations. IBC currently serves over 150 different federal organizations, including the Department of the Interior. IBC employees deliver mission support services from one of five operating locations in California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Idaho and Virginia. 

Brittany Gonzalez is a Supervisory Human Resources Specialist at IBC. She believes DOI has a lot of opportunities where an individual can start at lower graded positions and develop the necessary skills to achieve their career goals. Brittany has participated in mentorships and coaching opportunities where she gained key technical skills and grew her professional network. As a human resources practitioner, Brittany sees the potential that individuals may have and loves to deliver good news when they secure their dream job!

Learn about the GS-0201 Human Resources Management occupation series. 

Information Technology Specialist – Interior Business Center

Justin Wade and a colleague talk in the server room.
Justin Wade (right) and an IBC colleague have a conversation in the server room. Photo by Kelly Sewell, Department of the Interior.

There are countless ways that information technology (IT) systems and services enable and enhance the productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of the thousands of people who conserve, protect and manage public lands and resources. The Department of the Interior needs experts to provide the full range of IT services to its large and widely dispersed work force, from cybersecurity to enterprise architecture to network administration to customer support. Aligning IT strategy with the organizational goals and objectives of the department will help DOI successfully meet its mission far into the future. 

IBC IT Officer and Senior IT Enterprise Architect Justin Wade chose a career with the federal government – and for more reasons than one! He really enjoys the flexibilities that it affords. Justin gets to work with new technologies because the federal government is often on the cutting edge of technologies, especially at IBC. The opportunity to connect Justin’s technical and leadership skillsets with his passion for the nation's outdoor resources was a driving factor for him. Justin considers the IBC a great place to work. There are challenges throughout the day, but Justin says, “At the end of the day, I can walk home feeling I accomplished something important.”

Learn about the GS-2210 Information Technology occupation series. 

Partnerships Coordinator – National Park Service

Students listen to a park ranger at Grand Teton National Park.
Millie Jimenez speaks to a group of students at Grand Teton National Park. Photo by Kelly Sewell, Department of the Interior. 

The National Park Service is entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, NPS employees safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 318 million visitors every year.

Millie Jimenez is a Training Specialist, Diversity Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator at Grand Teton National Park. Millie says “I honestly love working for this park and the National Park Service. I love working with youth – not just youth in Jackson, Wyoming, but youth across country and the world, and I help them make a connection to this place.” Millie says her colleagues are passionate about what they’re doing. “They want to come into work and do interpretation, or teach, or work on science, and that makes me excited to teach someone else about these jobs.”

Learn about the GS-0301 Administration and Program occupation series. 

Hydrologist – Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

Brent Means takes a water sample.
Brent Means conducts a water sample at a reclaimed abandoned mine land site. Photo by Kelly Sewell, Department of the Interior.

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is responsible for establishing a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations, under which OSMRE is charged with balancing the nation’s need for continued domestic coal production with protection of the environment. OSMRE Hydrologists gather and evaluate information about all things related to water. They obtain measurements in the field, analyze samples in the laboratory, and conduct analyses in the office in order to assist in solving water-related problems and make water-resources decisions throughout the country.

OSMRE Hydrologist Brent Means says he was most interested in the applied science aspect of a career with OSMRE. He believes a person can either do research and looking at laboratory-based science or a person can actually apply science on the ground and look at the results. “I’d much rather be doing field work where I get to apply science and see the results immediately. It’s very hands-on and that’s very attractive to me.” Brent also believes OSMRE has provided a lot of opportunities for him to grow his career. He has found that every manager he has had at OSMRE allowed him to develop his career, interests, and skills which have ultimately benefited the agency.

Learn about the GS-1315 Hydrology occupation series. 

Interpretive Park Ranger – Bureau of Land Management

Ranger Tammy with goats.
Ranger Tammy receives some goat kisses while on a school hike with students. Photo by Bureau of Land Management.

The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. BLM manages one in every 10 acres of land in the United States and approximately 30 percent of the nation’s minerals. BLM careers are as diverse as the public lands they manage!

BLM Interpretive Park Ranger Tammy Jakl educates the public and leads classes about habitats, insects, restoration, wildlife and other topics about nature at Fort Ord National Monument. Ranger Tammy’s video lessons on YouTube make learning about nature accessible to all! Rangers can work in an amazing range and variety of environments from urban historical sites to remote mountain posts. Being a park ranger means bringing your passion for America’s public lands to every environment. 

Learn about the GS-0025 Park Ranger occupation series. 

Deputy Regional Director – Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management

Portrait of Thomas Liu.
Thomas Liu, Acting Regional Director, BOEM Pacific Region. Photo courtesy of Thomas Liu, Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management. 

The Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management manages the development of U.S. Outer Continental Shelf energy and mineral resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way. With nearly 600 employees, BOEM is a fairly small agency tasked with managing almost 2.5 billion acres of the seabed — nearly equal the size of the nation’s land acreage!  

Thomas Liu is the Acting Regional Director of the BOEM Pacific Region and describes his career path as unconventional. Engineer, investment banker, and Chief of Concessions are a few of the experiences that have helped Thomas bring creative problem solving to the job. As a manager, Thomas says an important part of his job is to prioritize and maintain relationships with stakeholders. “Interpersonal skills are almost as important, if not more important, than technical skills. Learning how to get work done in groups is really critical in this job.” 

Learn about the GS-0340 Program Management occupation series. 

Hydrologist – U.S. Geological Survey 

Steven Sobieszczyk and fellow hydrologists in a stream.
Steven Sobieszczyk and fellow hydrologists install stream sampling equipment. Photo by Steven Sobieszczyk, U. S. Geological Survey. 

The U.S. Geological Survey provides science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods; the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change. USGS scientists develop new methods and tools to supply timely, relevant, and useful information about the Earth and its processes. USGS Hydrologists do the vital work of analyzing and interpreting information on water resources to ensure the quality of our water supply and the safety of people, homes and businesses close to rivers, lakes and streams.

For USGS Hydrologist Steven Sobieszczyk, public service has always been a lifelong goal. “I like helping others. That brings me personal satisfaction. For me, if the work I do provides value to others, that’s what matters.” He describes the culture of USGS as one of outdoor enthusiasts. Steve and his colleagues love nature and want to protect and enjoy it. He recalls moments like when his colleagues will kayak to install some equipment for the job one day, then get in their own kayaks for fun next. “It’s a culture of one with nature, an appreciation for what we do as scientists, and also an appreciation for what we have around us.” 

Learn about the GS-1315 Hydrology occupation series. 

Deputy Director and Technical Operations Lead – U.S. Geological Survey 

Portrait of Robin Fergason with mountains in the background.
Robin Fergason, December 2020, Flagstaff, Arizona. Photo courtesy of Bianca Fahy. 

U.S. Geological Survey scientists develop new methods and tools to supply timely, relevant, and useful information about the Earth and its processes.

USGS Deputy Director and Technical Operations Lead Robin Fergason leads and supervises four teams at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center. These teams develop software to support planetary data processing and scientific analysis, generate precision cartographic products, develop and support planetary data standards, and the ASC IT group. She is a geophysicist by training and started her career doing thermophysical modeling of Mars to understand the physical properties of the surface and recent geologic processes. She has always been interested in solving interesting problems, and she enjoys technical problems just as much as answering scientific questions. Robin’s favorite part of her job is working with people and being part of a team that is addressing a problem that requires everyone’s unique skills and expertise to solve.

Learn about the GS-1313 Geophysics occupation series.

Thanks to all the amazing employees who continue their important work every day in service to our country. Check out more outstanding Interior employees and enhance your public service career with DOI Career Connection and My DOI Career