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  • Pauline Hoffmann

National Park Week

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

National Park Week starts on Saturday, April 17 and runs until Sunday, April 25

Episode Two of the Data Doyenne podcast discusses National Park data.

Yes, National Park Week starts on Saturday which is several days away but the podcast airs on Thursday just days ahead of the best week of the year!

I am a nerd in many respects but I am a National Park nerd for sure. I mean, I have the Passport to your National Parks that I take with me when I travel and I get my stamps! (I've attached a picture here of the cover and a very active page just to prove my nerdiness.)

One of my life goals is to visit all of the National Parks. Where have I been? Here is a list (in no particular order):

  • Everglades National Park (My very first - and it was with a class.)

  • New River Gorge (I've driven over the bridge.)

  • Acadia (My husband and I eloped her.)

  • Gateway Arch (I've driven by and was awed by it.)

  • Joshua Tree

  • Zion

  • Bryce Canyon (The first park we visited after my husband proposed. Also, the name of one of our dogs. And my producer.)

  • Capital Reef

  • Canyonlands

  • Arches

  • Badlands

  • Glacier

  • Yellowstone

  • Grand Teton

I realize that is quite a list....but there are plenty more to explore. In addition to National Parks, I've been to National Monuments, National Historic Sites, National Seashores, just to name a few. I won't list those here.

I've also visited National Parks in Canada (Banff, Waterton Lakes, Bruce Peninsula, Fundy, Gros Morne) and Uganda (Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth).

The first National Park in the world was designated in 1872 - Yellowstone National Park.

National Parks are considered protected areas. The United Nations and the International Union for Conservation of Nature define a protected area, as "a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values." (IUCN Definition 2008)

I am a member of the National Park Foundation and I recommend anyone who has a love of National Parks and other elements of the National Park Service take a look at its website and consider joining. At the very least, take a look at some of the things planned for National Parks Week and participate if you can.

The National Park Service also publishes visitor data which I referenced on the podcast. To pore through it as I did, click here.

This week I also welcomed a special guest, my colleague and friend, Dr. Xiaoning Zhang. She is a biochemistry professor at St. Bonaventure University with me and this week she joined us to talk about her experiences in National Parks in China. Listen to hear her stories.

There is so much to explore in the United States and around the world. I hope you take the time to do so.

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