‘National Park Service 100 Years on the Books’ library exhibit: A snapshot of faculty and staff visits to national parks

Hokie Bird One of the collages on display at the Northern Virginia Center

Library specialist Kristin Sorensen took the 100th birthday of the National Park Service to heart. In anticipation of today's (August 25th) centennial celebration, she encouraged faculty, staff, and students in the National Capital Region to submit photos of themselves in national parks so that she could create a display at the Northern Virginia Center Resource Center in Falls Church.

In response, Sorensen said she received photos taken at Muir Woods, Hawai’i Volcanoes, Badlands, and Yosemite National Parks, just to name a few. Also included were local national parks including Great Falls, Shenandoah, Rock Creek, and Wolf Trap (where the National Capital Region Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association holds its annual picnic each summer).

A bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service includes 412 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House.

“One of the great things about living in the National Capital Region is that we have so many national park properties close to home,” said Sorensen. “I was happy to be able to include a good mix of photos from across the U.S. and right here in our own backyard in this exhibit.”

For example, Sorensen’s request for photos led Sneharaj Ramdaspalli and Lulu Chen, Ph.D. students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, to explore two sites within Rock Creek Park and send back photos and stories of their adventure.

Some of the more than 40 photos were taken on recent vacations; others over past years.

Kitty Hancock, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is seen as a baby in her father’s backpack at Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the national parks she lived in while growing up.

A photo of Kris Wernstedt, associate professor of urban affairs and planning, was taken at the Grand Canyon while on vacation with his daughter in 2012.

Larissa LaCour, manager of the Executive Briefing Center at the Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington shared photos from past trips to Fire Island National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area and a group of students from the Language and Culture Institute are pictured on a field trip at Great Falls Park.

Roxanne Paul, administrative program specialist in the College of Engineering, worked as a ranger when she was younger and can still be found working concerts at Wolf Trap. She contributed several photos including one in uniform at Petrified Forest National Park.

The photo collages are showcased in the hallway outside the Resource Center Library on the first floor of the Northern Virginia Center. A second part of the exhibit is located inside the library and includes maps of U.S. and D.C. area national parks and books from the Virginia Tech University Libraries collection on related subjects such as rangers, public land policy, search and rescue, park lodges and cabins, and the National Park System in general.

“National Park Service 100 Years on the Books” will remain through Sept. 16.

Posted August 25, 2016