InsideAPHIS_Fall_2009 by XZX8QW

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									Inside APHIS                                                                                                     Fall 2009 Issue




                                                               The U.S. Air Force Central Command contacted
                                                               WS earlier this year in response to growing
                                                               concerns about bird strikes at both bases. While
                                                               no injuries have been reported, the strikes have
                                                               been costly. In 2007, a single bird strike at
                                                               Bagram Airbase cost the Air Force more than $1
                                                               million in repairs.

                                                               Working with the military is nothing new for
                                                               WS. Last year, WS personnel worked at more
By Hallie Zimmers                                              than 760 airports nationwide, including 81
                                                               military bases.

Beginning this fall, APHIS‘ Wildlife Services
(WS) program is working with the U.S. Air                      Interestingly, the airbases in Iraq and
Force to prevent bird strikes at two U.S. airbases             Afghanistan are dealing with some of the same
in the Middle East: Joint Base Balad in Iraq and               species that cause problems at airports in the
Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. Each base will                  United States. The base in Iraq has mallard
have a dedicated WS biologist onsite to address                ducks and gulls, and the Afghanistan base has
day-to-day hazards caused by wildlife, including               problems caused by European starlings—an
birds.                                                         invasive species here in the United States.
                                                               European starlings were causal factors in two
                                                               wildlife/aviation accidents that resulted in the
Under a 12-month agreement with the Air Force,                 greatest loss of life for both civil and military
WS will have a total of 6 biologists rotating                  aviation. The bases also have some unique
through the bases with each employee spending                  challenges caused by raptors and falcons unique
4 months onsite. The first rotation began on                   to the Middle East landscape.
November 9 with Keel Price (New Mexico,
district supervisor) and Chris Bowser (North
Carolina, airport wildlife biologist) now onsite.              ―It‘s going to be different, but in some respects
Carl Voglewede (Indiana), Aaron Spencer                        it‘s also the same,‖ says Mike Begier, National
(Illinois), Galen Truan (Nebraska), and Todd                   Coordinator for WS‘ Airport Wildlife Hazards
Grimm (Idaho) will follow in subsequent                        Program. ―Regardless of the species, our
rotations. Because of the location, the biologists             biologists can provide recommendations to alter
serving at the airbases will receive detailed                  habitat and remove dangerous species in order to
safety briefings and may earn various allowances               reduce strikes, save money, and potentially save
and pay differentials, in addition to their regular            lives.‖ 
salary.
                                                               PHOTO CAPTIONS (1):
                                                               WS’ Mike Begier (far end of table) goes over logistics with
While deployed, the WS biologists will also be                 biologists preparing for work at airbases in Iraq and
working on a year-long wildlife hazard                         Afghanistan. Shown are (clockwise from Begier): Aaron
assessment to provide both bases with                          Spencer, Galen Truan, Chris Bowser, Carl Voglewede,
comprehensive reports on the types of wildlife                 Keel Price, and Todd Grimm.
species in the area and steps that can be taken to
minimize wildlife presence and reduce strikes.
                                                      Page 1
Inside APHIS                                                                                                 Fall 2009 Issue



                                                              Honorees are listed below by program area.



                                                              D‘Ann Clayton, Charles Hall, Emily Pullins
By John Scott

On October 20, APHIS hosted its Eleventh
Annual Administrator‘s Civil Rights Award                     The LPA Group: Felicia Stepney, Abbey
Ceremony at the agency‘s headquarters.                        Shaffer, and Deb Hodge


Speaking to a room filled with honorees and
audience members, Administrator Cindy Smith
praised the accomplishments of this year‘s
recipients. ―The managers, supervisors, and                   Ricardo Garcia
employees we honor today help form the fabric
of this agency‘s core beliefs. They embody our
commitment and enthusiasm for ensuring and
fostering equal opportunity and diversity in the              Tessie Acosta-Williams
workplace,‖ said Smith.
                                                              PPQ Eastern Region EEO Advisory
The Administrator‘s Civil Rights Award pays                   Committee
tribute to agency employees who have excelled                 Emergency and Domestic Programs Group
at providing equal opportunity to those seeking
employment or to employees already in Federal
                                                              PPQ Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands EEO
service.
                                                              Civil Rights Advisory Committee

During her remarks, Smith spoke about the value
of diversity quoting poet and author Maya
Angelou, who wrote, ―…in diversity there is                   Tara Woyton
beauty and there is strength. We all should know
that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we
must understand that all the threads of the
tapestry are equal in value no matter their color;            David Bergman
equal in importance no matter their texture.‖
                                                              PHOTO CAPTIONS (1):
This year‘s honorees represent nearly every                   Administrator Cindy Smith shakes hands with Albert
agency program and come from numerous                         Roche from the PPQ Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
workplaces throughout the country—including                   EEO Advisory Committee group, which received honors
                                                              during the Civil Rights Award ceremony.
Arizona, North Carolina, New York, Maryland,
                                                              Also shown (left to right) are PPQ Deputy Administrator
Michigan, Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto
                                                              Rebecca Bech and group members Norma Rosario, Aissha
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.                             Hernandez, and Luis Sotomayor.



                                                     Page 2
Inside APHIS                                                                                              Fall 2009 Issue



AWARD SUMMARIES:                                                   regarding his service dog, he proactively
                                                                   worked to address the situation. He worked
Marketing and Regulatory Programs                                  with his supervisor, the BRS disability
Business Services (MRPBS)                                          employment manager and others, to organize
                                                                   a Fidos for Freedom demonstration on
     Ricardo Garcia has consistently                              service dogs in the workplace.
      demonstrated an extraordinary commitment
      to expanding awareness of Civil Rights                       Hall has also worked to resolve other issues,
      issues throughout APHIS and beyond. In FY                    including acquiring equipment for persons
      2009, Garcia organized a Hispanic Heritage                   with hearing disabilities and working to
      Celebration at the MRPBS office in                           address transportation service issues with the
      Minneapolis, MN, and presented a workshop                    University of Maryland.
      on financial management skills to
      AgDiscovery students at Delaware State                      Emily Pullins has embraced the agency‘s
      University.                                                  commitment to valuing and investing in its
                                                                   employees by creating and sustaining a
     In addition, Garcia is MRPBS‘ Hispanic                        diverse workforce, maintaining a positive
     Employment Program Manager. In this role,                     work environment for her employees and
     he is responsible for conducting periodic                     others, and delivering agency programs fairly
     workforce data analysis and providing                         and impartially to customers and
     reports to committee members.                                 stakeholders. Pullins‘ commitment to
                                                                  creating a diverse workforce is evidenced by
Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS)                            the diversity of her staff.
     D’Ann Clayton demonstrated considerable
      commitment and dedication to facilitating                 Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ)
      employment opportunities for persons with
      disabilities and increasing the awareness of                Tessie Acosta-Williams is the chairperson of
      disability issues throughout the organization.               the Western Region Civil Rights and EEO
      Among other accomplishments, Clayton                         Advisory Committee and has reestablished
      introduced a workforce recruitment program                   the committee‘s workplan and goals. She led
      to BRS managers, which resulted in the                       a team of PPQ employees to establish the
      program offering a position to a disabled                    first PPQ-sponsored AgDiscovery Program
      student during the summer; and she worked                    in the Western Region, to be conducted in
      to organize and sponsor a demonstration by                   2010 in Yuma, AZ.
      Fidos for Freedom for all APHIS employees.
                                                                   Additionally, Acosta-Williams has
                                                                   spearheaded several initiatives as a member
     Since joining BRS in February 2009, Charles
      Hall has made significant achievements in                    of the PPQ National Civil Rights Leadership
      overcoming obstacles for himself and other                   Committee—including developing a monthly
      similarly disabled persons in gaining access                 management e-bulletin focusing on creating a
      to appropriate accommodations and in                         positive work environment and increasing
      educating employees about service dogs in                    diversity in the workplace. For the last 2
      the workplace.                                               years, she has also served as the coordinator
                                                                   for the Tohono O‘odham Land Connection
     Hall is disabled and uses a wheelchair and a                  Summer Program in Arizona.
     service dog. After receiving complaints
                                                       Page 3
Inside APHIS                                                                                            Fall 2009 Issue




