March 2016 Posts

Press Release: U.S. Department of the Interior 30 March 2016


 

Secretary Jewell Meets with U.S. Virgin Islands Leaders to Advance Climate Change Adaptation Planning and Strategy

Discussion comes on heels of significant grant to Islands’ Climate Change Council to strengthen resilience for communities on the front lines of a changing climate

St. JOHN, U.S. Virgin Islands – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today met with the Steering Committee of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Climate Change Council to underscore the Obama Administration’s support to help communities prepare, plan and build capacity as they assess vulnerabilities and risks to climate change. During the meeting, Jewell also commended USVI Gov. Kenneth Mapp for his leadership in establishing the Council and for his commitment to strengthening the Islands’ climate resilience.

On Monday, Secretary Jewell announced that Interior awarded the USVI an $828,050 grant to support and spur its efforts to develop a robust, multi-sector climate adaptation strategy and coordinated framework to carry out its goals and objectives. The grant will fund five full-time project positions for two years and cover direct operating costs for one year.

“The U.S. Virgin Islands are on the front lines of climate change and already feeling the effects of rising sea levels, stronger hurricanes, changing rainfall patterns and rising temperatures,” Secretary Jewell said. “I applaud Governor Mapp and the Council for their proactive approach to making the Islands more resilient to climate change, and I’m glad that this grant will strengthen their efforts.”

“Given the level of concern, vulnerability and risks associated with climate change in the U.S. Virgin Islands, this administration is committed to supporting the community as it adapts to the effects of a changing climate,” said Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina, who also joined today’s meeting. “The funding we are providing will help the community build its capacity to evaluate its options, develop its adaptation strategy and strengthen its resilience.”

In an October 2015 Executive Order, Gov. Mapp directed all territorial government agencies to assess climate change vulnerabilities and risks to their operations and develop agency specific plans and decision-support systems for climate change adaptation. The Order established the Council to coordinate that effort, focusing on critical sectors of the local economy, including human health, agriculture, infrastructure, tourism and natural resources, and work with federal and local agencies, academic and research institutions, and the private and nonprofit sectors to develop an integrated climate change adaptation strategy.

Situated in the Eastern Caribbean, the USVI consists of the main islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, as well as a number of smaller islands. In total, the islands cover about 136 square miles of land, with 604 square miles of sea and 117 miles of coastline. Because of their geographic and economic scale, exposure to extreme weather events and reliance on tourism and imported goods, the islands are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The USVI’s coastal zone is particularly at risk because of the concentration of hotels, businesses, critical infrastructure and residential development. This increases their exposure to storm surge and sea level rise.

President Obama’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, create more clean energy sources, and minimize the impacts of climate change directed Interior to build resilience into its programs, on the lands it manages and with the communities it serves around the nation.

Combatting climate change is a strategic priority for the department’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) because of the pronounced adverse impacts of climate change on the insular areas and requests by island leaders for U.S. assistance. In response to Presidential Executive Orders and Interior Secretarial Orders, the department has taken actions to curb carbon emissions and adopt a more proactive posture in mainstreaming climate change across federal programs to support resilient federal investments.

OIA has worked with territorial governments to advance climate change initiatives through educational awareness, funding and policy considerations, including a major stakeholder forum on Guam in June 2015. OIA has encouraged the U.S. territories to establish task forces and councils to coordinate their efforts and Assistant Secretary Kia’aina has announced that climate change adaptation planning, assessment and/or implementation are the highest priority for OIA’s technical assistance funding in fiscal year 2016.

OIA also provided the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative $30,000 in December 2015 to provide workshop training and technical assistance to the USVI on climate change adaptation planning. The President’s fiscal year 2017 budget request for OIA includes a $4 million increase to support community, landscape, infrastructure adaptation and resilience initiatives which address climate change impacts. One of the highest priorities would be to help the governments develop, strengthen, and/or implement climate adaptation plans.

The CLCC is Hiring!


March 25, 2016

The CLCC is currently in the process of hiring a full-time coordinator. Please direct all questions about this announcement to Brent Murry, CLCC Science Coordinator/Acting Coordinator.

