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.
Interior Selects Google Apps for Government for Cloud Email and Collaboration Services
Policy Management and Budget
Contract will provide modern, high-tech service as part of Interior's IT Transformation
WASHINGTON – As part of a major efficiency initiative that will leverage modern technology to save up to $500 million in taxpayer dollars by 2020, the Department of the Interior today announced a contract award for Department-wide cloud email and collaboration services using Google Apps for Government. This award is part of Interior's IT Transformation initiative to provide employees with 21st century IT and support good government practices by reducing waste, cutting costs and integrating services.
“This award is a great example of how our IT Transformation initiative is already delivering value to the Department,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “Implementing a Department-wide, cloud-based email system that helps modernize the ways we do business while cutting costs is good government, plain and simple. We will continue to identify efficiencies to save time and taxpayer dollars using advances in technology to provide better service for less.”
This contract, which was awarded to Google Apps for Government provider Onix Networking will consolidate Interior's email services into a single modern system and simplify the Department's future data storage requirements. Users will have the option to use web-based tools or traditional desktop software to access the new system. New video and audio chat features will complement traditional email communication tools, while Google Docs, Calendar and Sites will enhance the Department's collaboration capabilities.
This service will have a seamless integration with mobile devices, further supporting Interior's dedication to employees who travel often or are located in remote field locations.
"With this award, Interior will move into the 21st century by delivering a highly integrated, cost-effective, and evolving cloud-based platform,” said Rhea Suh, Interior Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget.
Interior's phased procurement approach begins with this award, which requires the vendor to demonstrate they can meet the Department's objectives for an integrated suite of tools and services, information assurance and regulatory compliance. Upon completion, Interior plans to exercise the next contract option and migrate more than 90,000 mailboxes from its seven disparate on-premise email systems to the new cloud email system by the end of December 2012.
“We look forward to providing state-of-the-art communication and collaboration tools, desktop video, document sharing and new messaging technologies to help Interior employees work more effectively with each other and with external partners,” said Andrew Jackson, Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology, Information and Business Services. “Not only do we get the features we want in a desired security environment, but our workforce will get the cutting edge technology that many of them use in their personal lives.”
The implementation of a single enterprise-wide email system will replace seven different existing email systems at Interior, cutting waste and eliminating redundancy. Completion of the procurement for cloud email and collaboration services directly supports IT Transformation's goal to transform Interior's IT systems into an agile, reliable, and cost effective service that better supports IT services across the entire Department.
“Our approach represents a unique and thoughtful way to ensure we are replacing our on- premise systems with truly cutting edge cloud based technologies that meet the Department's needs," stated Bernard Mazer, Interior's Chief Information Officer. “This is a significant step forward in our efforts to bring Department employees the email and collaboration tools they need to more effectively support our mission.”
Today's award covers the first option for up to 60 days at $17,248. The total contract value is $34,872,728 over seven years.