National Parks: Diversity and Sustainability

2020 ~ Present


The 2020 Great American Outdoors Act allocates over $9 billion to support a backlog of National Park Service projects, equity outreach programs, and infrastructure needs. This VIP seeks to establish a Public Innovation Center where GT students collaborate with Atlanta based NPS staff to bring innovate research methodologies and practices to our state and federal agencies while helping build a more inclusive and diverse government workforce. Resources and experts from the NPS and philanthropic organizations participate in outreach and technical sessions with students while introducing students to internship and career opportunities.

Students also will have the opportunity to assist indigenous people, towns, and decision makers in Chilean Patagonia who are building a national park system comprised of a 1,700 mile stretch of communities, conservation land, and wilderness open to global visitors and economic development. Students will explore environmental, social, governance, climate, and equity issues where multi-disciplinary teams will collaborate with US and international agencies, philanthropic organizations, corporations, and local communities in the context of Sustainable Development Goal strategies. Lessons learned and best practices from the US NPS and others will be evaluated with Chilean Patagonia advisors, students and local officials.


Issues Involved or Addressed

Workplace diversity at NPS sites; career opportunities for minority scientists and engineers; research on advanced infrastructure, sustainable systems, conservation practices, climate impacts, and technological innovations; expansion of Georgia Tech’s global footprint. 

Methods and Technologies

  • Remote education with Yellowstone’s experts
  • Partnership with minority agency leaders
  • Establishing research themes with GT faculty
  • Building a GT PIC
  • Finding career opportunities
  • Identify business collaborators
  • Identify grant opportunities
  • Outreach to minority K12 learners
  • Collaborating with national experts
  • Establishing field research hubs

Academic Majors of Interest

  • BusinessGeneral Management
  • ComputingOMSCS synchronous
  • DesignArchitecture
  • DesignCity and Regional Planning
  • EngineeringCivil Engineering
  • EngineeringEnvironmental Engineering
  • Ivan AllenEconomics and International Affairs
  • Other
  • SciencesBiology
  • SciencesEarth and Atmospheric Sciences

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Sciences, Management, Business, Engineering. 

Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Van Leer 465
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

Mr. Kevin Caravati
  • Georgia Tech Research Institute
Dr. Paula Gómez
  • Georgia Tech Research Institute