Job Title:  Fish and Wildlife Administrator (Landscape Conservation Cooperative Coordinator)
Department:  Department Of The Interior
Agency:  Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Job Announcement Number: 

R4-16-1654869-AL-MP – Open to Status candidates and VEOA eligibles
R4-16-1655014-AL-DEU – Open to U.S. Citizens

SALARY RANGE:

$99,785.00 to $129,723.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Thursday, March 24, 2016 to Wednesday, April 6, 2016

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0480-14

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time – Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL: 14

DUTY LOCATIONS:

2 vacancies in the following location(s):
Tallahassee, FL
Vero Beach, FL
San Juan, PR

WHO MAY APPLY:

Status Candidates (Merit Promotion and VEOA Eligibles)

SECURITY CLEARANCE:

Not Applicable

SUPERVISORY STATUS:

Yes

JOB SUMMARY:

You too can make a difference in our world.  The work of the US Fish and Wildlife Service is meaningful and varied.  Want to know more about what it is like to work for us?  Click here to watch short podcasts entitled Meet Your New Boss! and Diversity is our Strength.

Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are landscape-scale conservation-science partnerships between the Service and other conservation agencies and organizations. As the LCC Coordinator for the assigned area, the incumbent assumes principal responsibilities for initiating, facilitating, integrating, coordinating, and communicating the work and activities of the partnership through the cooperative conservation community, as well as management of LCC staff and operations. Work and activities relate to several primary functional aspects of SHC implementation and administration, including coordinating biological planning, conservation design, conservation delivery, assumption-driven research, monitoring/evaluation, and organizational performance. The incumbent works collaboratively with Service program representatives, designated representatives of the State conservation agencies, sister bureaus in the Department of the Interior, and other partners committed to an ecologically sustainable landscape.

PCS/moving benefits are authorized (discretionary benefits may apply, e.g., house-hunting trip and/or temporary quarters and/or contract for home sale).

 

There are 2 permanent full-time positions:

1) Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative located in Tallahassee, Florida or Vero Beach, Florida (to be decided upon at time of selection).

2) Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

All application materials and supporting documentation must be received by the closing date of this announcement (including Veterans Preference documentation).

 

NOTE: This position is also being advertised under Delegated Examining Procedures and is open to the general public. To be considered under delegated examining procedures, you must submit a separate application and supplemental documentation to vacancy announcement number R4-16-1655014-AL-DEU

 

You must submit a copy of your SF-50 (non-award), or equivalent Notification of Personnel Action if you are a current or former Federal employee.  Your SF-50 (non-award) must show tenure code 1 or 2 in block 24, and position occupied code 1 (competitive service) in block 34.

 

Physical Demands/ Work Environment:

The regular and recurring work of this position is primarily sedentary requiring no special physical demands. However, it does involve some walking, bending, standing for hours at a time, and carrying of light objects.  Work of this position is regularly performed in an office setting; however, there is exposure to moderate risks and discomforts while conducting on-site field reviews, inspections and/or travel.

 

TRAVEL REQUIRED

  • 25% or Greater
  • The employee will be frequently required to travel from assigned duty station to various areas inside and outside the jurisdictional boundaries of the Region.

RELOCATION AUTHORIZED

  • Yes
  • PCS/moving benefits are authorized (discretionary benefits may apply, e.g., house-hunting trip and/or temporary quarters and/or contract for home sale).

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Moderate Background Investigation Required
  • Time in Grade Requirements Apply
  • Valid state driver’s license
  • An OGE Form, Confidential Financial Disclosure Report is required.

DUTIES:

  • Ensure LCC activities and programs are coordinated across geographic areas and other boundaries.· Provide scientific and technical coordination support to the activities and programs of the LCC.
  • Facilitate scientific expertise, coordination, and leadership in developing fish and wildlife conservation strategies and plans.
  • Provide leadership in creating, guiding, facilitating, and nurturing an interdependent network among different agencies and bureaus.
  • Serve as supervisor for a staff of scientists, planners, and other professionals assigned to or working for the LCC.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

By the closing date of this announcement, you must meet the minimum qualification requirements as outlined in this announcement below:

Basic Entry Requirement for the GS 0480 Fish & Wildlife Administrator Series (you must meet A, B or C to qualify).

