SAND DUNES — Pamela Rice, a veteran National Park Service (NPS) manager, has been named superintendent of Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve by Sue Masica, director of the NPS Intermountain Region. Rice, an assistant superintendent at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona and Utah, will begin her new duties on July 22.
“Pam’s collaborative leadership style, strong communication skills and experience working with park partners, tribes and elected officials make her a great addition to our Great Sand Dunes team,” Masica said.
Rice is now assistant superintendent for external affairs at Glen Canyon and Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Her work there has included forging a partnership with Page, Arizona to manage the heavily visited Horseshoe Bend area and an agreement with air tour operators to manage flights near Rainbow Bridge and other park sites sacred to American Indian tribes.
In 2017, Rice served four months as acting superintendent of Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. She also was acting superintendent of Kenai Fjords National Park for four months in 2013.
"I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work at Great Sand Dunes,” she said. “I look forward to working closely with park staff, volunteers, partners and the communities of the San Luis Valley in the stewardship and appreciation of this amazing natural wonder.”
Rice joined the NPS in 2007 as an interpretive ranger in Alaska, where she had worked for several years for the Bureau of Land Management. She was chief of Interpretation for Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve from 2009 to 2015. She then worked two years in legislative affairs in Washington, DC as an NPS Bevinetto Congressional Fellow.
Rice has a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University and two master’s degrees – in interpretation and environmental education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and in cross-cultural studies and leadership from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota.