DEL-MEM Alum Cameron Sholly Named Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park

June 19, 2018

Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,


sholly zinke yellowstone photo.jpg

Cameron Sholly DEL-MEM ‘10 (left) and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan  Zinke. (Credit: U.S. Dept. of the Interior)


DURHAM, N.C. – The National Park Service (NPS) has appointed Cameron H. Sholly, a 2010 graduate of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, to serve as superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.

Sholly earned a Duke Environmental Leadership Master of Environmental Management (DEL-MEM) degree from the Nicholas School in 2010, with curriculum concentrations in environmental economics, law and policy.

Prior to being selected as Yellowstone’s new superintendent, Sholly served as the NPS Midwest regional director, a post in which he managed a team of 2000 employees, an annual budget of more than $250 million, and the operations of 61 national park units spread across 13 states.

Among his accomplishments during his three-year tenure as Midwest regional director, he helped spearhead plans to reintroduce wolves to Isle Royale National Park, expanded NPS’ collaborations with state and tribal governments on conservation and land management, and in 2016 established a regional Office of American Indian Affairs to build stronger tribal relations across the region. He also oversaw the $380 million renovation of the park service’s Gateway Arch grounds and museum in St. Louis.

In 2015, Sholly was awarded the Department of the Interior’s Meritorious Service Award in recognition of his outstanding executive leadership actions.

"As a veteran of the National Park Service, Cam has a track record of working with local communities and tribes on important wildlife and conservation work and he's overseen some of the park service's most high-profile park infrastructure projects in recent years," says U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. "Managing our national parks is a responsibility and a privilege, and I'm confident Cam Sholly will do a fantastic job at Yellowstone."

Established in 1872, Yellowstone is the nation’s oldest national park and still ranks among the most visited, attracting more than 4.1 million visitors annually in both 2016 and 2017.

Covering more than 3,468 square miles, the biodiverse park, often called “the Serengeti of the United States,” forms the centerpiece of the 31,250 square-mile Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a region that includes Grand Teton National Park, adjacent national forests and expansive wilderness areas and is considered the world's largest intact ecosystem in the northern temperate zone.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the extraordinary staff and partners at Yellowstone,” Sholly says. “Exceptional work has occurred there over the past years because of the dedication of the NPS staff, partners, and communities. I look forward to continuing a positive trajectory for one of the greatest parks in the world.”

The DEL-MEM program offers mid-career professionals the opportunity to continue their education, advance their careers, and become leaders in their organizations. The program’s innovative and flexible online format lets participants maintain their careers and personal lives while earning a master’s degree in two years.