Great Opportunity for Graduate Student to Study in Colorado at Grand Sand Dunes National park and Preserve

Social Science Park Break – Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Dates: October 11-16, 2015

The opportunity:

The George Wright Society and National Park Service Social Science Program announce an exciting opportunity for graduate students. Applications are being accepted for participation in a social science focused Park Break Program at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (GRSA). The objective of this program is for students to understand a variety of applied social science methods to collect information about visitor activities, attitudes, and travel patterns in GRSA, and how these results integrate into planning across a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. The park unit is ramping up efforts to conduct a backcountry management plan in the coming years, and has initiated collections of visitor use and social science information in the summer and fall of 2015. As part of this program, students will understand protected area management issues and questions that exist in relation to resource protection and visitor enjoyment, and how social science information can benefit this planning effort to prescribe backcountry management direction into the future.

What is included?

Park Break is an all-expenses-paid, park-based field seminar for graduate students who are thinking about a career in park management or park-related research and education. Park Break puts you in a national park unit for five days of field and classroom activities in close collaboration with park scientists and scholars, managers and administrators, and partner organizations.

Who is eligible?

Graduate students (Ph.D. or Master’s level) who are studying in fields related to parks, protected areas, and cultural sites.

Park Break puts you on the path to success:

Several Park Breakers have been hired by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Other Park Break alums have embarked on Ph.D. programs. Park Break makes you and your skills visible!

For more information and how to apply:

Visit to learn more about the opportunity, and to apply. Deadline is May 15, 2015.

Contact Ryan Sharp ( with questions.