  1. Possess a Bachelors or higher degree from an accredited college or university in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.
  2. Possess a combination of education and experience–courses equivalent to a major, or at least 30 semester hours in courses in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
  3. Possess four years of experience that demonstrated knowledge and understanding of one or more of the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, or related disciplines equivalent to that which would have been acquired through completion of a 4-year course of study in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.

Specialized Experience Requirement for the GS 0480-14:You must possess the following specialized experience to qualify:

One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-13 level in the Federal Service which includes experience in applying knowledge of the concepts, principles, and practices of fish and wildlife biology, plants and their habitats, landscape ecology, landscape conservation, adaptive resource management; preparing, reviewing and evaluating habitat conservation plans and reports; coordinating conservation efforts, and negotiating complex, controversial or sensitive issues of regional scope; leading development of innovative science that brings together multiple disciplines; experience leveraging outside resources.

Transcripts:  You must submit a copy of your transcripts (official or unofficial photocopy) to document your educational accomplishments.  Failure to submit this documentation by the closing date will result in disqualification from further consideration.  Official transcripts will be required if you are selected to fill the position.  College transcripts are still required if you currently occupy or previously occupied the series for which you are applying.

Foreign Education:  Education completed outside the United States must have been evaluated by a private U.S. organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials, commonly called a credential evaluation service or education that is recognized by the Secretary of Education from an accredited body.

http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html

To preview the Assessment Questionnaire, click the following link: View Occupational Questionnaire

Time in grade restrictions apply to the qualification requirements for this position for Federal employees.  Your application must clearly provide evidence that you have served (1) year at the next lower grade level by the closing date of this announcement.

The employee will be frequently required to travel from assigned duty station to various areas inside and outside jurisdictional boundaries of the Region.

 

The selectee will be required to file an OGE Form, Confidential Financial Disclosure Report.

 

This is a supervisory position. Employees who are initially appointed to supervisory positions must serve a probationary period of one year.

 

Incumbent must be able to operate a government-owned or leased motor vehicle. A valid state driver’s license is required.

 

This positions sensitivity level has been designated as moderate risk.  Accordingly, the selectee must undergo a limited background investigation prior to appointment.

 

PCS/moving benefits are authorized (discretionary benefits may apply, e.g., house-hunting trip and/or temporary quarters and/or contract for home sale).

 

Completion of a 1-year probationary period is required (if one has not yet been completed).

 

Work schedule may be changed 90 days after hire at the request of management or the employee with management approval.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the basic qualifications and on the extent to which your application shows you possess the particular knowledge, skills and abilities required of this position.  Your ranking is based on your responses to the assessment questions, the information you provide in your Resume, and supplemental materials.  Please follow all instructions carefully.  The assessment questions are based on the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Knowledge of landscape ecology, landscape conservation and adaptive resource management and their application to conservation planning.
  • Knowledge and experience in multi-scale population-based planning, designing, coordinating, conducting, reporting on, and evaluating scientific studies, related to landscape conservation and adaptive management.
  • Knowledge of the goals and objectives of state, national, and international fish and wildlife conservation plans.
  • Ability to establish positive working relationships with individuals having widely varying perspectives and values.· Skill in applying supervisory/managerial principles and methods to organize work, to direct and motivate subordinates and achieve concrete results.

NOTE: You should be aware that your ratings are subject to evaluation and verifications.  The numeric rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire.  Do not overstate or understate your level of experience and capability.  If a determination is made that you rated yourself higher than is supported by your application, or your application is incomplete, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience or you may be considered ineligible.

See full announcement for all information and to apply.

USDA Caribbean Climate Hub Releases Video Series “Adapta”

 


A message from our partners at the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub:

Last week, the USDA posted a blog about the Caribbean Climate Hub and our video series, Adapta, which  designed to share information about best practices for climate adaptation in tropical forestry and agriculture. The first completed video is about the dairy industry. There are three additional videos filmed and in the editing process – one about coffee farming, one about plantains, cover crops and soil conservation, and one about integrated farming of fruits, vegetables and herbs. A short trailer has clips from all 4 videos: http://caribbeanclimatehub.org/projects/.