   The PPQ-Eastern Region EEO Advisory
    Committee worked with their management                     Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA)
    team to develop recommendations for
    regional EEO efforts. Among others, their                    In 2009, Felicia Stepney, Abbey Shaffer, and
    recommendations include encouraging                           Deb Hodge formed an innovative group that
    management to establish a 30-day shadow                       rejuvenated LPA‘s special emphasis
    assignment program for employees who have                     programs, linked those programs to LPA‘s
    completed the Advanced Leadership                             employee recruitment efforts, and gave
    Training; and having committee members                        employees interesting opportunities to learn
    complete Behavioral Event Interview                           about different cultures. The group‘s efforts
    training to create a cadre of trained personnel               also contributed to an influx of new talent
    available in the region to serve as EEO                       and ideas into LPA via five student interns
    observers on interview panels.                                from the Hispanic American Colleges and
                                                                  Universities, the Washington Internships for
                                                                  Native Students, and the Public Service
   The Emergency and Domestic Programs
    (EDP) Unit made significant strides in the                    Scholars programs.
    furtherance of equal employment and civil
    rights during fiscal year 2009. Among other                   Additionally, the LPA‘s group encouraged
    efforts, EDP participated in the AgDiscovery                  the program‘s use of the Workforce
    program, a collaboration between APHIS and                    Recruitment Program, which led to the
    the University of Maryland; assisted with the                 selection of a program candidate as a public
    First Hispanic Federal Career Advancement                     affairs specialist.
    Summit; and participated in planning
    Baltimore‘s Federal Executive Board 2009                      The LPA group also worked together to
    Annual Women‘s Training and Awards                            ensure that the program‘s vacancy
    Program, which the unit also attended. In                     announcements are sent to a diverse array of
    addition, EDP staff members participated in                   interested job candidates, as well as
    numerous other community outreach                             advertised in nontraditional publications.
    activities.
                                                               Veterinary Services (VS)
   The PPQ Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin
                                                                 Tara Woyton has been a member of the Civil
    Islands EEO Civil Rights Advisory
                                                                  Rights/EEO committee since she joined VS 5
    Committee organized and/or participated in
                                                                  years ago and is currently committee chair.
    13 special emphasis, recruitment, or outreach
                                                                  Woyton is a member of the APHIS Native
    events. These included a Hispanic Heritage
                                                                  American Working Group and has been
    Month event at San Juan International
                                                                  successful in developing a working
    Airport; an event for the Trujillo Alto
                                                                  relationship with six federally recognized
    Children‘s‘ Home to raise awareness of local
                                                                  Tribes in New York
    community social issues; and a conference
    held by the League of United Latin American
                                                                  Woyton also serves as a recruiter and assisted
    Citizens, where PPQ employees obtained
                                                                  in writing the recruitment plan for New
    booth space and provided agency outreach
                                                                  York. She is active with Student Disabilities
    and employment information to
                                                                  Unions in several New York colleges and has
    approximately 1,300 conference participants.
                                                                  raised awareness among her colleagues
                                                                  concerning college minority groups for
                                                                  potential recruitment efforts.
                                                      Page 4
Inside APHIS                                                   Fall 2009 Issue




Wildlife Services (WS)
   Wildlife Services‘ Arizona State Director,
    David Bergman demonstrated outstanding
    efforts in promoting equal employment
    opportunity and respect for civil rights within
    Wildlife Services during FY 2009. As State
    Director, he has supported training and
    developmental opportunities for college
    students from under-represented groups. He
    also encouraged current employees‘ career
    development by approving staff to take
    advantage of technical and leadership
    training opportunities. Bergman is also
    involved in several projects serving the needs
    of Native American tribes. 
    




                                                      Page 5
Inside APHIS                                                                                                    Fall 2009 Issue




                                                              Based in California, Gage spends much of her
                                                              time providing assistance to APHIS inspectors,
                                                              facility attending veterinarians, and AWA
                                                              licensees around the country. In addition, she
By Mike Booth
                                                              gives presentations at veterinary conferences to
                                                              spread the word about nutritional problems
When Animal Care officials confiscated three                  unique to large cats.
lions with obvious neurological problems from a
Texas exhibitor on July 10, it was no simple
                                                              Certain health problems in big cat cubs can
task. After immobilizing each animal—including
                                                              develop due to a calcium deficient diet, resulting
a nearly 450-pound lion named Jaz—there was
                                                              in a condition called metabolic bone disease.
still the matter of getting them into a climate-
                                                              This disease can cause fractures of fragile bones
controlled truck, 50 yards away.
                                                              and is seen all too frequently in cubs that are
                                                              hand-reared by people without the expertise or
―We had seven people carrying each lion on a                  knowledge of how to properly care for young,
canvas stretcher in 100 degree heat,‖ said                    growing animals.
Animal Care big cat specialist Laurie Gage. The
truck could not get closer, due to obstructions.
                                                              ―Most good veterinarians are aware of the
                                                              problem, but often do not realize how much
Gage, along with other APHIS personnel and                    calcium in the diet it takes to correct the problem
volunteers from a nearby zoo, moved the three                 or prevent it,‖ Gage said.
animals to a Texas animal sanctuary, where they
joined another lion and two tigers that had been
                                                              Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the licensee
confiscated from the same exhibitor‘s facility on
                                                              to ensure that their big cats receive proper care,
March 22. The previously emaciated large cats
                                                              but Animal Care officials hope their
are now showing significant signs of
                                                              collaborative education efforts will reduce the
improvement, and those with neurological
                                                              need for future confiscations.
disorders have also shown improvement. One
tiger, named Amol, gained approximately 100
pounds in five weeks.                                         PHOTO CAPTIONS (1):
                                                              Since her confiscation, Sheila has responded well to her
                                                              new diet and gained weight.
Animal confiscations are an action of last resort,
used only in cases where the agency believes that
an animal is suffering and that action has not
been taken, or will not be taken, to alleviate its
condition. The agency‘s authority to confiscate
animals is specifically stated in the Animal
Welfare Act (AWA). And, said Gage, Animal
Care is ready and able to confiscate animals
whenever necessary.



