Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Question: Due to recent terrorist threats, my wife pulled an office emergency pack together for me. Since I've brought it to work several employees have expressed interest with her assembling similar packs for them. She's not currently employed and the possibility of marketing and selling such packs for employees and others appeals to her. Will this create any ethics problems for me?
Answer: Her sale of such products should pose no ethics problems for you as long as you have nothing to do with marketing or selling of them in the workplace. However, your involvement could be viewed as misusing your official position. In other words, don't bring them to the office to sell them to employees, and don't advertise their sale using government computers and other recourses, including your time and equipment. Suggestion: If she would like to sell products in a Federal facility, suggest that she contact the property manager for space in the Bistro Café.
Finally, if she's feeling charitable, she might supply you with a list of items in your pack, and you in turn, could make that list available to your coworkers at no cost. In such an environment, no cautionary measures relating to ethics apply. See 5 CFR 2635.702; 704; 705
Use of non-public information
Question: You are completing your doctoral degree and need to use information from your Agency. The information is your work product. What do you need to do to be able to use the information?
Answer: You may use the information if it is publicly available. Regulation 5 C.F.R. § 2635.703 provides the criteria for deciding what information is publicly available. If you are unsure that it is publicly available, you should request authorization to use the information from an official in your Agency with Ethics program responsibility for giving such authorization.
Question: You have earned your doctorate using information from you Agency. May you copyright it?
Answer: Yes. The information you used must be publicly available, or you must have received authorization for the disclosure. However, you must have written the dissertation on your own time. See Section 5 CFR § 2635.703
Question: I'm involved in a professional association that practices within my area of expertise. I think they'd be very interested in some long-range plans that we haven't made public yet.
Answer: No doubt they would. Don't tell them. Employees are not to use or allow the improper use of non-public information to further a private interest, either their own or another's. We all have access to non-public information, and we have an obligation to prevent unauthorized releases.