November is Manatee Awareness Month; but no matter what time of year it is, manatees deserve to be celebrated. These amazing creatures fulfill a unique niche by serving as indicator species for ecosystems across the United States. Because of their reliance on the health of their habitat, manatees often act as a signal of their environment’s well-being. NOAA photo by Michael Buchanan.
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.
In February 2002, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a directive that all federal agencies issue and implement Information Quality Guidelines. In response to this directive, the Department of the Interior (DOI) issued and implemented guidelines to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information disseminated by its bureaus and offices.
In order to ensure the accuracy and integrity of its published scientific information, DOI follows a robust peer review process wherein the information undergoes internal peer review and is subject to public scrutiny. DOI, its bureaus and offices, and the National Invasive Species Council maintain the highest standards possible for published information to ensure integrity and transparency.
DOI Bulletin for Peer Review
The OMB directive, Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (December 15, 2004), requires that there be a "systematic process of peer review planning" and access to a list of information products for official dissemination that will be peer reviewed as either influential scientific information or highly influential scientific assessments. DOI bureaus and offices created Web sites to accommodate the requirements of the Peer Review Bulletin.