                                                     Page 6
Inside APHIS                                                                                                               Fall 2009 Issue



                                                                       PHOTO CAPTIONS (3):

                                                                       WILDLIFE VACCINE STUDY
FOUR PHOTOS                                                            As part of a study, Wildlife Services biologist Tricia Fry
                                                                       injects a raccoon with the new immunocontraceptive
                                                                       vaccine GonaCon™. The study, being conducted at the
PHOTO CAPTIONS (1):                                                    National Wildlife Research Center, is investigating
                                                                       whether GonaCon™ can be used in conjunction with a
VILSACK VISITS AMES                                                    rabies vaccine. (photo by A. Eaglin) 
On October 13, Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the National              
Centers for Animal Health (NCAH) in Ames, IA. The                      
NCAH houses APHIS’ Center for Veterinary Biologics                     PHOTO CAPTIONS (4):
(CVB) and National Veterinary Services Laboratories
(NVSL), and ARS’ National Animal Disease Center                        EASTERN REGION HOLDS FIRST EMERGENCY
(NADC). During his visit, Vilsack toured the new                       PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION FAIR
Consolidated Laboratory and Administrative Facility.
Above, Vilsack discusses Ames’ many activities with (left              On September 23, APHIS employees participated in the
to right) Elizabeth Lautner, NVSL Director; Dianna                     Eastern Region’s Emergency Preparedness Information
                                                                       Fair held in Raleigh, NC. Pictured left, employees test
Whipple, NADC Assistant Director (facing back); Jess
                                                                       their knowledge of emergency preparedness procedures.
Vilsack, son of the Secretary; and Rick Hill, CVB Director.
Vilsack later met with NCAH employees regarding                        Initially, APHIS Eastern Region Office’s board of
USDA’s priorities and answered employee questions.                     directors planned a Continuity of Operations Plan
(photo by J. Fosse, USDA)                                             (COOP) information fair. But, after consulting with the
                                                                       COOP coordinator team, Kay Carter-Corker—the
                                                                       emergency program manager for Animal Care’s Eastern
                                                                       Region—made the decision to expand the fair.
PHOTO CAPTIONS (2):
                                                                       “I recognized that employees should have a plan to
MASTER SEED VIRUSES FOR VACCINE                                        respond if a disaster occurs while they are at home, while
APHIS’ Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB) has                       at work, as well as if they are emergency responders,”
produced, tested, and pre-approved four Master Seed                    said Carter-Corker. “Methods and resources for recovery
Viruses (MSV) for potential use in producing H1N1                      from the emotional and psychological effects of disasters
vaccine for swine. Shown are CVB’s Joseph Hermann and                  should also be a part of their plans.”
Amy Shafer reviewing slides for detection of any
                                                                       As an emergency response agency, APHIS has committed
extraneous viruses in the MSV.                                         resources and training to ensure that employees are
                                                                       prepared to respond to all-hazard emergencies. (photo by
The MSV are derived from three pandemic H1N1 isolates                  N. Lemon) 
acquired from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention through collaboration between the Agricultural
Research Service’s National Animal Disease Center and
APHIS. The MSV will speed up the licensure of a safe and
effective H1N1 vaccine to protect U.S. pigs. CVB provides
the MSV to interested licensed veterinary vaccine
manufacturers. (photo by A. Eaglin)




                                                              Page 7
Inside APHIS                                                                                             Fall 2009 Issue




                                                              direct your donations. You choose where and
                                                              what to give.

                                                              CFC also offers collective strength. By joining
                                                              with others in your workplace to give, your
                                                              impact in the community can be greater.

By John Scott
                                                              And CFC gives you maximum value for your
                                                              donated dollars. CFC keeps costs low so fewer
Agency employees nationwide are again tapping                 dollars are used to run the campaign and more
the power of their workplace community.                       money goes directly to charities. The CFCNCA
Together, they are making donations and                       limits its overhead to just 8 percent. Plus, this
participating in local events that contribute to              year‘s campaign is ―greener‖ than ever before,
this year‘s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).                  with greater reliance on the Internet and
                                                              significantly reduced printing and reproduction
Although the theme ―The Compassion of                         costs.
Individuals. The Power of Community‖ is
specific to CFC‘s National Capital Area
(CFCNCA) campaign, the sentiment applies
globally. When combined, the power of                         To learn more about CFC and how to give,
individual donations has the ability to make a big            contact your program unit keyworker. In the
difference to individuals and organizations in                D.C. area, you can visit http://www.cfcnca.org/.
need.                                                         To locate other campaign areas around the
                                                              country, visit
                                                              http://www.opm.gov/cfc/Search/Locator.asp. l 

Bi-weekly payroll deductions translate into
powerful and tangible benefits.

A $2 bi-weekly donation can provide ten warm
blankets for the needy. A donation of $10 per
pay period can provide free education sessions to
caregivers and families of persons with
dementia. And a $25 bi-weekly donation can
serve up 260 meals for the homeless in your
community.



With thousands of approved charities, CFC
offers you personal choice concerning where to

                                                     Page 8
Inside APHIS                                                Fall 2009 Issue




Benefits Open Season runs from November 9
through December 14, 2009. This is your annual
opportunity to:
        change your enrollment in the Federal
         Employees Health
        Benefits Program
        change your enrollment in the Federal
         Employees Dental and Vision Insurance
         Program
        enroll in the Federal Flexible Spending
         Accounts for health care and/or
         dependent care for 2010

For more information about Benefits Open
Season, visit
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/mrpbs/hr/benefits/op
en_season.shtml l





                                                   Page 9
Inside APHIS                                                                                               Fall 2009 Issue



                                                               head-to-head against them as she climbed rain-
                                                               slicked trees in high winds.

                                                               In ISA tree climbing championships, climbers—
                                                               who must be ISA-certified arborists—break into
                                                               small groups and compete in five events: the
                                                               throw line (used to establish a climbing line),
                                                               head-to-head footlock, belayed speed climb,
                                                               aerial rescue, and work climb. ―In the throw line
By Gregory Rosenthal
                                                               event, you throw a bean bag attached to a nylon
                                                               string over a limb as many times as you can for 6
APHIS tree climber Jackie Beebe knows exactly                  minutes,‖ Beebe says. ―You earn more points if
what she wants to do on the weekends: climb                    you attach a climbing line to the string and pull it
more trees. But on her own time, Beebe climbs                  over.‖
competitively. In June she ranked first for
women in the 2009 Tree Climbing
                                                               Being 5‘ 1‖ and 100 pounds can hinder Beebe in
Championship of the International Society of
                                                               a number of events, especially the head-to-head
Arboriculture‘s (ISA) New York chapter. She
                                                               footlock, where height definitely helps. Fueled
quickly admits she was the only woman to
                                                               by a $500 prize, competitors race up a climbing
compete, but her victory qualified her for the
                                                               line that they wrap around their feet and lock
next level in July—ISA‘s 2009 International
                                                               before reaching as high as possible to grab the
Tree Climbing Championship in Providence, RI.
                                                               line, hold on, and slide their feet higher before
                                                               repeating the cycle. ―When all the climbers get
―I first heard about these competitions from other             to the top, they high-five each other,‖ Beebe
climbers in our New York Asian longhorned                      says.
beetle (ALB) program,‖ Beebe says. APHIS‘
Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program
                                                               The belayed speed climb also favors taller
has been battling ALB—a major threat to
                                                               contenders. Competitors pull themselves up a
America‘s hardwoods—in New York since
                                                               climbing line hand-over-hand as another climber
1996, and Beebe has been in the fight since
                                                               holds the line securely below for safety. Once at
2007, scouring trees for signs of infestation.
                                                               the treetop, the climbers ring a bell.
―When I first competed in 2008, I was very
green and disqualified, but the experience made
me better, more confident, quicker, and safer,‖                Competitors with strong upper bodies have a
she says.                                                      major edge in the aerial rescue. Climbers must
                                                               bring safely to the ground a 150-pound dummy
                                                               suspended high in a towering tree. ―Women
She was happy to meet three female tree
                                                               have 7 minutes to do it,‖ Beebe says, ―but I‘m
climbers from PPQ‘s Massachusetts ALB
                                                               not sure if any did it in that time.‖
program at the 2008 competition and a fourth
climber in 2009. But the gender divide narrowed
considerably at the international championship.                One event, however, does reward the light and
While seeing more than 2 dozen women                           nimble: the work climb. Climbers ascend a tree
competing thrilled Beebe, these were some of the               with five bells they must hit; some are on the
best tree climbers in the world. She had to go                 tree‘s left and right extremes. For the limb-walk
                                                               portion, a weight sensor under the branch
                                                     Page 10
Inside APHIS                                                         Fall 2009 Issue



