2013 National Parks Institute Executive Leadership Class Announced

Monday, February 11, 2013

More than two dozen managers of national parks and other protected lands from six continents will come together in California this spring for an intensive exploration of managing in a rapidly changing world.

The National Parks Institute Executive Leadership Seminar is a joint effort between UC Merced and the National Park Service (NPS) that aims to link park leaders from around the world and give them the opportunity to learn and share ideas, skills and tools for thinking and working on a strategic scale.

The 11-day April seminar welcomes emerging leaders from parks and preserves in 14 countries, takes them from Golden Gate National Recreation Area to University of California, Merced, and culminates in Yosemite National Park.

“The applicant pool this year was exceedingly strong,” says NPS National Parks Institute Liaison Ashley Adams. “We’re thrilled at the depth and breadth of this year’s class, and know that the phenomenal energy and talent represented by this year’s cohort will make for an incredible collaborative experience.

During the interactive seminar, participants delve into theories of change management, organizational renewal, strategic planning, impacts of climate warming on ecological systems, generational changes in park workforces and diversity of visitors, and the often minimal or insufficient government support of parks and open spaces.

This class provides the participating executives with frameworks that enable them to lead change in their management of parks and protected areas.  “The course provides these leaders with skills to effectively align the environmental, social, legal and fiscal realities that challenge them daily,” observes Erik Rolland, Professor of Management at UC Merced.

Members of the fourth Executive Leadership Seminar include:

Babajide Agoola, Agbo-Veterinary and Environmental Consult, Nigeria;

Tahani Al-Salhi, Petra Archeological Park, Jordan;

Lane Baker, Coronado National Park, USA;

Stephen Byrd, Southern California Edison, USA;

Tammy Duchesne, Women’s Rights National Historical Park, USA;

Chad Fisher, NPS Branch of Wildland Fire, USA;

Federico Hechenleitner, Corporacion National Forestal, Chile;

Kevin Hendricks, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, USA;

Peeranuch Kappelle, Department of National Parks, Thailand;

Leelo Kukk, Board of Government of Estonia;

Zoltan Kun, PAN Parko Foundation, Hungary;

Kelly Martin, Yosemite National Park, USA;

Ethan McKinley, NPS Northeast Regional Office USA;

Tom Medema, Yosemite National Park, USA;

Jennifer Nersesian, New Bedford Whaling National Park, USA;

Shelley Niedernhof, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, USA;

Bernard Ngoru, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya;

Gopaul Noojibail, National Capitol Parks-East, USA;

Weraya O-Chakull, Western Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand;

Roselyn Paul, Forests and Parks Division, Dominica;

Ben Reddiex, Department of Conservation, New Zealand; 

Pamela Rice, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, and Alaska Public Lands Information Center, USA;

David Smith, Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site, USA;

Chris Spohrer, California State Parks, USA;

Erika Stanicu, ProPark Foundation, Romania; 

Giuliano Tallone, Circeo National Park Agency, Italy;

Naomi Torres, Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, USA;

Satya Yadav, National Tiger Conservation Authority, India; 

Rodrigo Rafael Zarate Irala, Associacion Guyra Paraguay.


University of California, Merced Communications