More than 400 parks across the nation attract more than 300 million visits annually. These parks provide a remarkable setting for public engagement in science.

at the dawn of the second century for america's national parks, we are called upon to take note of the state of our parks, our humanity, our health, our planet, and our society - to look in new places and in new ways for the solutions to critical and pressing questions. today, the opportunity exists to more powerfully engage science for the benefit of parks and society. banner

The Second Century Stewardship collaboration between Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, The National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and other institutions aims to:

  • Advance conservation science and provide science that informs stewardship of natural and cultural resources by expanding scientific research programs in parks;
  • Strengthen and broaden public understanding of the value of parks for science and science for parks and society by building on the positive public perception of national parks;
  • Enhance science understanding and appreciation among the public by leveraging park science for education and public outreach.

The Feature Length Film, Second Century Stewardship, from David Shaw

How it Began

The Second Century Stewardship partnership was announced and launched on June 25, 2016.

Second Century Stewardship began in 2016 as a collaboration between, Schoodic Institute, the U.S. National Park Service, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science to advance science and inspire audiences of all ages by inviting visitors and others to view national parks through a “science lens” while providing authentic learning experiences. On June 25, 2016, David Shaw, a trustee of the National Park Foundation, announced a $1 million gift to set in motion a vision of the next century’s legacy for America’s national parks. Today, partners Schoodic Institute, the U.S. National Park Service, and the David Evans Shaw Family Foundation further the effort.

Second Century Stewardship begins at Acadia National Park and will grow to include national parks across the country, advancing science and engaging with audiences of all ages. Engaging the public in science is rapidly advancing research of great importance as we face complex challenges in a changing environment. At the same time, opportunities to learn about the threats park ecosystems face–and the science that is helping to address them–inspire visitors and others to be effective stewards of the national parks and motivate conservation action. This project was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous donation of David E. Shaw.

David Evans Shaw

David Evans Shaw is managing partner of Black Point Group LP, with wide-ranging interests in technology companies and public service. His business creation, leadership, investment and board experience includes numerous science-based companies including:

  • IDEXX Laboratories
  • Ikaria
  • Curiosity Stream
  • Ironwood
  • Physion
  • Vets First Choice
  • Modern Meadow and more

Shaw’s public service experience includes:

  • AAAS
  • The National Park Foundation
  • Jackson Laboratory
  • Sargasso Sea Alliance
  • State of Maine
  • Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government
  • Maine Medical Center
  • Hurricane Island Outward Bound
  • The US-Israel Science and Technology Commission
  • The Council on Foreign Relations
  • Service Nation and others

He is a lifelong beneficiary of experiences in marine and terrestrial parks around the world.

For more information about the Second Century Stewardship initiative and fellow research visit