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Participation In VRP Needs Assessment Solicited

National Park News

The National Park Service is conducting a needs assessment to improve professional development opportunities for employees with visitor and resource protection (VRP) responsibilities across the service. To support this effort, Clemson University is surveying employees to validate and compile responses to these responsibilities, duties, and tasks.

The NPS VRP Advisory Committee, working with NPS Learning and Development, has described technical competencies or knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors for successful VRP employee performance.  The competencies apply to employees in a wide variety of job series.  This assessment is designed to get feedback based on these competencies.

Detailed feedback on sub-competencies for wilderness, wildland fire, structural fire and law enforcement has already been assessed by the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, the National Interagency Fire Center and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. 

We need to hear from employees working in VRP roles about two factors that affect their success -- the importance of certain knowledge, skills, and abilities, and their professional preparedness. 

Thoughtful answers to the survey are critical.  Clemson will analyze the results to identify gaps where training and professional development opportunities can be enhanced.  This is an excellent opportunity to provide input on professional development needs.  

If you would like to participate as a NPS-VRP employee and did not receive a survey monkey invitation, simply email Demmy Vigil or Dr. Brett Wright and the link will be sent directly to you within 48 business hours.  For technical problems you may contact grad student Gina Depper directly at

Please respond no later than September 25th.  This is an official survey, which is appropriate to complete during your workday. This assessment will take approximately 25 minutes to complete.  Your answers are completely confidential, and the data gathered will be released only as summaries.  

If you have questions or comments about the survey itself (including any questions from your supervisor), contact Demmy Vigil at or Dr. Brett Wright at  Questions about the overall competencies effort can be directed a VRP Advisory Committee member listed here:

  • Bill Pierce, Retired Superintendent, Redwood National and State Park;
  • Brian Johnson, NPS Structure Fire Prevention Program Manager,
  • Chris Pergiel, Chief Ranger, Alaska Region;
  • Clay Jordan, Chief Ranger, Great Smokey Mountains National Park;
  • Ed Visnovske, Park Ranger, Valley Shift Supervisor, Yosemite National Park;
  • Jill Hawk, Superintendent, NPS Law Enforcement Training Center;
  • Kim Watson, Retired Chief Ranger, Flagstaff Area Monuments;  
  • Louis Rowe, Deputy Associate Director, WASO Visitor and Resource Protection;
  • Norah Martinez, Retired Chief Ranger, Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve;
  • Paul Austin, Chief Ranger, Saguaro National Park;
  • Tim Devine, NPS Representative, Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center.

Thank you for helping to improve NPS visitor and resource protection. 


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