Mercury's surface in "enhanced color," a color scheme created to emphasize color differences. This is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but by applying mathematical analysis to images, color differences can be accentuated beyond those visible to a person.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
DOINews: Sustainability at Work: Summer Interning with DOI's National Business Center
Policy Management and Budget
From left, Meagan Downey and Sarah Hussain, interns of DOI's Office of Secretary Internship program, pick an eggplant during a harvest session. Photo by NBC.
At left, Sarah Hussain, NBC summer intern, shows off DOI organic fresh produce at Feds Feed Families kickoff event on July 16. At right Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes presents more than 50 pounds of fresh produce from the garden to Cecelia Vergaretti, senior director, Capital Area Food Bank during the event. Photos by NBC.
DOI organic garden volunteers pause for a group photo during a harvest session. (From left, Brian Heath, Brenda Woods, Laura Shields, Meagan Downey and Sarah Hussain.) Photo by NBC.
Ripe squash, green peppers, fresh tomatoes, and aromatic basil are the daily summer offerings at the Department of the Interior's organic garden. One of the perks of interning at the National Business Center is the opportunity to tend DOI's organic garden. This garden is a pleasure to explore; it consists of 28 planting beds and is now in its third year of existence.
DOI's Organic Garden and Sustainability
Recently I and other interns from DOI's Office of the Secretary Internship Program participated in a summer harvest session in this garden. We donned our gloves and carried our tools and harvested an array of vegetables. And as we filled baskets with fresh vegetables, I thought American marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson would be proud of us.
Part of an overall sustainability effort under the leadership of DOI Deputy Assistant Secretary Andrew Jackson, Technology, Information & Business Services, DOI's organic garden complies with the green initiatives of President Obama's Executive Order 13514: Federal Leadership in Environment, Energy, and Economic Performance. Signed in 2009, the order sets sustainability goals for federal agencies, which include greenhouse-gas emissions reduction, water conservation, and promotion of environmentally responsible products and technologies.
First lady Michelle Obama led by example, the same year, when she personally dug up a patch of the south lawn at the White House to begin planting an organic vegetable garden. The idea was that growing more food locally and organically, could lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.
DOI's garden is completely free of all pesticide/chemical fertilizer use and has an irrigation system that keeps it watered daily. It is kept fertile by organic material that is created by DOI's composting program.
The Garden Gives Back to the Community
On Monday, July 16, NBC donated the produce collected, a total of 50 pounds, from the effort of volunteers/interns to the Feds Feed Families kickoff event, with DOI Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and OPM Director John Berry. Feds Feed Families has donated 8 million pounds of food to local food banks since its start-up three years ago! The produce donated by DOI's organic garden was well received by Cecelia Vergaretti, senior director of Capital Area Food Bank, and she said, “It will be gone by tomorrow!” Last year DOI was able to donate 400 pounds of produce from the garden to Capital Area Food Bank and 200 pounds to the DOI cafeteria for daily meals.
DOI's Organic Garden — Possible Partnerships
DOI wishes to establish partnerships with organizations, such as the American Farm Bureau and City Blossoms to create long-term relationships for the benefit of the organic garden and DOI.
The American Farm Bureau represents farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity and social advancement. AFB has a viable internship program that DOI hopes to integrate within its organic garden to better educate employees. And City Blossoms is a local Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization focused on youth programming around urban gardens. The exchange of expertise between these groups will ensure that the garden is sustained and kept alive in the future.
Green initiatives within the federal government are designed to set examples for the rest of the nation. An organic garden is more than just a means of providing food for a community or a venue for youth to learn. It is a model of future sustainable practices and creation of viable green spaces.
NBC promotes creating a climate of employee engagement, learning and growth. Contact Bill Brannon, NBC or Sarah Hussain, NBC, at (202) 208-2222, to come and help out at the organic garden!