Jonathan Jarvis

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Jonathan Jarvis
18th Director of the National Park Service
In office
October 2, 2009[1] โ€“ January 3, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byMary A. Bomar
Dan Wenk (Acting)
Succeeded byMike Reynolds (Acting)
Charles Sams
Personal details
Born (1953-06-26) 26 June 1953 (age 70)
College of William and Mary

Jonathan B. Jarvis (born June 26, 1953)

Director of the United States National Park Service, confirmed by the United States Senate on September 25, 2009, and serving until his retirement on January 3, 2017.[3]

Early life and education

Jarvis graduated from Natural Bridge High School in Natural Bridge Station, Virginia, in 1971.[4]

He graduated from

The College of William & Mary in 1975 with a degree in biology. He was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.[5]

From 1971 to 1975, he was a maintenance mechanic and welder at the Blue Bird bus company.[4]

Parks career

Jarvis with a Junior Ranger in 2010

Jarvis became a park ranger in 1976, at the National Mall and Memorial Parks.[4]

Jarvis served for three years as the superintendent of

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve in Alaska during the 1990s.[5]


Jarvis was serving as regional director for the Pacific West Region when, on July 10, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Jarvis for the directorship following the resignation of Mary A. Bomar on January 20, 2009, the day of President Obama's inauguration. A career civil servant, Jarvis had been with the service for over 30 years.[6][7][8]

Jarvis wrote in 2010 that climate change is "fundamentally the greatest threat to the integrity of our national parks that we have ever experienced."[9]

In 2013, Jarvis unveiled new guidelines for healthier food at national parks.[10] In 2014, Jarvis banned the flying of drones over national parks.[11] Jarvis pledged to remove Confederate flag merchandise from park bookstores and gift shops in 2015 after the massacre of nine black people by a white gunman at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.[12] In 2015, Jarvis signed an agreement for a new Manhattan Project National Historical Park at the historic nuclear reactor in Hanford, Washington.[13] In 2016, the Park Service under Jarvis unveiled the Stonewall National Monument in New York City, commemorating the Stonewall Riots for gay rights.[14]

In his time as Park Service director, Jarvis faced criticism from Congress and watchdog organizations, claiming his oversight of the service failed to address a culture of sexual harassment, bullying, and park mismanagement.[3] In 2016 he was reprimanded for violating ethics standards after publishing an unauthorized book with a nonprofit group that operated stores in national parks.[15]

Jarvis retired from his position on January 3, 2017. He was immediately succeeded by Michael T. Reynolds, who was appointed as acting director.[3]

Later work

On October 24, 2017, Jarvis was appointed as the executive director of UC Berkeley's Institute for Parks, People, and Diversity.[16]

In 2018 University of Chicago Press published a book co-authored by Jarvis, The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Water.[17]

Jarvis endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.[18]


  1. ^ "18th National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis (U.S. National Park Service)". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  2. ^ "You searched: Jonathan Jarvis 19530626 - Public Background Checks".
  3. ^
    Williams-Grand Canyon News. Archived from the original
    on June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "How Did I Get Here? Jonathan Jarvis". Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  5. ^ a b "William & Mary - W&M alum to be nominated as director of NPS".
  6. ^ staff. "Obama Nominates Jon Jarvis to Head National Park Service".
  7. ^ "Obama Announces Choice for National Parks Director".
  8. ^ Hugh Vickery. "Jonathan Jarvis Confirmed As Director". Retrieved 2009-09-25.
  9. ^ "NPS@100: National Park Service: storied past, troubled future". Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  10. ^ "Hold The Hot Dog: National Park Visitors Can Feast On Bison Burgers". 7 June 2013. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  11. ^ Mike M. Ahlers (21 June 2014). "National Park Service bans drones over safety, noise worries". CNN. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  12. ^ "U.S. National Park Service Pulls Confederate Flag Merchandise". NBC News. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  13. ^ Cary, Annette (November 10, 2015). "Hanford's historic reactor officially a national park". Tri-City Herald.
  14. ^ "More Like Pride-sident Obama". Observer. 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  15. ^ Hiar, Corbin (February 26, 2016). "NATIONAL PARKS: Jarvis stripped of ethics post after unauthorized book". Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  16. ^ "UC Berkeley taps former National Park Service director to lead new parks institute". Berkeley News. 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  17. ^ Machlis, Gary E., Jarvis, Jonathan B. The Future of Conservation in America. University of Chicago Press. Retrieved October 25, 2018.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Geman, Ben (April 21, 2020). "Scientists and Climate Experts Endorse Joe Biden for President". Axios. Retrieved April 21, 2020.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by Director of the National Park Service
Succeeded by