Conservation and leadership of the country’s national parks and natural resources is ingrained in the UC Merced’s DNA. To reinforce the concentrated efforts surrounding sustainability of the nation’s gems, the university recently hosted its prestigious National Parks Institute Executive Leadership Seminar.
The 10-day event brings park leaders and renowned experts from around the globe to discuss topics affecting the future of natural lands and cultural heritage. The National Parks Institute (NPI) is headquartered at UC Merced, but is the culmination of more than 15 years of collaboration between the campus, Yosemite National Park, and the National Park Service’s national office.
The seminar began last week at Cavallo Point in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area — the most visited park in the country last year. After three days, it moved to UC Merced’s campus before finishing with four days in Yosemite.
Chancellor Dorothy Leland delivered a welcome address to more than 100 attendees at the opening dinner at Cavallo Point, including UC President Janet Napolitano, Executive Director Emeritus for the George Lucas Educational Foundation and National Park Service Advisory Board member Milton Chen, and National Park Service Regional Director for the Pacific West Region Stan Austin.
David Vela, recently nominated director of the National Park Service, presented a “Leadership Vision” lecture as the keynote speaker during the seminar’s time on the UC Merced campus.
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