Park Service interns create Korean-language Web site

The National Park Service this week plans to launch the first foreign-language version of its Web site, created in Korean by interns from that country sponsored under the direction of the CIO Office.

'The interns are mostly college graduates or graduate students aged 22 to 29 with backgrounds in IT or IT-related fields,' said Park Service CIO Dom Nessi.

Reginald E. Vance, business administration and finance manager in the CIO Office, matched the interns with various programs within NPS, including the international and finance offices, as well as IT operation.

'I think this is a good resume builder for the interns,' Vance said. He also noted that the interns brought formidable technical skills and a diligent work ethic to the tasks they carried out.

The first group of seven interns arrived June 16 and departed Sept. 16. The second group of 11 interns arrived Sept. 11 and will depart Dec. 16.

The interns have worked on various projects in addition to creating the Korean language NPS Web site, such as preparation of financial reports, infrastructure management and IT security. They receive limited support from the South Korean government, but bear the cost of housing themselves, Nessi said.

Seated at a table with the interns who participated in the IT project, Nessi said, 'Every single person here has their own Web site,' by way of praising the interns' technical acumen.

NPS worked with the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, a nonprofit organization that approached Nessi with an e-mail proposing the internship project. A key advantage of the internship project is that it does not require financial outlay by NPS.

In addition to translating key parts of the NPS Web site that describe dozens of parks, the intern team used public relations and marketing skills to supplement the material and make it relevant to the experience of Korean visitors. Nessi noted that automatic translation programs are not suitable for converting such Web sites for use by visitors from other countries.

Intern Sun Jun said she had been 'working on content for Korean users. We are focusing on the National Park Service's database and have now translated the content for 53 parks.' The service operates a total of 380 sites.

The interns also took field trips to Ellis Island in New York, Baltimore's Fort McHenry and other NPS sites.

Intern Jung Eun Eileen Kim coordinated public relations and marketing outreach for the intern project, which has focused largely on gaining attention from the press in South Korea.

Nessi said the service was exploring the possibility of developing sites in additional languages.

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