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.
Sally Jewell was sworn in as the 51st Secretary of the Interior on April 12, 2013.
In nominating Jewell, President Obama said, “She is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future. She is committed to building our nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country. She knows the link between conservation and good jobs. She knows that there's no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress; that in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand.”
As Secretary of the Interior, Jewell leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees. Interior serves as steward for approximately 20 percent of the nation's lands, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public lands; oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 Western states; and upholds trust responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.
Prior to her confirmation, Jewell served in the private sector, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer of Recreation Equipment, Inc. (REI). Jewell joined REI as Chief Operating Officer in 2000 and was named CEO in 2005. During her tenure, REI nearly tripled in business to $2 billion and was consistently ranked one of the 100 best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine.
Before joining to REI, Jewell spent 19 years as a commercial banker, first as an energy and natural resources expert and later working with a diverse array of businesses that drive our nation's economy. Trained as a petroleum engineer, Jewell started her career with Mobil Oil Corp. in the oil and gas fields of Oklahoma and the exploration and production office in Denver, Colo. where she was exposed to the remarkable diversity of our nation's oil and gas resources.
An avid outdoorswoman, Jewell finds time to explore her backyard in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys skiing, kayaking, hiking and other activities. She has scaled Mount Rainier on seven occasions, and recently climbed Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica.
Jewell has worked to ensure that public lands are accessible and relevant to all people from all backgrounds, and to build a connection between the great outdoors and a new generation of Americans.
Jewell is a graduate of the University of Washington. She and her husband, Warren, have two adult children, Peter and Anne.