Fellowship Seeks Researchers to Assist National Park Service

National Park visitors
Addressing visitor use of national parks, such as by these motorists queued to enter Yellowstone National Park, is one of three areas open to the new Conway Science Fellowship. (Photo: Jacob W,. Frank/NPS)

As a social scientist, what can you do to help the U.S. government be a steward of the nation’s beauty and legacy?

While the United States’ national park system is probably best known for scenic wonders and historical landmarks, social science has been built into the fabric of the agency since the National Park Service was officially established in 1916. The service interprets its mandate “to provide for the enjoyment of current and future generations” as requiring social science to fulfill this charge.

The enhance this effort, the National Park Foundation – the congressionally chartered nonprofit partner of the NPS – has announced a fellowship seeking “innovative scientific research that can inform park management.” This Conway Science Fellowship is funded by Karen Swett Conway, a well-known architect and member of the foundation’s board, and her husband Brian Conway.

Three teams consisting of a faculty or senior scientist mentor and a postdoc fellow (within three years of receiving their doctorate degree) will be selected to embark on innovative science research. The applicant(s) will be the faculty or senior scientist employed at the research institution, who will select an appropriate postdoc fellow. Each of the three fellows will focus on a different topical area that addresses some of the National Park Service’s emerging resource management challenges:

  • Addressing increasing visitor use by integrating social science and resource stewardship,
  • Enhancing ocean and coastal resource stewardship, and
  • Embracing collaborative conservation at the landscape scale.

For more information and to apply visit go.nps.gov/conwaysciencefellowship . The application deadline in June 30.

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