HKS Authors

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259The educational role of the National Park Service (NPS) stems from its dual mission to not only preserve the United States’ natural and cultural resources unimpaired, but also to provide programming, services, and infrastructure that “extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world” (NPS, 2016a). Through a combination of park programs and publicly available educational materials developed by NPS, the agency reaches tens of millions of people every year. This includes millions of children and adults who engage in place-based educational programs as well as an even larger public who is able to access NPS materials through websites and original online content. In order to support this understand-ing, the NPS focuses on place-based education (J. Washburn, personal communication, December 19, 2013), a field that integrates student aca-demic and developmental learning into the context of natural, sociocul-tural, and historic local environments (Lieberman & Hoody, 1998).


Marlowe, Tim, Linda J. Bilmes, and John Loomis. "Valuing Education and Learning in the National Parks." America's Largest Classroom. Ed. Jessica L. Thompson. University of California Press, 2020.