triggers a buzzer if it senses an unsafe weight. ―I
always do fantastic because I don‘t weigh very
much,‖ Beebe says. ―I can jump on the limb,
and the buzzer doesn‘t go off.‖

How did she do overall? ―I did better than I
expected and hope to do better next year,‖ she
says. ―I scored 20 out of 200 points, making me
one of the bottom five competitors. But it was a
huge learning experience. What hooked me
wasn‘t the competition, anyway— it was the
camaraderie.‖

Despite her current love of all things arboreal,
Beebe wasn‘t born with a passion for the great
outdoors. She warmed to it on the way to
earning a master‘s degree in environmental
science. ―I wasn‘t an outdoors kid at all,‖ she
says. ―I spent my time reading Nancy Drew
books and would say, ‗Ick, I don‘t want to get
dirty!‘.‖

Now Beebe, who recently transferred to
Massachusetts, can‘t get enough of it and hopes
to tie her ISA involvement even closer to work.
―I want to see how PPQ can work with ISA to
get the message out, reaching a bigger base of
people about invasive pests,‖ she says. 

PHOTO CAPTIONS (1):
Photo of Jackie Beebe with link to video.


Special thanks to PPQ’s Chris Kachmar for shooting video
at the ISA competition.




                                                           Page 11
Inside APHIS                                                                                           Fall 2009 Issue



                                                              Accomplishment most proud of?
                                                              Every day I try to be the best parent and human
                                                              being I can, to have a positive influence on
                                                              others and the environment, and to be a
                                                              productive employee for APHIS.

Associate Deputy Administrator,
International Services                                        Last book read?
                                                              Total Freedom by J. Krishnamurti.
What is your background?
I grew up in a suburban community in Ohio and                 Guilty pleasure?
spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany                No guilt-only pleasure! And everything in
prior to attending veterinary school at the Ohio              balance. Playing with my baby, riding my horse,
State University. I was in sport horse practice               sharing a cup of coffee with a friend, eating
prior to joining APHIS.                                       chocolate, taking my daughters to lunch,
                                                              smelling the smell of fall, doing nothing!
How long have you been with APHIS?
I joined APHIS in 1992, working under John                    Favorite meal?
Clifford in Michigan. I then joined International             Any meal with a friend.
Services (IS) and served in Mexico, Austria, and
Chile prior to returning to D.C.
                                                              Favorite movie?
                                                              Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi because of the wonderful
Most memorable APHIS experience?
                                                              Indian cultural influences.
On my first overseas trip doing ostrich
inspections in Namibia, we drove up a 75-mile
driveway on Thanksgiving Day, and our two                     Hobbies?
jeeps and my suitcase were stolen from our ―high              My favorite hobby is being with my children:
security‖ hotel in Windhoek. Not an auspicious                Katrina (10), Jessica (7), Jacqueline (5), and
start to a Foreign Service career! Although I                 Stephanie (8 months). I practice yoga/meditation
thought I‘d never be allowed overseas again, I                daily and I ride international level dressage. I
was assigned to Mexico City in 1996. I married                read philosophical books about life, I sing (to
my boyfriend David, packed up 2 horses, 5 cats,               myself!), and I attend opera performances as
and 1 dog, and headed off to start one of the                 often as possible. l 
greatest careers in the world.
                                                              PHOTO CAPTIONS (1):
Priorities for the coming months?]                            Photo of Karen Sliter.
My top priority is supporting our new IS Deputy
Administrator Ron Hicks with further refining
IS‘ role in fulfilling Cindy Smith‘s vision of
creating a global APHIS. My other ongoing
priorities are taking care of our people and
maintaining work/family balance.


                                                    Page 12
Inside APHIS                                                                                              Fall 2009 Issue



                                                               network to meet its increasing workload and to
                                                               handle emergency response demands.

                                                               PPQ also presented the Deputy Administrator‘s
                                                               Safeguarding Award to the Florida Fruit Fly
                                                               Strike Team for creating a cadre of trained strike
                                                               teams to respond to pest emergencies. The
                                                               initiative was a collaborative project, partnering
                                                               PPQ units and Florida‘s Division of Plant
By John Scott                                                  Industry. With the additional trained strike
                                                               teams, PPQ is better prepared for responding to
                                                               multiple emergency pest detections.
Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program
Deputy Administrator Rebecca Bech recently                     CBP‘s Brownsville Pest Risk Assessment
honored this year‘s recipients of the program‘s                Committee earned honors for its multi-agency
Safeguarding Awards. The annual award series                   activities targeting rail pathways. After detecting
showcases individual and team efforts that excel               a high percentage of non-compliant railcars, the
at advancing PPQ‘s mission to protect U.S.                     group performed outreach and extensive
agriculture and plant resources.                               refresher training for stakeholders and
                                                               cooperators in the United States and Mexico.
The program‘s award series has three distinct
categories: the Deputy Administrator‘s
Safeguarding Award, the Outstanding                            In the Outstanding Achievement Award
Achievement Award, and the Promising                           category, PPQ honored Dewey Murray for his
Practices Award.                                               work with the rangeland grasshopper program on
                                                               tribal lands from 2003 to 2008. As PPQ‘s
PPQ received numerous nominations for this                     domestic program coordinator in Arizona, his
year‘s awards. ―As usual, it was very hard to                  efforts enabled the program to protect the natural
select our winners,‖ said Bech. ―We got                        resources of the San Carlos Apache Nation.
submissions from many high-performing groups                   Murray‘s success required persistence, extensive
in APHIS, Customs and Border Protection                        planning, and a proactive approach to building
(CBP), and from multi-agency teams.‖                           stakeholder trust.

