Meeting at the University of California, Berkeley to plan the country’s National Park Service, which was formally established the following year
America's Best Idea
In 1915 Stephen T. Mather, class of 1887, and Horace M. Albright, class of 1912, gathered a group at the young University of California Berkeley campus to plot a future for the country’s existing and evolving national parks. The result was legislation establishing the National Park Service in 1916. Mather became the first director of the park service, Albright was the second. UC Berkeley has been intimately involved with the parks ever since.
A century later, UC Berkeley convened science leaders for a summit to help launch a second century of stewardship for parks. The goal of the summit, “Science for Parks, Parks for Science,” was to envision and contribute to strategies for science in, about, and for using parks for the coming decades by building on the historic linkage between the National Park Service and scientists at leading universities and other organizations around the world.
In October 2017, the College of Natural Resources announced the establishment of the Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity, which works to tackle the most pressing issues facing the future of parks, including climate change and equitable access.