Personnel News: May 2007 Archives

Reader note: "Today we (JPL folks) learned that Rep. Rush Holt has taken up our cause and has asked the Secretary of Commerce to explain why so much personal information is needed for the new HSPD-12 badging process. Text is here.

In addition, I attended today's standing-room-only meeting to discuss the new badging process to JPL'ers and the presenters refused to discuss several key issues regarding how the data is to be handled, who has access to the data, and why the release form allows investigators access to *any* records including financial and medical. It was made very clear to the employees that if we didn't "voluntarily" give them the information they seek, that we wouldn't have a job come October 29th."

Fred Wilshusen, Rocket Pioneer, dies at age 84, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

"Fred Wilshusen, rocket pioneer, died May 15, 2007, at the age of 84. Born in 1925 in Boulder, Colorado, Fred served in the Navy as a radar technician, patrolling the pacific coast for Japanese submarines in torpedo bombers, during WWII. After the war, he earned his Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He joined the fledging Upper Air Laboratory at CU as a graduate student in 1956. ... Tell us your story about Fred in the LASP blog."

Subcommittee Focuses on Ensuring the Health and Vitality of NASA's Current and Future Workforce, House Science and Technology Committee

"The House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics today examined a range of National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) workforce issues identified by the recently released reports of two independent review panels. The Subcommittee's work is aimed at ensuring the health and vitality of the NASA workforce in the 21st century."

- Opening Statement By Chairman Mark Udall
- Statement by Lee Stone
- Statement by David C. Black
- Statement by John G. Stewart
- Statement by Toni Dawsey

Witnesses Say That NASA Workforce Must Be Ready for Future Challenges, House Science and Technology Committee

"Dr. David Black, co-chair of the Committee on Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration at the National Research Council, summed up the current workforce challenge, saying, "NASA has too few program and project managers and systems engineers with the requisite experience in human spaceflight systems development to successfully oversee Vision for Space Exploration projects."

Lee Stone testifies before Congress, Ames Federal Employees Union

"As many of you have heard, our own VP of Legislative Affairs, Dr. Leland Stone, testified before the Subcommittee for Space & Aeronautics, a House subcommittee of the Space & Technology Committee. The hearing subject was, "Building and Maintaining a Healthy and Strong NASA Workforce". Lee represented IFPTE employees at NASA before the subcommittee and provided written testimony to the subcommittee. This is the second time he has testified before this subcommittee."

Audio of the hearing.
Lee's written testimony.

NASA MSFC internal Memo: Key Personnel Announcement: Daniel L. Dumbacher

"I am pleased to announce the selection of Mr. Daniel L. Dumbacher to the position of Director, Engineering Directorate, George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Alabama. Mr. Dumbacher replaces Mr. Michael U. Rudolphi who retired in March 2007."

Robert Lightfoot Named Deputy Director of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

"David King, director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., today named Robert Lightfoot as the new deputy director of the center. Lightfoot replaces Charles Chitwood who has accepted a position in private industry. Since October 2005, Lightfoot has served as director of the Shuttle Propulsion Office, where he is responsible for the manufacture, assembly and operation of the primary Shuttle propulsion elements."

NASA employees object to data-gathering actions, Government Executive

"Lawmakers are investigating accusations that federal agencies are violating civil liberties in enforcing a presidential security directive that requires workers and contractors to undergo background checks in order to enter government buildings and computer systems. On April 26, a bipartisan group of scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory wrote a letter to Reps. Rush Holt, D-N.J., and Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich. The scientists urged an end to the policy of gathering extensive personal information, including racial, ethnic, financial and medical details as part of the new security protocol."

Internal NASA JPL Memo Regarding Privacy Issues Associated with the Implementation of HSPD#12

"We are being asked to sign blanket waivers that permit investigators to intrude into our personal financial and medical records. The information that we are being asked to supply is very similar to the information requested for a full security clearance. The support documents provided to us by NASA associated with the HSPD #12 implementation contain numerous errors or falsehoods. We are all aware that falsification of federal documents is a crime so one might charitably assume that these mistakes are due to incompetence rather than outright deceit. Nevertheless, it raises serious concern regarding the confidence that should be placed in the security of our personal information once it is placed in the hands of such incompetent individuals as those within NASA who are forcing these documents upon us."

NASA Implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12 (HSPD-12)

"I am an employee of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and reside in Sierra Madre so I am doubly a constituent of yours. I am quite concerned with the implementation of HSPD-12 by JPL/Caltech under direction of NASA. To wit: I believe it to be an unwarranted intrusion into my personal life and an unconstitutional violation of my civil rights."

Comments? Send them to Your comments thus far:

Building a Better NASA Workforce: Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration, National Academy of Sciences

"A problem faced by the committee was a lack of data, as well as differing interpretations of future requirements for certain skills and an absence of information correlating levels of expertise required with the numbers of employees anticipated to be needed. Based on available demographic data, however, the committee concluded that, in the broadest sense, there is no looming national shortage of skilled scientists and engineers to implement the VSE over the long term."

Hearing: Building and Maintaining a Healthy and Strong NASA Workforce (17 May 2007)

Osborn, veteran audio engineer at NASA, Houston Chronicle

"Glenn Richard Osborn, a longtime NASA audio engineer whose contributions enabled presidents, foreign dignitaries and news reporters to speak with and question astronauts while they were in space, has died. He was 78."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from May 2007.

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