                                                               CBP‘s Port of Seattle Advanced Targeting Unit
                                                               also earned an award for its wood packing
                                                               material targeting activities. The CBP unit
PPQ‘s National Plant Protection Laboratory                     developed national targeting criteria to detect
Approval Program, based in Raleigh, NC, and                    fraudulent wood packing material. With this
Beltsville, MD, was recognized for its successful              initiative, CBP intercepted high numbers of
efforts to provide reliable molecular-based                    previously rejected or re-exported shipments at
diagnostics for PPQ. The staff expanded the                    several ports. The effort resulted in multiple pest
diagnostic capabilities for both internal and                  interceptions and a $3.3 million penalty for
external laboratories, creating a more diversified             regulatory violations.

                                                     Page 13
Inside APHIS                                                         Fall 2009 Issue




In this award category, PPQ honored CBP‘s
Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team
in Eagle Pass, TX, as a working model that
illustrates the value of including agriculture
specialists on special enforcement teams. The
team added an agriculture specialist to its ranks,
bringing greater experience concerning
agricultural products to the team and an
increased focus on potential agricultural threats.

PPQ‘s Western Region Developmental
Assignment Program also earned a Promising
Practice Award. Based in Fort Collins, CO, this
employee development program is designed to
identify specific goals and 30-day detail
opportunities for managers and supervisors. The
program broadens participants‘ exposure to
regional operations and helps the agency create
possible options for addressing succession
planning needs and challenges. 


PHOTO CAPTIONS (1):
PPQ’s Dewey Murray (center) earned recognition for his
work with the rangeland grasshopper program on tribal
lands. Also shown (left to right) are State Plant Health
Director Jerry Levitt and Associate Deputy Administrator
Paul Eggert.




                                                           Page 14
Inside APHIS                                                                                                   Fall 2009 Issue



                                                               says one of her clients. ―I never would have
                                                               thought of that.‖

                                                               To accommodate demand, Dorsey, who is based
                                                               at APHIS headquarters in Riverdale, spends 40
By Vivian Keller                                               percent of her time on the road, examining
                                                               worksites and workstations from Raleigh, NC, to
                                                               Pocatello, ID. Most of the roughly 225
Ever since Homo erectus first sharpened a stone                employees she assists each year are experiencing
to cut through an animal hide, humans have                     problems before they meet her—mostly back,
sought to make their daily tasks physically easier             neck, and wrist strain. The rest are taking a
and more efficient. Today, these same principles               proactive approach to preventing work-related
remain the driving force behind the modern                     physical issues from arising in the first place.
science of ergonomics—and behind Ginger
Dorsey‘s painstaking efforts to provide APHIS
employees with a more comfortable and                          Regrettably, says Dorsey, many employees do
productive experience at work.                                 not feel entitled to ask for help, even if they are
                                                               in pain. That is an attitude she would like to
                                                               change. ―People are here to do a job,‖ she says.
As the head of APHIS‘ ergonomics program for                   ―But it‘s not part of their job to be in discomfort.
the past 7 years, Dorsey is committed to ―fitting              I can help with that.‖ l
the job to the employee,‖ one workspace at a                   
time.
                                                               
                                                               
Ergonomically speaking, APHIS workers are an                   SIDEBAR
unusually diverse group. Some peer into
microscopes for a living, while others inspect                 Ginger Dorsey offers ergonomic consultations in person
apples, tag swine, or climb trees. Each job has                and by telephone on request. She can be reached at
distinctive stresses: An office director answering             Ginger.E.Dorsey@aphis.usda.gov; telephone 301-734-
dozens of e-mails a day might be straining her                 6138. 
wrists, while a researcher collecting samples for
chronic wasting disease could experience
surprisingly intense hand and lower back strain.
Dorsey, an industrial hygienist and certified
industrial ergonomist, meticulously evaluates the
physical causes of an employee‘s work-related
issues, as well as the potential that a work
environment and habits pose for future stress.
Often, changes as simple as a height-adjusted
monitor, a broader chair seat, an adjustment in
posture, or even a small footrest can make a
significant difference.

―Ginger helped me understand that I needed a
writing surface much lower than most people‘s,‖

                                                     Page 15
Inside APHIS                                                                                             Fall 2009 Issue



                                                               improve information sharing on human and
                                                               swine infections.
                                                               The program, launched in May 2009, reflects
                                                               current concerns by focusing largely on
                                                               surveillance for 2009 H1N1 influenza in the U.S.
                                                               swine population. Producers are advised to have
                                                               animal health professionals take swabs from
By Vivian Keller                                               suspect animals and submit them to a
                                                               participating National Animal Health Laboratory
                                                               Network laboratory for analysis. And it has
Just like people, swine get the flu sometimes—
                                                               yielded results: the incidence of 2009 H1N1 in
and so it was not much of a surprise that
                                                               Indiana was confirmed through this program.
recently, USDA confirmed the presence of the
                                                               APHIS has also worked with Federal agency
2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus in some
                                                               partners and the States to formulate guidelines
Minnesota and Indiana swine.
                                                               ensuring that infected swine may move freely in
The good news is that APHIS, working in                        commerce once they recover from their illness,
conjunction with other Federal agencies and                    much as they would with many other common
State partners, is not only helping swine                      diseases.
producers prevent and, if necessary, contain
                                                               Just as important as surveillance is active
infections in their herds. It is also aggressively
                                                               employment of biosecurity measures.
spreading the word to the public that the clinical
                                                               Accordingly, APHIS has encouraged producers
signs of the virus appear to be mild in swine, and
                                                               to intensify the measures they already have in
that the virus cannot be contracted by eating
                                                               place. VS program staff, as well as high-level
pork.
                                                               USDA officials including Secretary Vilsack,
A recent influx from fiscal year 2009                          have stressed to producers that they should
supplemental funding for 2009 H1N1 influenza                   permit only essential personnel to enter their
issues is supporting APHIS in this mission. In                 farms; that swine workers need to disinfect
August, APHIS received $25.75 million, which                   themselves and any equipment or vehicles
will be used for surveillance activities, outreach             leaving those farms; and that they should not
to industry, and expediting licensing of any new               introduce swine from outside sources. Stringent
swine vaccines. The money will also cover                      application of these and other measures will
purchases of human antivirals and personal                     assist in protecting from and/or halting disease
protective equipment for animal health officials               spread.
through APHIS‘ National Veterinary Stockpile
                                                               Prevention is the best medicine, of course, and
program.
                                                               APHIS has actively promoted the swift
Among the 2009 H1N1 influenza initiatives                      development of a 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine
receiving some of these funds is APHIS‘                        for swine. Since August, the agency has made
National Surveillance Plan for Swine Influenza.                master seed viruses for the virus available to
In July 2008, staff from APHIS‘ Veterinary                     several interested veterinary biologics
Services (VS) program and the Centers for                      manufacturers, so they could produce approved
Disease Control and Prevention initiated a joint               vaccine more rapidly. A monovalent vaccine is
effort to create this voluntary influenza                      expected soon. For APHIS, and
surveillance pilot program. Its major goals: to
                                                               for the many animal health professionals and
identify novel influenza strains that could
                                                               producers potentially affected by the virus, that
threaten human and animal health, and to
                                                               will be a welcome holiday gift indeed. 

                                                     Page 16
Inside APHIS                                                                                            Fall 2009 Issue



                                                               Rodriguez‘s staff developed scripts and remotely
                                                               deployed McAfee Endpoint Encryption software
                                                               to about 1,500 workstations, saving APHIS
                                                               nearly $1 million.

