Aqua man

Bob Wick shot three of the photographs featured on the Postal Service’s new Wild and Scenic Rivers stamp pane.

“They’re my smallest enlargements but my biggest thrill,” he said.

Wick, a California-based wilderness specialist for the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), said having his work featured on stamps is “different than having an image go viral online. I can tell friends and family to go to a Post Office and pick these up.”

Wick’s images on the 12-stamp pane, which USPS released in May, show the White Cliffs section of the Missouri River in Montana, the Clarion River in Pennsylvania and Oregon’s Deschutes River.

Each scene reflects a multi-day effort, with dozens of shots involved, according to Wick, a self-taught photographer whose BLM portfolio — in the public domain — includes widely seen images such as California’s wildflower super bloom,” Alaska’s northern lights and the distinctive-looking western sage grouse.

BLM, one of four federal agencies responsible for the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, assigned Wick to shoot the Missouri, Clarion, Deschutes and other areas as part of outreach efforts around last year’s 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.

The challenge was a natural fit for Wick, whose passion for the outdoors spills over beyond his conservation-oriented professional role, for which photography is a collateral duty.

“I get excited about beautiful, sweeping landscapes, so I’ve honed my skills to capture that beauty and share it with others,” he said.

Wick, who grew up near the Ohio River in Pennsylvania, has long been drawn to rivers, though his connection to them has changed over time.

“In college, I learned about the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act academically,” Wick said. “The allure of rivers has evolved with the knowledge that they can be protected. Rivers have a primal energy I connect to.”

And to share that connection on postage stamps?

“It’s a great honor,” he said.

Shifting gears

The Postal Service is accelerating the use of data-driven analytics to drive results.

Mail Condition Visualization (MCV) is the latest super-charged module from Informed Visibility designed to improve operations and enhance mail visibility.

MCV is now the organization’s official system of record for mail processing conditions. It replaces the Mail Condition Reporting System (webMCRS), which was retired Aug. 1.

MCV provides fast, streamlined data intelligence to help increase the accuracy of mailpiece reporting with near-real-time updates on conditions of mail and packages in processing facilities.

While eliminating the need for manual reporting, MCV shifts data analysis and reporting into “cruise control,” providing near-real-time information on mail conditions.

Operations is using MCV’s innovative features to identify opportunities for increased performance to improve plant capabilities.

MCV offers information on all mail shapes, classes and categories. The module is part of the Postal Service’s broader efforts to innovate to deliver value, a core strategy, and move toward more streamlined, efficient processes.

To gain access to Informed Visibility and MCV, submit a request through eAccess. Supervisor approval is required.

News Briefs

Peak praise

Teamwork award. The Postal Service recently recognized the team of employees who oversaw communications for last year’s peak delivery season.

The team managed the USPS Holiday Newsroom site and produced news releases, media advisories, newsletter articles and other materials that helped inform journalists, employees and others about the organization’s peak season efforts.

USPS presented the team with the first Engagement Cross-Functional Team Award, which recognizes groups “who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to creating an engaging workplace in conjunction with improving postal operations.”

The presentation took place last week at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

Publication updates. The Postal Bulletin’s Aug. 1 edition looks at working safely during hot weather, including knowing the symptoms of heat-related illnesses.

The publication also includes the latest updates to postal policies, forms and procedures.

In other publications news, USPS recently mailed the summer issues of the Western Area Update and Southern Area Update to employees in those areas. The issues are also available on Blue and LiteBlue.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.

Fair game

Here’s Link’s latest “News Quiz,” a weekly feature that invites readers to test their knowledge of recent stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Fill in the blank: USPS dedicated the State and County Fairs stamps at the (blank) State Fair.

a) North Carolina
b) North Dakota
c) South Carolina
d) South Dakota

2. Which employee leads program helped USPS become a shipping provider for The Furlough Cheesecake?

a) Business Connect
b) Customer Connect
c) Rural Reach
d) Submit a Lead

3. True or false: USPS intends to deliver parcels for UPS on Sundays, part of the organization’s efforts to expand its shipping and packages business.

a) True
b) False

4. Approximately how many military working dogs are used by the U.S. armed forces?

a) 230
b) 2,300
c) 23,000
d) 230,000

5. Match the rural carrier or rural carrier associate in Column A with the heroic deed he or she performed in Column B.

Column A
a) Elijah Hoyt (Riverside, IA)
b) Sergio Cobain (Brooksville, FL)
c) Victor Rios (Stuart, FL)
d) Dawn Wheaton (Yorkville, IL)

Column B
I) Aided a man who slipped on a doormat
II) Aided a woman who collapsed by a road
III) Aided a trapped deer
IV) Reported a package theft

Answers: 1) b. 2) b. 3) a. 4) b. 5) a. III., b. II., c. I., d. IV.

Look for a new quiz next week and share your feedback with Link at uspslink@usps.gov.