Introduction to the National Park Service: The History of the NPS

Learn about the ideas that formed and later transformed the National Park Service, the people who generated those ideas, and the laws that continue to shape the NPS today.

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About

The National Park Service (NPS) is an organization with a rich heritage and an important place in U.S. history. In this course, you will learn about the ideas that formed and later transformed the National Park Service, the people who generated those ideas, and the laws that continue to shape the NPS today.

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Course Schedule

This course is self-paced, allowing learners the flexibility to complete the course as quickly or slowly as they need. While exploring course content, learners can investigate topics in greater detail through enrichment activities that link to real-world examples, original source materials, and policy documents. Learners can easily move from section to section as they navigate through the course, revisiting concepts as needed.

Elements of the course

  • Informational text
  • Informational video
  • Interactive practice activities
  • Supplemental reference materials
  • Final assessment

After completing all course activities, you will complete a brief assessment to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Course Chapters

  • National Park Service
  • Origins of the National Park Idea
  • Creation of the National Park Service
  • Changing Times
  • The NPS Regroups
  • The Environmental Era
  • Entering the 21st Century

Be able to:

  • Identify the people and ideas that formed and transformed the NPS.
  • Explain the significance of major events in NPS history.
  • State the key points of the Organic Act and the NPS Mission Statement.

Recommended Background

No additional background knowledge or skills are required for this course.

Reviews

goodReview by dallas
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good (Posted on 11/30/2018)
excellent courseReview by Phillip
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Very inforative (Posted on 10/18/2018)
Very interesting and informativeReview by carol
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I found this to be very interesting and very informative. (Posted on 10/17/2018)
Well writtenReview by LEE
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Great course (Posted on 10/17/2018)
Excellent overviewReview by Kate
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Great overview of the cultural and legislative foundations of the NPS. 4 stars because a few of the links are broken. (Posted on 8/11/2018)
ExcellentReview by Abby
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Excellent course, especially for individuals going to work for the National Park Service. The course lays a foundation excellent for park rangers working at various parks. Excellent history. (Posted on 6/11/2018)
Objectives and measurement not alignedReview by Alexander
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The certification exam was not clear measure of stated course objectives. (Posted on 5/25/2018)
Some minor improvementsReview by Colleen
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1. When doing the in-lesson assessments, sometimes the material presented was not covered. I was asked about Mt. Rainier, for example, after the section discussing Mesa Verde. Mt. Rainier was never discussed in the lesson. Sometimes the material was covered, but wasn't covered until a later page in that section.

2. When participating in the final assessment, when a question was answered correctly, you are given information about it. However, when you answer a question incorrectly, you are not. I think providing information or clues about the correct answer may have been helpful. (Posted on 3/7/2018)
Informative and InterestingReview by Danielle
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I took this course just for personal enjoyment and interest, and I'm very glad I did. It was highly informative. The course does an excellent job of covering each era of the NPS and illuminating the changes and growth of the agency. (Posted on 1/31/2018)
very well written and detailed.Review by Kieran
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very well written, very interesting, and well detailed. (Posted on 9/22/2017)
love the formatReview by parkperson
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The clickable timeline throughout really grounded the historical eras - Very cool activities, too! (Posted on 10/28/2014)
Great introductionReview by Matthew
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This course was a great way to familiarize myself with history of the National Park Service. I found it informative, captivating, and creative. (Posted on 8/25/2014)

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