                                                               These optimized, efficient solutions garnered
                                                               national recognition for Rodriguez‘s staff when
By Nolan Lemon                                                 PPQ-Eastern Region‘s IT Group was awarded
                                                               the distinction of finalists for Technical
                                                               Excellence at the 2009 Government Customer
If you‘ve ever worked in the field, you‘ve                     Support Excellence Awards in Alexandria, VA.
probably experienced the gut-wrenching despair                 
that accompanies a computer freeze that cannot
                                                               
be remedied with a simple Ctrl-Alt-Delete key
combination. Or worse yet, your computer                       
displayed the ―blue screen of death,‖ resulting in
a desk-pounding, polysyllabic flurry of
expletives.

In the past, depending on the severity of the
crashes and glitches, such workstation failures
would sentence users to days or weeks without
their computers because support often had to be
provided by IT professionals in person. But in
October 2006, Plant Protection and Quarantine‘s
(PPQ) Eastern Region Information Technology
(IT) Group introduced the Universal Imaging
Utility (UIU) and remote provisioning
procedures to APHIS—and revolutionized
computer support throughout the agency.

―Ninety-nine percent of all the support we
provide is now conducted remotely,‖ says Joe
Rodriguez, IT resource manager for PPQ-Eastern
Region. ―We were able to cut the fat from the
old support paradigm that required extensive
travel and onsite support. Now, we can restore
most failed workstations in 30 minutes to an
hour, as well as deploy computer images or
remotely install applications.‖

Rodriguez estimates UIU saves the region nearly
$800,000 in travel and shipping costs, alone,
over the 3-year cycle. Earlier this year,

                                                     Page 17
Inside APHIS                                                        Fall 2009 Issue




PHOTO CAPTIONS (1):
LPA’s Gary Roush looks on as Associate Administrator
Kevin Shea and Administrator Cindy Smith plant broccoli
in the Riverdale People’s Garden. Outfitted with gloves
and trowel, Smith and Shea took part in the garden’s
official dedication on September 22.




                                                          Page 18
Inside APHIS                                                                                             Fall 2009 Issue



                                                              and Twitter. Flickr is a site that allows
                                                              organizations and individuals to share photos
                                                              online. Twitter is a service that enables users to
                                                              send text-based messages up to 140 characters—
                                                              called tweets—to subscribers or followers.

Online communications are becoming
increasingly important for many organizations,                To glimpse Flickr and Twitter in action, visit the
including APHIS. Both APHIS and the                           agency‘s recently revamped Beetlebuster Web
Department recognize that to effectively                      site at http://www.beetlebusters.info/. The
communicate and conduct agency business, the                  outreach campaign Web site uses these online
agency will need to use new online tools that are             tools to help spread the word about Asian
often referred to as Web 2.0 or social media                  longhorned beetle.
tools.

These new tools have great potential; however,                What can I view, and what can I post? It‘s
as with other public or external agency                       important to know the answers to both questions.
communication efforts, there are rules of the
road that employees need to be aware of and to
follow.                                                       Employee use of YouTube is limited to:
                                                              monitoring video postings on topics relevant to
                                                              APHIS (i.e., public concern over light brown
APHIS‘ Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA)                   apple moth eradication activities); and, notifying
and Information Technology Division (ITD)                     LPA of postings of interest that may require an
are working together to ensure that the agency                official agency response. Employees should not
establishes processes to address communications               use YouTube for personal entertainment during
guidelines and IT security risks before                       work hours on government-issued equipment.
implementing Web 2.0 or social media tools. In                Like other inappropriate Internet usage at work,
the meantime, some of these tools are now                     doing so may be cause for disciplinary action.
accessible for employees to view online content.
                                                              Requests by employees to post videos or
                                                              comments to videos must be reviewed and
                                                              approved by LPA officials, who will contact
Currently, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter are                   USDA‘s Office of Communications (OC) for
accessible at work; however, employees are                    final authorization. Currently, OC is finalizing
expected to follow agency guidelines (see next                its guidance on agency usage of YouTube,
page) and use appropriate judgment regarding                  including standards for appropriate content
use of these resources in the workplace. And, as              posting and usage. The agency will circulate
with any public information or external agency                these standards as soon as they are available.
communications, using any of these tools to
promote APHIS or program content to the public
must be approved in advance by LPA.
                                                              Social media tools have tremendous potential to
Most people are familiar with YouTube, but you                expand APHIS‘ outreach and engagement with
may be less familiar with other tools like Flickr             the public. The agency fully supports the proper
                                                              use of these tools; however, employees must be
                                                    Page 19
Inside APHIS                                                                                                                Fall 2009 Issue



sure to follow existing APHIS and USDA                                    SIDEBAR 2
information security, privacy, and
communications policies.                                                  Where do I check in before communicating via Web 2.0?
                                                                          Employees seeking to use any of the approved social media
                                                                          tools to communicate publicly about agency policies or
The communications polices and guidelines for                             activities should contact LPA’s Public Affairs Office for
                                                                          the necessary approvals. You can contact Ed Curlett,
Web 2.0 and social media tools are the same as                            Public Affairs Director, at (301) 734-3256 or via e-mail at
those that apply to any public or external                                ed.c.curlett@aphis.usda.gov. 
communications and the use of the Internet.

These include:
        APHIS Communications Guidelines
         issued yearly by APHIS Administrator.
         Look for an updated version in your e-
         mail soon.
        APHIS Directive 3140.3: APHIS Internet
         Use and Security Policy.
        Privacy Act of 1974.
        Information provided via USDA‘s FY
         2010 Information Security Awareness
         and Rules of Behavior course. 



SIDEBAR 1

“Social media” refers to media designed to circulate
through social interaction, typically using highly
accessible electronic tools/techniques to both share and
create content.

The term “Web 2.0” is often used interchangeably with
“social media.” Web 2.0 collectively refers to or is
associated with interactive information-sharing tools.
Web 2.0 can broadly refer to tools that include social
networking sites (e.g., Facebook), video-sharing sites (e.g.,
YouTube), wikis, blogs, and more.

Web 2.0 and social media tools tap the human need for
social interaction and can transform how information
travels. That means transitioning from a broadcast media
model where information is transmitted from one to many
to a social media model where information is disseminated
from many to many.





                                                                Page 20
Inside APHIS                                                  Fall 2009 Issue




Our many thanks to those who participated and
responded to our last newsletter question of the
day. We had 37 people answer the following
question: How do you think Government health
and retirement benefits compare with the private
sector?

Here’s how the numbers break down.
30% Private Sector Benefits Better
51% Government Benefits Better
19% The Same.



Government, businesses, and schools have busily
prepared for this year‘s highly publicized flu
season. For many offices and schools, these
preparations have included planning for absences
and providing information to help individuals
stay healthy.

―How has the flu season affected you at work?‖
(check all that apply)


        I‘ve been ill with flu and have missed
         work.
        I‘ve missed work to care for a family
         member with flu.
        I‘ve helped fill in for coworkers absent
         due to flu.
        I haven‘t been affected by flu at all.

Click on the following link to participate in the
poll:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YM2K6WJ.
As always, participation is voluntary and
confidential. l

                                                    Page 21
Inside APHIS                                                   Fall 2009 Issue




By Carol Bannerman

Protection of human health and safety is part of
the Wildlife Services program mission. In June
an Idaho Wildlife Services pilot found a new
way to protect health, resulting in a major drug
bust.

