Now Accepting Nominations for the 2021 Murfin Award

Nomination Period Open

Do you know someone who has made a substantial contribution to the NPS Cooperating Association Program? Nominate them for the James V. Murfin Award!


Background and History

The James V. Murfin Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the partnership between the National Park Service and cooperating associations. The award—inaugurated in 1988—is named for the talented, dedicated Servicewide Cooperating Association Coordinator who worked diligently for more than a decade to encourage excellence and innovation in the cooperating associations/NPS partnership.

Jim Murfin’s efforts in the areas of publishing, training, and marketing enabled associations and the Service to provide educational and interpretive materials to the public of a quality and diversity that went well beyond what the Service had imagined when the first association was founded at Yosemite National Park in 1923. Jim’s vision and commitment continue to influence those who work with National Park Service cooperating associations, providing inspiration and ensuring success for a partnership which continues to flourish. This is a lifetime award in that individuals who receive the Murfin Award will not be eligible to receive again.


Individuals who have made a significant contribution to NPS cooperating association programs over a sustained period of time are eligible to be nominated, including cooperating association staff, association boards of directors, NPS staff, writers, designers, illustrators, and others who may have had a long-term positive and noteworthy impact on the Servicewide cooperating association program.

Nominees must have demonstrated a clear personal commitment to improving programs such as media development, training, interpretive products, and/or working relationships between the associations and the NPS. The nominee’s contribution should be substantial enough to have influenced the history and/or shaped the future of associations.

Nomination Process

The nomination period is open from April 1 – May 14, 2021. Nominations will be accepted from NPS and cooperating association personnel in the nomination form. Nominations must include the nominee’s name, their affiliation(s) with the NPS or associations, and a description of how they have contributed to the Servicewide Cooperating Association Program. Descriptions can be no more than 1000 words in length.

The award winner will be announced on Founders Day, August 25, 2021.


For more information or to submit your nomination by email, contact Kelli English, Acting Servicewide Cooperating Association Program Manager at kelli_english@nps.gov.

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