Largest Professional Parks Conference Coming to Bay Area 


George Wright Society’s 18th biennial conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites—“Engagement, Education, and Expectations: The Future of Parks and Protected Areas” — is taking place March 29 – April 3 in Oakland.



Every two years, the society organizes North America’s leading interdisciplinary professional meeting on parks, protected areas, and cultural sites. Some 600 participants are expected this year.

This week of discussion about leading-edge research and innovative management practices in parks and protected areas will include presentations by National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and Parks Canada CEO Alan Latourelle.

The conference’s first two plenary sessions, “Parks as a Key to Preventive Healthcare: Partnerships between Park and Health Professionals” and “Watching the World Go Away: Sliding Baselines, Diminished Expectations, and the Future of Protected Areas” will be streamed live on YouTube at

Both professionals and the public are welcomed. Conference program and registration information can be found at

“We are excited to be bringing North America’s largest professional parks conference to the Bay Area for the first time,” said Nathalie Gagnon, president of the George Wright Society. “The GWS Conference brings researchers, managers, and educators together to solve critical problems facing national parks, other kinds of protected areas, and historic and cultural sites.”

A major goal of the GWS is to encourage more diversity in the conservation of parks, protected areas, and cultural sites. This commitment is reflected in two scholarship programs the Society runs that are aimed at encouraging minority students and non-student Indigenous people to participate in the conference: the George Melendez Wright Student Travel Scholarship Program and the Indigenous Participant Travel Grant Program.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here