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.
USGS -- Developing a better method for diagnosing avian botulism
Avian botulism is a paralytic disease caused by one of the deadliest toxins known to mankind. It is produced by a naturally occurring bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, and when environmental conditions cause the toxin to accumulate in their food supply, botulism can kill thousands of birds each year. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, the USGS, through its National Wildlife Health Center Diagnostic Microbiology Laboratory, with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is developing a rapid method for detecting a Type E avian botulism that causes mortality in fish-eating birds. This method uses a fluorescence-based bioassay and would potentially eliminate the need to use laboratory animals in mouse lethality assays. The new assay method will also be less labor intensive and faster so it will facilitate analysis of the large number of samples required to conduct meaningful ecological studies. This method may also have applications for human health since Type E botulism can occur in humans following consumption of improperly prepared fish.