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.
Interior Launches New, Interactive Web Tool to Show Effects of 16-Year Drought in the Colorado River Basin
Office of the Secretary
On the Heels of the White House Roundtable on Water Innovation, Department Unveils New Tool Using “Open Data,” Providing More Information to Make Better Water Management Decisions
Date: December 16, 2015 Contacts: Jessica Kershaw (Interior), Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov Peter Soeth (Reclamation), (303) 445-3615 A.B. Wade (USGS), (703)648-4483
WASHINGTON – On the heels of a White House Roundtable on Water Innovation, the U.S. Department of the Interior today launched a new, interactive website to show the dramatic effects of the 16-year drought in the Colorado River Basin. The specialized web tool, otherwise known as Drought in the Colorado River Basin – Insights Using Open Data, shows the interconnected results of a reduced water supply as reservoir levels have declined from nearly full to about 50 percent of capacity.
Launched as part of a broader effort by the Obama Administration to harness resources that help build drought resiliency, this web tool provides a visual depiction of the complexity of the nexus between water supply, water demand, and long-term drought in the Colorado River Basin by connecting data from a variety of sources affiliated with the Open Water Data Initiative, which is led by Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey.
“Innovation is absolutely critical to helping us deal with the severe threats to water supply posed by drought and climate change,” said Interior Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor, who moderated a discussion on innovation and technology at yesterday’s Roundtable. “Projects like this one show the power of open data to help us better understand our resource challenges. By enabling us to see the complex challenges in the Colorado River Basin visually, use of this website will help us devise timely actions to build resilience to the drought, spurring innovation along the way.”
Projections developed by the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency responsible for managing the Colorado River, indicate that if the drought continues, the lower Colorado River Basin (Arizona, Nevada, Southern California) could see its first reductions in water deliveries – with an 18 percent chance of a shortage of legally mandated water delivery – as early as 2017. In response, federal agencies are collaborating with stakeholders, states, tribes and local agencies to develop creative strategies to reduce the impacts of drought and increase reservoir storage at Lake Powell and Lake Mead. At the Roundtable, Interior also announced its Natural Resource Investment Center, which will use market-based tools and innovative public-private collaborations to increase investment in water conservation and critical water infrastructure.
The anticipated outcome of improved access to real-time data is that more people can engage in developing more complex automated data processing tools. A public “marketplace” is also envisioned where innovators inside and outside government can feature open source tools that are based on data liberated through the Open Water Data Initiative.
The Initiative builds on previous data-related efforts, including a 2013 Presidential Executive Order to make government data more open and machine readable and the 2014 Climate Data Initiative. This multi-year initiative will build upon existing geospatial and observed data and use tools to explore the feasibility and demonstrate the utility of integrating water data. It supports current trends in application of big data while advancing the White House Open Data Policy (data.gov) by using recognized standards and web service technologies to spur innovation.