Carol A. Clark, superintendent of Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve and New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park since 2009, is retiring on January 3rd after 32 years with the National Park Service.
Carol began her federal career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1979 as a temporary employee leading Youth Conservation Corp students in the repair of remote canoe trails throughout the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Soon after, she joined the National Park Service as seasonal park technician giving interpretive talks at the Washington Monument and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials on the National Mall in Washington D.C.
She subsequently held assignments at Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park, Chiricahua National Monument, Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, and Gulf Islands National Seashore before becoming a superintendent at De Soto National Memorial in 1997.
She was then selected as deputy superintendent at Big Cypress National Preserve in 2000 and became the first woman to hold the superintendent position at Canaveral National Seashore in 2005. During her career, Carol also served on incident command teams as a finance section chief, assisting on fires, hurricanes, and special events.
"My career has been a whirlwind experience that was never dull and always an adventure,” she says. “It's been a true privilege and an honor to come to work every day."
Carol will continue her work in resource management in the private sector. She is looking forward to being able to actually live with her husband, U.S. Air Force Colonel Michael J. Cole, in their Michigan and Florida homes. A little snow and a little sand.