How is the National Park Service using science and technology to serve the public?

The In Focus mini-series examines more closely issues and topics of importance to federal agencies and contractors. Each month, Federal News Radio speaks with key stakeholders to better understand challenges and opportunities. This month focuses on Science and Technology in Government.

Dr. Allison Druin, Special Advisor for National Digital Strategy at the National Park Service (NPS), joined Federal News Radio’s In Focus to share how the agency is using science and technology to enhance the public’s experience. The NPS was founded a century ago and now totals 413 parks. Dr. Druin discussed some of the challenges in how the NPS works to preserve this remarkable heritage as well as looking to the future. For her, one key is to understand the visitor experience and what will matter to the public. To this end, the NPS has looked at many tools, including mobile, cloud, wearables, and other approaches that will give the typical visitor a better understanding of that particular park. In a perfect world, the NPS will make the visit more meaningful both today and in the future.



JOHN  pix  FotoFlexer_PhotoJohn Gilroy, Host of Federal Tech Talk, Federal News Radio

John Gilroy has been a member of the Washington D.C. technology community for over twenty years. In 2007 he began weekly interviews on Federal News Radio called “Federal Tech Talk with John Gilroy.”   His 428 interviews provides the basis for profitable referral business. In 2009 he created a successful breakfast club of previous radio guests called The Technology Leadership Roundtable. He has been instrumental in two of his guests forming their own radio shows:  Derrick Dortch with “Fed Access” and Aileen Black and Gigi Schumm with “Women in Washington.”

In 2011 he began teaching a course in social media marketing at Georgetown University; in March of 2014, John won the Tropaia Award for Outstanding Faculty.  John conducts monthly corporate training for large companies on how to leverage social media to generate revenue.



DR ALLISON DRUIN downloadDr. Allison Druin, Special Advisor for National Digital Strategy, National Park Service

Dr. Allison Druin received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design, her master’s degree from the MIT Media Lab, and her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico’s College of Education.

The National Park Service (NPS) has named Dr. Allison Druin as a Special Advisor for National Digital Strategy. A professor at the University of Maryland’s iSchool, Druin is taking a two year leave of absence to assist the National Park Service as a visiting scholar and will help NPS develop its digital strategy for the agency’s upcoming 2016 Centennial and beyond.

During Druin’s 18 years as a faculty member at the University of Maryland, she has served as Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, Associate Dean of Research for the iSchool, and most recently as the university’s first Chief of Futurist and Co-Director of the Future of Information Alliance (FIA).

She helped establish a FIA partner network with the National Park Service, Newseum, the Smithsonian, National Geographic and other organizations to explore the opportunities and challenges of the rapidly changing information landscapes.

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