Sunday, June 25, 2017

Behind the Scenes

In my second week I spent a lot of my time with the administration division, and met with the Chief of Administration, Lisa. I learned about parks administrative functions, including the systems and processes in place for acquisitions and other administrative processes. Most importantly, I discovered the importance of the paper trail when working for the government and what that entails. Later in the day, I shadowed Travis, the head of IT, and I learned about various roles and work he did within the park, such as managing employee accounts, government phones, and computer systems within the park. On my second day with administration, I learned about acquisitions process for the Park Service and the government as a whole and the processes needed to request or purchase equipment or services. I also poked around GSA advantage, the online system that the government uses to buy equipment and services.

On my third day I helped out with office work, photocopies, scanning.  I sorted paperwork, organized personnel forms, and helped try and make a dent in the paperwork that’s needed to make a park of this size operate smoothly. I also followed the park's artist in residence, and got to learn about his work and his equipment, which allowed him to make experimental 3D films.

On Thursday we covered a more serious and somber topic and I attended active shooter training with the other interns. We learned about possible threats facing us working in the park, and key principles for what to do in case of an emergency, avoid, deny, defend. On Friday, I spent my day with Law Enforcement. Accompanied Ranger Murphy. Learned about the park boundaries and jurisdiction. Several law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction within the park, but the park service doesn't have jurisdiction within the town of Gettysburg proper. I learned the importance of learning the true park boundaries around the area, since a case could easily be lost if there were improper jurisdiction. While we drove I also learned a lot about what's in a police cruiser and how it works, like the lights in the cruiser as well as the radar system, radio, and the online dispatch system that can be run on-board. I also got a little more acquainted with IMARS, the online reporting system that law enforcement rangers use to write their reports.

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