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Rebecca Stanfield McCown
Rebecca Stanfield McCown

Rebecca Stanfield McCown named Director of the NPS Stewardship Institute

Dr. Rebecca Stanfield McCown has been named Director of the National Park Service Stewardship Institute at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont. Stanfield McCown will assume this new role immediately.

"Rebecca is an innovative program manager who has focused her work at the Stewardship Institute on supporting park service staff and partners so they can in turn better serve the American public. Through building partnerships and advancing creative approaches to community engagement and leadership development, Rebecca has shown tremendous skill at bringing practitioners together to advance common goals," remarked Rick Kendall, superintendent of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP, Saint-Gaudens NHS, and the NPS Stewardship Institute.

For the last five years, Stanfield McCown has served as a program manager at the Stewardship Institute. She began her National Park Service career as a student employee at the Institute (then known as the Conservation Study Institute) while completing her doctoral research. Since joining the Institute, her work has focused on youth program evaluation, cultural competency and diversity training, leadership development, and evaluation and promotion of practices that contribute to successful park leadership. Most recently, Stanfield McCown has played an important role in developing and launching the NPS Urban Agenda.

"I believe the Stewardship Institute plays a critical role in enhancing the collaborative leadership capacity of the Service," said Stanfield McCown. "I am honored to have the opportunity to guide the Institute in exploring the evolving field of conservation leadership. Through this exploration we can determine how best to support the Service and our partners in managing the special places and stories that craft our country's narrative. I look forward to continuing to work with my NPS colleagues and the Institute's partners in my new position, in particular, as we prepare for the National Park Service's next 100 years."

Stanfield McCown holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism from Colorado State University and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. She currently lives in Lebanon, New Hampshire, with her husband and 5-year-old son.

About the Parks:

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park was home to pioneer 19th century conservationists George Perkins Marsh and Frederick Billings and 20th century conservationists Mary and Laurance S. Rockefeller. The park was established to explore the history and evolution of conservation and demonstrate contemporary stewardship practices. The park is also home to the Stewardship Institute.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site preserves the home, collections, gardens and studio of Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), one of America's greatest sculptors. The park holds the largest museum collection of Saint-Gaudens artwork in the world, interprets Saint-Gaudens public monuments in large cities around the United States, and interprets the Cornish Colony of artists which formed around Saint-Gaudens in New Hampshire.

The Stewardship Institute works to advance innovation in collaborative conservation for the stewardship of the National Park System and other public lands. The Institute has a wide range of programs that identify and share best practices, reflect on lessons learned, exchange leadership experience, and maintain a dialogue on the best thinking and practice in the evolving field of conservation and stewardship. The Institute focuses their work on Collaboration and Engagement, Research and Evaluation, Leadership for Change, and Education.

The Urban Agenda

Hundreds of people from across the National Park Service and partner organizations developed the Urban Agenda through two years of engagement activities. The Agenda offers more intentional, collaborative and sustainable ways of working, focused on urban areas, but important Service-wide.


The Agenda calls all urban park practitioners to embrace three bold principles:

  1. Be Relevant to All Americans - by reaching new audiences and stories that represent our nation's diverse history, by diversifying our workforce to become a true reflection of the American population, and by looking at "parks" in new ways as innovative urban landscapes for new uses;
  2. Activate "ONE NPS" - by aligning NPS parks, programs, and partnerships - the full portfolio; and
  3. Nurture a Culture of Collaboration - by working in collaboration both internally and externally to better serve communities.

    ► Read the Urban Agenda
    ► Explore the Urban Parks & Programs website

Expanding Horizons

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Expanding Horizons: Highlights from the National Workshop on Large Landscape Conservation 2014

► Read the report summarizing the 2014 National Workshop on Large Landscape Conservation. This report stresses a multi-disciplinary, networked approach to finding solutions that benefit human, wildlife, cultural and ecological health. The report was developed by QLF Atlantic Center through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service Stewardship Institute.

Last updated: December 6, 2017