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.
BSEE Launches Deepwater Oil and Gas Containment Exercise
MWCC to Deploy Capping Stack in Gulf of Mexico
WASHINGTON—The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) today initiated the first ever drill designed to deploy critical pieces of state-of-the-art well control equipment to the ultra-deep seabed of the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to exercise the oil and gas industry's response to a potential subsea blowout. The multi-week exercise, launched at 8:10 am CDT and employing the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC), is part of a series of planned and unannounced exercises and inspections conducted by BSEE to ensure the industry's ability to meet the conditions of their oil spill response plans and effectively respond to a potential spill.
Following the Deepwater Horizon incident, the Interior Department undertook the most aggressive overhaul of oil and gas safety regulations in U.S. history. Included in these reforms is the expectation that companies would have access to and could deploy surface and subsea containment resources that would be adequate to promptly respond to a blowout or other loss of well control, several components of which are being tested in this exercise initiated today.
In May, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar directed MWCC to conduct a live drill as an opportunity to deploy systems, test readiness for a worst-case scenario, and train under real-time conditions.
“This exercise will help further enhance industry's preparedness by deploying one important component of their well control capabilities to the sea floor,” said BSEE Director Jim Watson. “Testing this equipment in real-time conditions and ultra-deep water depths will help ensure that the MWCC is ready and able to respond in a moment's notice should the need arise.”
The demonstration is part of President Obama's goal of expanded responsible production of our domestic energy resources while ensuring the strongest possible safety and environmental oversight of offshore oil and gas activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.
The exercise will involve the mobilization and field deployment of the capping stack to the sea floor in approximately 7,000 feet of water, latching it to a test wellhead, and pressurizing the system. The exercise is also designed to test an operator's ability to obtain and schedule the deployment of the supporting systems necessary for successful containment – including debris removal equipment and other oil collection devices. The MWCC capping stack is similar to the one that was used to stop the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon well.
BSEE inspectors, engineers, and spill response experts will be embedded in various locations throughout the exercise, including in the command center and on the vessel deploying the capping stack, to oversee the mobilization, deployment, and associated tests of the system. BSEE experts will oversee the capping stack being lowered to the seafloor by wire, a technique that offers the potential to be significantly faster than the deployment via pipe that occurred during the Deepwater Horizon response.