The Future Park Leaders of Emerging Change (FPL) is sponsored and managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and the University of Washington College of the Environment.

Formerly known as the George Melendez Wright Initiative for Young Leaders in Climate Change, the 2018 FPL program introduced a broader focus to include resource management issues for which multiple global drivers of environmental change might be applicable. This change is intended to support holistic, integrated management in parks, and better reflect the multidisciplinary operations of the National Park Service.


About the National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) protects and celebrates America’s natural and cultural heritage in over 400 places. These locations include wilderness and natural regions in all the ecosystems of the U.S. and its territories; buildings, sites, and monuments that commemorate our multicultural history; and urban green spaces that support recreation and protect the unique biodiversity of cities. Whether it’s a vast wilderness area, a Civil War battlefield, a unique geological feature, a historic home, or a scenic river, there is a unit of the National Park System in every state and territory of the U.S.

The mission of the National Park Service is to preserve these special places unimpaired for future generations, and to allow for the public to enjoy and learn from them.

The FPL program recognizes that powerful global drivers of environmental change pose significant challenges for the NPS during its second century. Both individually and cumulatively, these drivers can bring changes to national parks that are novel, rapid, and/or large-scale. FPL internship projects support response efforts to emerging management issues arising from such drivers within the context of the National Park System.