While flying, the pilot observed suspicious
agricultural activity in the Boise National Forest
and provided information and GPS coordinates
to law enforcement. The Joint Drug Enforcement
Task Force kept the area under observation. A
mid-August raid, one week before anticipated
harvest, netted 2 arrests and 4,700 marijuana
plants. Surveillance of another suspect led
officers to two additional operations.

The estimated value of marijuana seized at the
three sites is more than $50 million.

 ―To fly safely, our WS pilots constantly
maintain situational awareness,‖ said Idaho State
Director Mark Collinge. ―Here, that contributed
to the war on drugs and helped make our public
lands safer.‖

Law enforcement officials report that drug
cartels increasingly grow drugs in remote
locations, littering such areas with irrigation
piping, contaminating them with excessive
fertilizer and pesticides, and poaching wildlife.
Raids on growing operations often start with
public tips. 




                                                     Page 22
Inside APHIS                                              Fall 2009 Issue




Do you know who your GovTrip program
Federal Agency Travel Administrators (FATAs)
are and what they can do for you?

Your program‘s FATAs are your local source of
information for questions concerning GovTrip
and Government travel. 

SEE FOLLOWING PAGE FOR COMPLETE
LIST OF FATAS BY PROGRAM AREA.




                                                Page 23
Inside APHIS                                                                                                   Fall 2009 Issue




 AC                 Tondalee (Toni ) Smith   (301) 734-4980             Tonadalee.Smith@aphis.usda.gov
 AC                 Joyce Barkley            (301) 734-7833             Joyce.L.Barkley@aphis.usda.gov
 ASD                Latisha Beverly          (301) 734-4331             Latisha.M.Beverly@aphis.usda.gov
 BRS                Susan Murphy             (301) 734-0662             Susan.A.Murphy@aphis.usda.gov
 BRS                Helana Johnson           (301) 734-5681             Helana.D.Johnson@aphis.usda.gov
 CREC               Kim Dixon                (301) 734-3588             Kim.E.Dixon@aphis.usda.gov
 HR                 Jacqueline Tveter        (612) 336-3320             Jacqueline.M.Tveter@aphis.usda.gov
 IES HQ             Linda Weaver             (301) 734-5687             Linda.M.Weaver@aphis.usda.gov
 IES ER             Cori Mayhue              (919) 855-7082             Cori.Mayhue@aphis.usda.gov
 IES WR             Becky Gomez              (970) 494-7459             Becky.L.Gomez@aphis.usda.gov
 IS                 Eleanora Lassiter        (301) 734-4909             Eleanora.V.Lassiter@aphis.usda.gov
 IS                 Susan Ritchie            (301) 734-5253             Susan.G.Ritchie@aphis.usda.gov
 IT                 Andrea Small             (301) 851-2658             Andrea.W.Small@aphis.usda.gov
 IT                 Karla Berkley            (301) 851-2555             Karla.V.Berkley@aphis.usda.gov
 LPA                Mavis Fergus             (301) 734-7279             Mavis.P.Fergus@aphis.usda.gov
 PPD                Jody Shreve              (301) 734-4351             Jody.A.Shreve@aphis.usda.gov
 PPD                Deanna Ellison           (301) 734-8864             Deanna.L.Ellison@aphis.usda.gov
 PPQ CPHST          Lisa Lambing             (919) 855-7298             Lisa.L.Lambing@aphis.usda.gov
 PPQ CPHST          Clinton Harley           (919) 855-7431             Clinton.A.Harley@aphis.usda.gov
 PPQ EDP & HQ       Victoria Serfass         (301) 734-3769             Victoria.C.Serfass@aphis.usda.gov
 PPQ HQ             Christa Linkins          (301) 734-7654             Christa.M.Linkins@aphis.usda.gov
 PPQ HQ             Melonie Torillo          (301) 734-6365             Melonie.J.Torillo@aphis.usda.gov
 PPQ PHP/PIM        Kathea Anderson          (301) 734-8537             Kathea.B.Anderson@aphis.usda.gov
 PPQ Preclearance   Jean Montague            (301) 734-0752             Jean.T.Montague@aphis.usda.gov
 PPQ WR             Cheryl Galida            (970) 494-7586             Cheryl.A.Galida@aphis.usda.gov
 PPQ WR             Samantha Stotelmyre      (970) 494-7514             Samantha.L.Stotelmyre@aphis.usda.gov
 VS CEAH            Julia Price              (970) 494-7208             Julia.S.Price@aphis.usda.gov
 VS CVB             Margaret Ferris          (515) 232-5785, ext. 130   Margaret.A.Ferriss@aphis.usda.gov
 VS CVB             Tricia Weiland           (515) 232-5785             Tricia.G.Weiland@aphis.usda.gov
 VS EM&D            Summer Bailey            (301) 734-3593             Summer.D.Bailey@aphis.usda.gov
 VS EM&D            Latonya Jackson          (301) 734-5469             LaTonya.Jackson@aphis.usda.gov
 VS ER              Crystal Davis            (919) 855-7223             Crystal.L.Davis@aphis.usda.gov
 VS HQ              Tiara Byrd               (301) 734-7517             Tiara.L.Byrd@aphis.usda.gov
 VS HQ              Dionne Murray            (301) 734-7792             Dionne.M.Murray@aphis.usda.gov
 VS NAHPP           Betsy Sillers            (301) 734-8711             Betsy.J.Sillers@aphis.usda.gov
 VS NAHPP           Susan Ledford            (301) 734-4923             Susan.E.Ledford@aphis.usda.gov
 VS NAHPP           Linda Smith              (301) 734-3585             Linda.B.Smith@aphis.usda.gov
 VS NVSL            La Rae Dolph             (515) 663-7775             LaRae.K.Dolph@aphis.usda.gov
 VS NVSL            Nancy Dunmire            (515) 663-7503             Nancy.J.Dunmire@aphis.usda.go
 VS PDS             Therese Mindemann        (970) 494-7402             Therese.J.Mindemann@aphis.usda.gov
 VS WR              Kate Jeffrey             (970) 494-7365             Kate.E.Jeffrey@aphis.usda.gov
 VS WR              Laureen Garrison         (970) 494-7400             Laureen.R.Garrison@aphis.usda.gov
 WS ER              Linda Black              (919) 855-7200             Linda.G.Black@aphis.usda.gov
 WS ER              Shannon Fennell          (919) 855-7206             Shannon.Fennell@aphis.usda.gov
 WS HQ              Kevin Williams           (301) 734-4937             Kevin.E.Williams@aphis.usda.gov
 WS HQ              Helen Gregory            (301) 734-0622             Helen.J.Gregory@aphis.usda.gov
 WS NWRC            Linda Love               (970) 266-6031             Linda.S.Love@aphis.usda.gov
 WS NWRC            Stephanie Kozar          (970) 266-6128             Stephanie.D.Kozar@aphis.usda.gov
 WS WR              Phyllis Brown            (970) 494-7447             Phyllis.Brown@aphis.usda.gov



                                                             Page 24
Inside APHIS                                                                                             Fall 2009 Issue



                                                               which feed inside the fruit pulp. In the United
                                                               States, the Medfly is a threat to 250 plants,
                                                               including peaches, pears, plums, apples, apricots,
By Scott Moore                                                 avocados, citrus, cherries, figs, grapes, guavas,
                                                               kumquats, loquats, nectarines, peppers,
                                                               persimmons, tomatoes, and several nuts. 
Did you know that the Mediterranean Fruit Fly
Preventive Release Program in California
releases just over 250 million sterile male
Medflies each week? Or that the Florida program
releases 80 million per week?

