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DENVER — National Park Service Regional Director Mike Reynolds announced the selection of Kayci Cook Collins as superintendent of Mesa Verde National Park and Yucca House National Monument in Colorado. This position also supervises the superintendent of Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Aztec Ruins National Monument. Collins has more than 35 years of National Park Service experience and most recently served as the superintendent of the Flagstaff Area National Monuments in Arizona that includes Walnut Canyon, Wupatki, and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments. She will assume her new role on August 29.
“Kayci is well known for her collaborative and transparent style and she has a great understanding of the complexities of managing group parks,” said Reynolds. “Her commitment to employee engagement, deep passion for the National Park Service, and experience with Tribal relationships make her a great fit for the position.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the excellent team of employees, volunteers, and partners who care for Mesa Verde National Park and Yucca House National Monument,” said Collins. “I also look forward to working with the many traditionally associated Tribes for whom the park and monument are important landscapes. The cultural resources and dramatic scenery of Mesa Verde have captivated me since I was a child, often visiting my grandparents who lived and worked in the park. It is an honor to return as the superintendent.”
For the last seven years, Collins has served as the superintendent of the Flagstaff Area National Monuments. She has previously served as the superintendent at El Morro and El Malpais national monuments in New Mexico, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and Hampton National Historic Site in Maryland and deputy superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah and Arizona. Collins recently completed a detail as the superintendent of the Southeast Utah Group (Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments). She has also worked for the Alaska Regional Office as the Alaska Desk Officer and in Washington D.C. as a legislative affairs specialist. Collins has an extensive career in interpretation and resource management. Collins received her bachelor's degree in Recreation Resource Management from Northern Arizona University.
Collins has a family connection with two of the park units. Her maternal grandfather worked at Mesa Verde and Chaco Culture, and her father worked at Chaco Culture. She enjoys hiking, reading, baking, and spending time with her son Sean Collins, a junior at University of Arizona.