Partners in the Parks is sponsored by Southern Utah University in cooperation with the National Collegiate Honors Council. In April 2008 we received a Centennial Challenge Grant from the National Park Service making them a third partner in our unique academic adventure program. With instruction from Honors faculty and park rangers we conduct week-long projects at national parks across the country. Check out the map on our Home Page to see the parks hosting upcoming projects and follow the links to get more detailed information.
Dr. Joan Digby is a Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program at the University of Long Island - C.W, Post.
Dr. Digby is the creator and mastermind behind Partners in the Parks. Inspired by her own adventures in America's wilderness, and concerned by the growing decline in visitation to our national parks, she made the initial proposal for a program that would reintroduce Honors students to these national treasures. She attended the first Pilot Project at Bryce Canyon National Park and led the first urban project, Fire Island to Ellis Island in 2008.
Prof. Matt Nickerson is a Professor of Library and Information Science and Director of the Honors Program at Southern Utah University.
Prof. Nickerson is co-director of the PITP Program. An avid backpacker and amateur naturalist, he is a strong proponent of outdoor experiential learning. His original program at SUU, Maymester Gone Wild!, served as a template when developing the national Partners in the Parks program. He has worked with Honors students, faculty, and administrators at a variety of institutions to develop PITP projects across the country.
Dr. Todd Petersen is an Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing and a member of the Honors faculty at Southern Utah University.
Dr. Petersen is an award-winning author with a life long passion for the outdoors. He is co-director of PITP, led the inaugural project at Bryce Canyon, and has since participated in projects at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Joshua Tree National Park, Zion National Park, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, and Acadia National Park.