• Photo of the steep natural entrance of Carlsbad Caverns

    Carlsbad Caverns

    National Park New Mexico

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  • Cave Lighting Project

    We are undergoing a year-long lighting project in the cavern. Please be aware of caution tape along pathways inside the cave and use due care.

  • Scenic Loop Road Closed

    The 9-mile scenic Loop Road (Desert Drive) is closed due to weather damage. The road will reopen as soon as repairs are done. This scenic road does not affect road access to the visitor center or the cave.

Carlsbad Caverns Selects New Chief of Interpretation and Education

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Date: June 30, 2006
Contact: Bridget Litten, 505.785.3024

Superintendent John Benjamin has named Marie Marek, a 29-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), as Chief of Interpretation and Education at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Marek, who will assume her new responsibilities on August 20, succeeds Carolyn Richard who moved on to Grand Teton National Park as their Chief of Interpretation last fall.

“I can’t say enough good things about Marie,” said Benjamin. “She’ll be an excellent addition to our staff. She has extensive experience in interpretive planning and project coordination, which will come in handy during our visitor center rehabilitation.”

Marek has been the Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services at Nez Perce National Historical Park, headquartered in Idaho, since 1996. Her previous experience includes two other stints at Nez Perce NHP—one as the Spalding unit manager and the other as an interpretive planner. Her career has also taken her to what was the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. She began her NPS career as a seasonal naturalist, in 1976, at Zion National Park.

“I look forward to learning about the amazing combination of world-class cave and desert resources and the challenges of the construction of a new visitor center and interpretive exhibits, said Marek. “I have spent much of my NPS career either working in new and developing parks or being in on the ground floor of major interpretive developments.”

A Chicago-area native, Marek graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology and ecology. She is an arts and culture enthusiast, and enjoys astronomy and interpreting the night sky, but not necessarily with her cats Nutmeg and Champagne.

Did You Know?

The natural entrance of Carlsbad Cavern.

In 2003, a park employee found a piece of a stone scraper within view of Carlsbad Cavern's entrance that goes back to Ice Age Indian hunters. In 2004, archeologists found fragments of two spear points of the Midland-style Paleo Indian projectile points of some 10,000 years ago.