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Dr. Robert Parmenter Retires from Valles Caldera After 21 Years!

We want to Congratulate Dr. Robert Parmenter on this monumental achievement.

News Release Date: March 5, 2024

Photo description: Dr. Bob Parmenter poses outside of the Valles Caldera National Preserve administrative offices with a wooden retirement plaque and framed poster. (NPS)

Jemez Springs, NM – After an amazing 21-year career of scientific inquiry and resource stewardship at Valles Caldera National Preserve, Dr. Robert Parmenter decided to hang up his NPS flat hat and retire.

Over his tenure at Valles Caldera—spanning the Valles Caldera Trust and the National Park Service—Dr. Parmenter served as Chief Scientist and Chief of Science and Resource Stewardship. He established a premier research and restoration program in partnership with 40 federal, tribal, state, academic, and non-profit organizations. Because of his passion for science in parks, Valles Caldera is in the top 4% of the entire National Park System for the number of partner-led research projects currently underway. There are nearly 50 scientific installations and hundreds of monitoring plots in the park for studying and monitoring vegetation, soils, weather, seismicity, and wildlife—comparable in scope and complexity to the National Science Foundation-funded National Ecological Observing Network (NEON), Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network, and science programs at Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

“His leadership and accomplishments are why the park’s enabling legislation mandates a science and education program and continues ecological restoration efforts,” said Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos.

Dr. Parmenter has helped realize these Congressional mandates by bringing the park's forest restoration program to near completion and helping transition the program to the next phase of managed wildfires and routine prescribed fires.

He was instrumental in establishing the Jemez Mountains Research Learning Center, in partnership with Bandelier National Monument and the U.S. Geological Survey, which contributes to the sharing of scientific knowledge among national parks and the broader scientific community.

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