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.
STATEMENT OF JOHN TUBBS, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY
FOR WATER AND SCIENCE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WATER AND POWER
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
H.R. 5487, "WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2010"
June 17, 2010
Madam Chairwoman and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Departments 's views on H.R. 5487, "Water Resources Research Amendments Act of 2010," a bill to reauthorize grants for fiscal year FY 2012 through 2016 for applied water supply research regarding the water resources research and technology institutes established under the Water Resources Research Act of 1984.
The Department agrees with the goals of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, specifically to support academic research to aid in the resolution of State and regional water problems, to promote technology transfer, and to provide for training of scientists and engineers. The program authorized by this Act involves collaboration that includes other Federal partners, plus State and local governments, universities, and the private sector. The Department strongly supports H.R. 5487 to reauthorize grants for applied water supply research. This program has proven to be a success and continues to make valuable contributions.
Evaluations are currently required every 3 years, but this bill changes the evaluation period from 3 years to 5 years as authorized in previous legislation. The Department supports this revision for reasons of both cost and effectiveness. Because research projects take more than 3 years to complete and publish, a 5 year cycle allows a better evaluation of the program.
In addition, there is growing evidence that strong research of water resources issues will be increasingly important as water managers work to adapt water programs to more variable hydrologic conditions as a result of a changing climate. The legislation should recognize the importance of addressing climate change related issues as part of a larger water resources agenda. The legislation provides a mechanism to encourage graduate students in research projects related to climate change. Research priorities under section 104(g) are set jointly by the Institutes and the Secretary of the Interior and could therefore include topics related to climate change and could place an emphasis on projects involving graduate students.
The Water Resources Research Act of 1984 established a Federal-State partnership in water resources research, education, and information transfer through a matching grant program that authorizes State Water Resources Research Institutes at land grant universities across the Nation. There are currently 54 Institutes: one in each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. The Guam institute also serves the Federated States of Micronesia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Institutes provide new opportunities for young people through their research and educational efforts. Student internships supported by the Institutes provide an invaluable and practical training experience for the next generation of hydrologic scientists and engineers and afford students the unprecedented opportunity to participate in research projects while helping to influence their decision to pursue careers in water resources.
The Water Resources Research Act Program provides an institutional mechanism for promoting State, regional, and national coordination of water resources research, training coordination, and information and technology transfer. In 2009, the program provided training and support to over 500 undergraduate and graduate students by involving them in institute-sponsored research activities funded under the Act. With its matching requirements, the program is also a key mechanism for promoting State investments in research and training. In fact, the Institutes have developed a constituency and a program that far exceeds that supported by their direct Federal appropriation. As part of the ongoing evaluation mandated by the Act, the institutes reported that over the 5-year period 2003 through 2007, they obtained over $346 million in funding from state, local, and other federal agencies through grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and other arrangements. This is an annual average of $69 million, or $1.3 million per institute.
Each Institute operates a program of multi-year research, education, and information transfer projects focused on State and regional water resource priorities. In 2009, the Institutes supported 225 applied research projects utilizing Federal and matching funds. Most institutes selected these projects in response to priorities established by the Institutes' advisory committees and through a competitive, peer-review process.
The Department strongly supports H.R. 5487 reauthorizing the Water Resources Resource Act. This program has proven to be a successful partnership that continues to make valuable contributions.
This concludes my formal statement, Madam Chairwoman