Meet the Superintendent
"We are delighted to bring Niki and her tremendous background in resource management to the Southeast Region," Vela said. "She understands the need to preserve both natural and cultural resources for future generations while at the same time allowing for education and enjoyment by park visitors. She also knows and values the importance of working with local communities to create awareness and support."
Prior to working at Yosemite, Nicholas worked at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Her last position there was as Senior Manager for Environmental Impact Reduction Technologies.
"I'm very happy to be back in the Southeast and very excited to get to work with the wonderful staffs at Big South Fork and Obed River," Nicholas said. "The resources and the recreation opportunities of these two parks are tremendous and I'm thankful for the opportunity to contribute to their preservation and use."
Nicholas holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Northwestern University, a master of science degree in ecology from the University of Tennessee, and a doctorate in forestry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is a member of the Ecological Society of America, Forest History Society, Society of American Foresters, and the George Wright Society.
Nicholas has been married to Charles Patrick Nicholson for more than 15 years. Nicholson works at the Tennessee Valley Authority as Manager for National Environmental Policy Act Compliance. They have two black Labrador retrievers and they just bought a home in Oneida, Tennessee.
Did You Know?
Longhunters were some of the first Europeans to traverse the Big South Fork region. It is said they were called longhunters either for the long rifles they carried or because the were typically gone on hunting trips for so long, sometimes up to a year.