Public and Private Collaboration

Department of Recreation and Parks Management faculty and students benefit from collaborative relationships with many top tourist, convention, and outdoor recreation destinations in the country. So when it came time for Dr. Emilyn Sheffield to take a long awaited sabbatical why did she go to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco? San Francisco is one of the top destination cities in the West and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area includes destination attractions such as Alcatraz Island, Muir Woods National Monument, the Presidio, and Ft. Point National Historic Monument. Dozens of partners assist the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust as they work to find innovative ways to protect world-class natural resources and priceless cultural and historic sites. This grand experiment is a living laboratory of environmental, historical, social, cultural, and recreational issues in one of the most popular and diverse areas of the country.
She is working as a visiting social scientist with an interdisciplinary team of National Park Service and Golden Gate National Park Conservancy leaders to develop a social science research plan. The goal for the plan is two-fold: 1) to better inform managerial decision-making with social science research, and 2) to better disseminate Golden Gate’s innovative practices beyond park boundaries.
There is already a strong “Chico alumni network” in San Francisco hospitality and tourism sectors and Chico alums are working for the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Current students are actively involved at Golden Gate through internships and habitat restoration projects and throughout the Bay Area in a wide variety of parks, recreation, and tourism settings. Through her efforts more students are learning about their “nearby National Parks” and pursuing career opportunities in tourism, hospitality, recreation, and parks management in one of the most interesting destinations in the west.