Climate Hub Coordinator Isabel Parés and Strategic Analyst Josh Fain co-authored the blog and Isabel Parés is the Executive Producer of the video series. 

 

Sincerely,

Bill Gould

 

SneakPeak_AdaptaVideo1

Sneak peaks into the tips for dairy farmers included in the video (Image created by CLCC Staff)

************************************************

William A. Gould, Research Ecologist

Director, USDA Caribbean Climate Hub

Forest Service

International Institute of Tropical Forestry

p: 787-764-7790
f: 787-766-6302
wgould@fs.fed.us
1201 Calle Ceiba
Río Piedras, PR 00926
www.fs.fed.us
Caring for the land and serving people

JetBlue and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announce New Partnership to Help Reduce Damage for Illegal Wildlife Trade


Released : 03/03/2016 (U.S. FWS photos added by Kasey R. Jacobs)

Five-Year Agreement Will Seek to Combat Global Crisis That Could Lead to Species Extinction and Threaten Caribbean Tourism

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– JetBlue (Nasdaq:JBLU) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday, March 3, 2016 they are joining forces to encourage and empower travelers to play a role in protecting the beauty and wildlife of one of the world’s most popular destination regions, the Caribbean. An increase in illegal wildlife trade in the area is contributing to the decline and potential extinction of animal species such as sea turtles, parrots, iguanas and coral.

“Tourism brings 22 million visitors a year to the Caribbean. Degradation of wildlife and biodiversity is a risk to demand for air travel to the region, thus impacting JetBlue,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability, JetBlue. “We’ve joined with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a large-scale dialogue and action highlighting the numerous ways to travel, eat and shop in the Caribbean, leaving the region stable for future tourism.”

Stolen sea turtle eggs Credit: USFWS

Stolen sea turtle eggs
Credit: USFWS

On World Wildlife Day (March 3), JetBlue and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed a five-year agreement, which will launch with a customer education and awareness campaign. The Service and JetBlue will work together beyond the initial inflight video to develop online content, social media campaigns and strategies that will seek to reduce demand for illegal wildlife.

JetBlue will use one of its core differentiators – seatback TVs available at every seat on all flights – to inform customers about responsible travel and shopping practices in the Caribbean. Through an online casting call, JetBlue will recruit Caribbean locals including those in the travel industry to tell their stories in a short inflight video. Participants will discuss their commitment and efforts to protect the future of tourism and the natural resources of their local communities and countries. The video will highlight stories that showcase tangible solutions are underway. Champions of Caribbean conservation can share their stories through March 27 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/caribbeancastingcall. (Please note – JetBlue is solely responsible for this casting call and will have complete control over any information collected using this link.)

“The Caribbean is considered to be a wildlife trafficking hotspot,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “We are thrilled to work with JetBlue to empower travelers and Caribbean residents to reduce demand for illegal wildlife. We are committed to protecting these special places and species, and with the public as our partners, we can support conservation worldwide by asking questions and learning the facts before buying any wildlife or plant product.”

Red Coral Jewelry (Illegal Coral Extraction and Import) Credit: USFWS

Red Coral Jewelry (Illegal Coral Extraction and Import)
Credit: USFWS

JetBlue’s Commitment to the Environment – Natural resources and a healthy environment contribute to JetBlue’s business running smoothly. These resources are essential for the airline to continue flying to these destinations and tourism relies on having beautiful, natural and preserved destinations for customers to visit. The airline focuses on issues that have the potential to impact its business. Customers, crewmembers and community are key to JetBlue’s sustainability strategy. Demand from these groups for responsible service is one of the motivations behind changes that help to reduce the airline’s environmental impact. For more on JetBlue’s conservation initiatives, visit jetblue.com/green.

About JetBlue

JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline™, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to 96 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 900 daily flights. For more information please visit jetblue.com.

About The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Media:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Laury Parramore, 703-358-2541
Laury_Parramore@fws.gov
or
JetBlue Corporate
Corporate Communications, 718-709-3089
corpcomm@jetblue.com

Source: JetBlue

– See more at: http://otp.investis.com/clients/us/jetblue_airways/usn/usnews-story.aspx?cid=981&newsid=32926#sthash.3FwabdZv.Sb0WnuSr.dpuf