National Park Service head to visit, lead public program at MSU

Contact: Sammy McDavid

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis
National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis

STARKVILLE, Miss.--The leader of the National Park Service will speak early next week at Mississippi State.

"National Parks and American Values: A Field Guide" will be the topic of remarks Tuesday [Jan. 15] by NPS Director Jonathan B. "Jon" Jarvis. Open to all, his hour-long presentation begins at 6 p.m. in the first-floor Rogers Auditorium of McCool Hall.

Jarvis, who has headed the $3 billion federal agency since 2009, will travel to campus from Tupelo, where he also will visit headquarters of the NPS's Natchez Trace Parkway. While en route, he will stop at the Bynum Mound and Village Site, location of a prehistoric Native American occupancy from the Middle Woodland period (100 B.C.-100 A.D).

At the site near Houston, a team of MSU archaeologists will brief Jarvis on what is one of the oldest mound formations found along the 444-mile trace. For more on the mounds, visit

During the afternoon, the College of William and Mary biology graduate will meet with majors in the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Forest Resources. Among other topics, he will share highlights of his NPS service that began in 1976 as a seasonal interpreter in Washington, D.C.

Over the 36-year career, Jarvis was posted at a number of major park locations in the West, including Craters of the Moon, North Cascades, Wrangell-Saint Elias, and Mount Rainier. Before becoming director, he was regional director of the agency's Pacific West Region, which included nearly 60 parks in six western states and islands of the Pacific Ocean.

Today, the NPS has more than 22,000 employees at nearly 400 locations that annually attract more than 275 million visitors. Additionally, the agency oversees a range of programs in community-level conservation and historic preservation.

In addition to an academic degree from William and Mary, Jarvis has been honored by his alma mater with an honorary doctorate.

For additional information about Jarvis' Mississippi visit, contact Walter Diehl, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, at 662-325-8534 or

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 06:00