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.
General travel guidelines for DOI employees can be found in the Departmental Manual, specifically 347 DM. Additional guidance for international travel can be found on this page or by contacting your bureau's international travel coordinator (see table below). DOI employees traveling for the International Technical Assistance program should review the process detailed here and visit the ITAP page for additional information.
All DOI Employees must have the following documents prior to departure:
Travel Authorization: A Travel Authorization (DI-1020) is required for each international trip. Blanket TAs are not allowed for international travel. Each Assistant Secretary determines who signs the TA for their office and Bureaus. The TA is not signed nor reviewed by the Department.
Foreign Travel Certification: The Department's Foreign Travel Certification Form (DI-1175)is required for each international trip, except for Canada and trips that do not involve an overnight stay. (Note: this requirement includes the freely associated States of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, but not U.S. territories.) Each Assistant Secretary determines who signs the DI-1175 for their offices and Bureaus. For trips to Canada and trips that do not involve an overnight stay, a DI-1175 may still be required for internal bureau control purposes; communicate with bureau international offices if the need arises. All travel that does not require an approved/signed DI-1175 an approved Travel Authorizationshould be provided to the Passport Office in order for the traveler to be provided their official passport.
The DI-1175 also must be approved by the Department via the Office of International Affairs. USGS travelers should contact their bureau's International Programs Office for guidance on submitting the DI-1175 to the Department. Non-USGS travelers must request OIA approval through the OIA SharePoint site.
U.S. Embassy Approval: Requests for embassy approval can be made by a bureau's International Office or by the traveler themselves via the State Department's eCountry Clearance website. Please check with your bureau representative to determine if you are responsible for submitting the clearance. Employees in the Office of the Secretary are responsible for submitting their own clearance.
It is highly recommended that travelers check current US government advisories regarding specific destinations, including State Department travel warnings and alerts to learn about security risks for American travelers, and CDC travel notices for health issues (such as the Zika virus). OIA also suggests that travelers register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
Official U.S. Government Passport: Employees traveling internationally on government business are required to travel on official passports (and visas as required). DOI employees (except for USGS and BOR) whose positions require international travel must apply for and obtain their official government passports through the Passport and Visa Division of the Department's Office of International Affairs (OIA). Bureau employees should provide the information requested on the Official Passport and Visa Request Form and securely fax or mail it along with a draft DI-1175 form, travel authorization, or similar information, to the OIA Passport and Visa Division (see below), as soon as theyknow they will need to travel internationally, and in all cases at least eight weeks prior to the departure date. Within two business days, the OIA Passport and Visa Division will provide the traveler with the necessary guidance and instructions to apply for an official passport and/or visa, based on the traveler’s employment status and destination(s), among other factors. Please note that travelers seeking to obtain official passports will need to submit a current SF 50 and two passport photos with their application, and those who need visas may need an additional two to four passport photos for each visa application. Please note that it may take six to eight weeks to obtain an official passport and up to two weeks for each visa once all completed applications are submitted by the traveler to the Passports and Visas Division. Any completed applications submitted less than six weeks before departure for an official passport and/or less than two weeks for each visa will need to be accompanied by a justification memo provided to the Director of the Office of International Affairs, explaining the urgency of the pending travel. Even with this memo, please be advised that it might not be possible to process the official passport and/or visa for the traveler in the timeframe they seek.
The OIA Passport and Visa Division recognizes there may be instances where DOI employees may need to temporarily store their official passport in their own office according to safekeeping protocols. For those DOI employees who wish to obtain such permission, please complete a Passport Safekeeping Memo to document the need and forward it to the OIA Passports and Visas Division.
Important Note:For each official trip, an approved Travel Authorization (or DI-1175) must be provided as soon as possible to the Passport and Visa Division prior to travel departure. This documentation will be added to the employee's file folder.
When not in use for official travel, the official passport must always be securely stored in either a locked fireproof file cabinet or in a fireproof safe located in a locked Department or Bureau office. Once the period of frequent or emergency foreign travel has been completed, the employee must return the official passport to the OIA Passport and Visa Division within two weeks.
Please note that bureau employees must work with their bureau's International Office Travel Contacts to process all of the documents listed above according to their bureau's policy. Office of the Secretary and PMB Employees should contact the DOI Office of International Affairs.
DOI employees traveling for the International Technical Assistance Program: The ITAP travel process of DOI employees is detailed here, and forms and instructions for ITAP travel can be found on DOI-ITAP's travel page.
Travel Regulations of Particular Concern to Foreign Travel
All DOI employees must follow U.S. Government Regulations regarding foreign travel, which require the use of U.S. owned airlines to and from the continental U.S., regulate when different classes of travel are permitted, and define when layovers for travel are allowed.
All DOI employees are required to make foreign travel arrangements through the DOI-approved travel system. They cannot be arranged outside of the contracted providers nor paid for with a personal credit card. Use of the travel system will assure compliance with federal official travel regulations.
Note that country clearances, passports, and visas may take several weeks to process. Travelers should initiate necessary action as early as possible.
Department and Bureau International Travel Contacts
Eric Wilson, International Affairs Coordinator
Colin Strylowski, International Affairs Specialist
Julie Fleming, Acting Chief, Office of International Programs
Rudy D'Alessandro, International Cooperation Specialist
Emily Lindow, Chief of Staff, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Kevin Kunkel, Director of International Programs
Jennifer Goldblatt, Chief of Staff, Office of Natural Resources Revenue
To make an appointment for an in-person or phone consultation with our Passports and Visas Division please use the below icons. Alternatively, messages can be sent to staff via telephone at 202-208-5292.
Schedule an Appointment
for an in-person consultation
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for a phone consultation
For changes to this guidance, please contact Karen Senhadji. Updated July 2016.