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Vol. LXI, No. 24
November 27, 2009

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Have a question about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at (click on the Feedback icon) and we’ll try to provide answers.

Feedback: Can we have Watch for Wildlife signs posted at conspicuous locations on campus? We have a lot of wildlife on and around our roads and a lot of people may not realize that they can come upon them abruptly or that some, like the Canada goose, are protected.

Response: The Office of Research Facilities has ordered deer crossing signs to be posted in specific locations warning motorists. However, for the geese, there are no in-stock, standard signs. ORF is working with a sign company to design a goose crossing sign to put up near each vehicle entrance. The signs will be posted before next spring’s influx of birds.

Feedback: The NIH shuttle bus shelter at the Metro entrance is often filthy with trash and cigarette butts. The tiny trash can doesn’t get emptied regularly. While other Metro shelters are kept cleaner, what makes this shelter at the nation’s premier health agency less fortunate?

Response: Thank you for alerting us to this problem. The Office of Research Services and the Office of Research Facilities are addressing the situation and the shelter (outside of the fence) will be routinely maintained including picking up ground litter and emptying the trash several times a week. All the other shelters outside of the fence are the responsibility of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). We are working with WMATA on their responsibilities for maintenance and cleanliness of their shelters. In the future, if you see issues with our bus shelter, you can report them to Louise Davis at or (301) 496-9621.

Feedback: I work in Bldg. 49 on campus and ride my bike to work. I often ride on the service road next to the NIH Utility Plant. When I ride here, I almost always feel a mist or even drops of water falling on me from above. There is also a strange smell associated with the same area. I am very curious to know what this liquid is and whether it is safe, or potentially hazardous, to have falling on me.

Response from ORF: The mist you are feeling is indeed water drops drifting from cooling towers located on the roof of Bldg. 11, the NIH power plant. The water is not hazardous. The odor you have noticed is coming from exhaust vents at nearby animal facilities and is unrelated to the water droplets.

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