Kevin R. Dahl
My position at the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory (NPARL) deals with many different aspects. I am the network administrator, in which I oversee our Local Area Network (LAN) that is made up of 6 fast Ethernet switches connected by a fiber optic backbone. I am the systems administrator, which involves maintaining and upgrading hardware and software for our 3 servers, 70 workstations, 25 laptops, and 6 network printers. I am a computer specialist, in which I provide to the scientists at the Location, a better means of getting their work done by replacing older and outdated methods and technology with new and innovative methods and technology. I am the security administrator, which involves maintaining the security and integrity of our network by protecting all aforementioned equipment from malicious attackers. I provide end-user support for our 55 permanent employees, as well as the 15-20 temporary employees who we have working here throughout the year. I am the webmaster for the Location, in which I oversee the creation and development of all (currently 10) of our websites. And last but not least, I research, suggest, and approve the purchasing of all IT equipment for the Location to ensure that interoperability and compatibility are maintained.
I joined the USDA-ARS in the summer of '93, right out of high school. I started college in the fall and continued to work for ARS in the student co-op program. After receiving my college degree, my position was changed, and I immediately started working full time as a computer specialist. I have gained a wealth of knowledge over the past 9 years while working for the government, and I've been able to attend many training classes, which include the following: