Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Lab fee:


Typically offered:


This course explores ways the National Park Service works to protect natural and cultural environments, and engage the American people. NPS is unique among federal land management agencies, with preservation being its prime mission. Fundamentally this is accomplished through national parks, which writer Wallace Stegner called “absolutely American” and “the best idea we ever had.” Celebrating 100 years of service, NPS embraces a range of interdisciplinary recreation and preservation programs. We will survey practical and theoretical issues facing park managers by visiting professionals at Maine’s two national parks—Acadia and Saint Croix Island. We’ll look at the inter-disciplinary work of NPS beyond park boundaries, studying local, urban, and international examples. Students will be evaluated for comprehension of assigned readings, class attendance and participation, a spirit of inquiry during field trips, and the intellectual cogency of a presentation (any media) critiquing one aspect of the work of the National Park Service. During the first four weeks, students must complete an on-line journal entry related to that week’s class topics.


General knowledge of national parks, place-based learning, land conservation, outdoor recreation, environmental science, or historic preservation.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.