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Voyageurs National Park

National Park News

Omaha, Neb. - Kathleen (Kate) Miller, a Minnesota native currently serving as Deputy Superintendent at Voyageurs National Park, Minn., has been named as the park's new Superintendent. Miller succeeds Barb West, who transferred to Chaco Culture National Historical Park in Nageezi, N.M., earlier this year.
"Kate has excelled in diverse positions throughout her career, both within and outside the National Park Service." said Ernest Quintana, director of the National Park Service's (NPS) 13-state Midwest Region. "Her strong background in cultural resources management, interpretation, history, and natural resources issues is a valuable asset as she takes the helm at Voyageurs." Quintana added. Miller assumes her new position on August 21.
"Voyageurs National Park has a challenging mission and passionate constituents" said Miller of her new assignment. "Over the past 3 years as Deputy Superintendent, I have become deeply committed to the magnificent resources and talented staff at this park. I look forward to working with our gateway communities to more fully realize the social and economic benefits a national park can bring to the area. As a fourth generation owner of land in Minnesota, I understand the deep attachment of area residents to the lands protected by the national park. I believe we can find common ground and work with all stakeholders to advance the National Park Service mission here."
Prior to becoming Deputy Superintendent at Voyageurs in 2002, Miller was the Department Head of the Minnesota Historical Society's Northern Historic Sites, which include such varied sites as Split Rock Lighthouse, the Minnesota Forest History Center, and the Mille Lacs Indian Museum. During her 3-year tenure, she worked with legislators and community leaders in Koochiching County on plans for the future of Grand Mound Historic Site near International Falls.
In 1980, following an 11-year career as an Associate Professor of English at Prince Georges County Community College in Largo, Md., Miller began her NPS career as a Historian at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield, Wis. She then transferred to a position as National Register Programs Historian at the Alaska Regional Office in Anchorage. In 1986, Miller returned to Apostle Islands as the Assistant Chief for Resources Management, then returned to the Alaska Regional Office as the Regional Historian in 1988. There she was instrumental in establishing the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area.
In 1991, she returned to Wisconsin to serve as Executive Director of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute and Vice President of Northland College in Ashland. Northland is a four-year liberal arts college with an environmental focus. At Northland, Miller developed partnerships in support of institute initiatives and obtained major grants to fund the U.S. facilitation of the Lake Superior Bi-National Forum and a forest products environmental certification program for the northern Great Lakes region. In addition, she oversaw an array of programs that included environmental education, ecological research and monitoring, public education, and citizen involvement in the northern Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and southern Ontario, Canada, area. During her tenure, Miller had the opportunity to serve as Volunteer Consultant for a two-month period with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Juneau, Alaska.
In 1995, Miller returned to the NPS and Apostle Islands as Chief, Division of Resources Education, where she coordinated the park service involvement in developing the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. In 1997, she became Superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry, Iowa, before going to the Minnesota State Historical Society in late 1999. Miller received both the Roy E. Appleman -Henry A. Judd award for outstanding contributions to history in the NPS, and a Resolution of Commendation from the NPS Advisory Board, in 1984. She was also awarded a Certificate of Merit in Historic Preservation by the State of Alaska in 1986.
A native of St. Louis Park, Minn., Miller received a bachelor of arts in English from Wheaton College, Ill., and a master of arts in English from Loyola University, Ill. She completed the course work toward a Ph.D. in American Civilization at the George Washington University. Her husband, Pat, is a retired NPS superintendent. Miller has a grown daughter, Jessica, who is a professional actor living in Washington, D. C., with her husband, graphic designer Aaron Hansen.
Authorized in 1971, Voyageurs National Park is located on the northern edge of Minnesota, where the U.S. borders Canada. The border between the two nations and 55 miles of the park's northern boundary was a portion of the historic water route of 'voyageurs,' French-Canadian canoe-men involved in fur trade. The park represents some of the oldest exposed rock formations in the world. Bedrock has been shaped and carved by at least four periods of glaciation, and the topography of the park is rugged and varied; rocky outcrops are interspersed between bogs, beaver ponds, swamps, more than 500 islands, small lakes, and four large lakes. In the years since the last glaciation, a thin layer of soil has been created which supports the boreal forest ecosystem of Voyageurs National Park.


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