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

Self Paced
Filed under: Service Wide Skills
Where: Online


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 transformed the National Park Service, the people who supplied those ideas, and the laws that shaped the NPS. This course is free.

Course Format

This course integrates informational text, interactive practice activities, and supplemental reference materials. Following the course, you will be assessed by a brief assessment requiring you to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment you will be awarded an electronic certificate of completion.

Course Schedule

This course is self-paced and integrates self-study allowing you flexibility in the time needed to complete the course. Within each course, you decide the order and progression you’d like to take, allowing you to revisit and review sections in greater depth as needed.

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

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Explain the significance of major events in NPS history
  • State the key points of the Organic Act and the NPS Mission Statement

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