The California release is part of the cooperative,
$15 million program run by APHIS and the
State‘s Department of Food and Agriculture.
Without pesticides, the program prevents the
establishment of Medfly populations in a 2,500-
square-mile area of Southern California and
eradicates any new introductions of the pest
outside the preventive release area.

The $3 million Florida program, in cooperation
with the State‘s Department of Agriculture &
Consumer Services, protects 616 square miles.
Both programs inundate an area with sterile male
Medflies to reduce the chance that female flies
find a fertile male with which to mate
successfully. As a result, the Medfly population
declines over time.

Only males survive in the programs‘ mass
production process in Hawaii and Guatemala.
They are marked with a fluorescent pink dye
during the pupal stage and are irradiated before
being sent to California and Florida for release.
Under ultraviolet light, the dyed males are easy
to differentiate from wild flies in survey traps.

Medflies are housefly-sized natives of the
Mediterranean area and Africa that have spread
their wings to most tropical and subtropical areas
of the world. In its lifetime, each female Medfly
may lay more than 300 eggs—deposited in the
skin of fruit. Fertilized eggs hatch into larvae,

                                                     Page 25
Inside APHIS                                                                                              Fall 2009 Issue



                                                             For the community services board, Munno
                                                             serves as a representative payee for citizens with
                                                             acute mental illnesses that leave them unable to
To acknowledge and promote the volunteer spirit              handle financial matters. Munno receives their
that is part of our agency community, Inside                 Supplemental Security Income checks, makes
APHIS is again featuring an agency coworker in               the necessary bill payments on their behalf, and
our series of Volunteer Spotlights.                          attends annual eligibility hearings at the Social
                                                             Security Administration in their place.
Employee Name:
Joanne Munno, Marketing and Regulatory                       Time Given:
Programs Business Services, Washington, D.C.                 Munno averages about 25 hours per month with
                                                             OBG and about 5 hours per month with the
Volunteer Organizations:                                     community services board.
Oldies But Goodies (OBG) Cocker Spaniel
Rescue (CFC #27768) and the Alexandria                       Organization Web Sites:
Community Services Board.                                    www.cockerspanielrescue.com and
                                                             www.alexandriava.gov
Organizations’ Missions:
OBG is a no-kill animal rescue network of about              Employee E-mail:
200 volunteers who foster spaniels and spaniel               To learn more about her volunteer efforts,
mixes that have been seized by animal control                contact Munno by e-mail at
officers for abuse/neglect, turned in as strays,             joanne.l.munno@aphis.usda.gov. l.
picked up from puppy mills that have closed
down, or that are scheduled for destruction at
public shelters.
                                                             Keep the Info Coming
                                                             To share information for future spotlights about
The organization pays their medical bills and                an organization and your efforts, or the efforts of
provides a home environment and social training              someone else in APHIS, please send an e-mail to
while locating a permanent family match.                     volunteerisminaphis@aphis.usda.gov.

The Alexandria Community Services Board
offers acute and emergency mental health
services 24 hours a day to 4,300 residents,
including residential and substance abuse
programs.

Volunteer Activities:
For OBG, Munno fosters dogs, interviews foster
and adoption applicants, and evaluates
applicants‘ homes. She also prepares letters
acknowledging donations and is the intake
coordinator for dogs surrendered to OBG by
their owners.

                                                   Page 26
Inside APHIS                                                                                                Fall 2009 Issue



                                                                 included stops focusing on wood disposal, tree
                                                                 surveying and replanting, as well as a driving
                                                                 tour of some of the neighborhoods most heavily
                                                                 impacted by ALB.

 By Hallie Zimmers                                               The afternoon session featured a facilitated
                                                                 discussion to identify opportunities for State-
On September 29, APHIS hosted the first joint                    Federal collaboration and prioritize key issues
forum with the National Association of State                     underlying the invasive forest pest issue.
Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) in                            Recognizing the range of new regulatory
Worcester, MA. Focusing on the issue of                          scenarios presented by invasive pests, the
invasive forest pests, the NASDA–APHIS                           meeting provided a chance for agriculture and
Forum brought together more than 60                              natural resource officials to discuss where
representatives from State agriculture and natural               collaboration between State and Federal partners
resource agencies, APHIS, and the U.S. Forest                    is strong and where it can be enhanced. The top
Service. Representatives from 27 States and 1                    three priority issues identified by the group were:
territory took part in the event.                                the need for enhanced collaboration between
                                                                 State and Federal agencies to increase public
                                                                 awareness about invasive pests, the need for a
The concept for the joint NASDA forum was                        national firewood strategy, and the need for more
announced earlier this year by Administrator                     integrated approaches to pest issues.
Cindy Smith as a new venue for State and
Federal partners to discuss topics of mutual
importance in a dedicated setting. For the first                 Two NASDA-APHIS forums on different topics
forum, the issue of invasive forest pests was                    are expected in 2010. 
selected based on input received from States over
the summer. Worcester was selected as a
meeting location because it is at the center of the
cooperative Asian longhorned beetle (ALB)
eradication project that is currently carried out by
APHIS and the Massachusetts Department of
Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

The Forum was kicked off with a welcome from
Cindy Smith and featured opening remarks from
Massachusetts DCR Commissioner Rick
Sullivan, Massachusetts Department of
Agricultural Resources Commissioner Scott
Soares, APHIS Deputy Administrator for Plant
Protection and Quarantine Rebecca Bech, and
Rob Mangold, the Director of Forest Health
Programs for the U.S. Forest Service. Following
an overview of the ALB eradication project, the
group spent the remainder of the morning
touring the ALB eradication project. The tour

                                                       Page 27
Inside APHIS                                                 Fall 2009 Issue




DECEMBER
Fundamentals of APHIS Human Resource
Management (FAHRM) Course registration
deadline December 31; class runs May 17–21 in
Ames, IA. Contact Dale Short via e-mail at
dale.g.short@aphis.usda.gov for more
information and additional course dates.

Benefits Open Season runs from November 9
through December 14, 2009.

JANUARY
Combined Federal Campaign of the National
Capital Area deadline extended until January 15,
2010. 




                                                   Page 28
Inside APHIS                                               Fall 2009 Issue




John Scott, Editor
(301) 734-4897
inside.aphis@aphis.usda.gov

Photo sources: APHIS, ARS, Cindy Digesualdo,
Anson Eaglin, Jim Fosse, Chris Kachmar, and
David Pyburn.

Video: Chris Kachmar

Inside APHIS is a quarterly newsletter serving
all APHIS employees by delivering agency news,
providing useful workplace information, and
connecting employees from across the agency to
our shared mission, common challenges, and
significant accomplishments. For information
about contributing articles and photos, please
visit www.aphis.usda.gov/inside_aphis/. 




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