The National Park Service has selected Patrick Gamman to serve as the next superintendent of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Gamman replaces Shelly Hall who retired in August. Gamman is expected to report for duty in late Spring.
“We are impressed by Pat’s collaborative leadership style, communication skills and energy,” said Martha Lee, acting regional director for the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region. “He brings a love for the world class paleontological resources of Eastern Oregon with him, and has a solid record of building partnerships and connecting with park stakeholders.”
Gamman is a National Park Service veteran with more than 18 years of experience. He comes to John Day from Padre Island National Seashore in Texas, where he is currently the chief of interpretation and education. He oversees a program that is responsible for visitor experience, youth engagement, community outreach and public affairs.
“I am honored to be selected to lead a team who preserve and tell the story of 40 million years of North American natural history,” said Gamman. “I look forward to returning to my home state of Oregon and getting the opportunity to build stronger relationships with park partners and the local communities.”
Gamman began his career as a Student Conservation Association volunteer at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota before holding multiple interpretive and backcountry positions at parks across the nation, including Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Denali National Park and Preserve and parks in Washington state, Oregon, Tennessee and North Carolina. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and spent time as a wildland firefighter on wildfire crews throughout the West.
An Oregon native, Gamman graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in geology. He takes every opportunity to enjoy parks and the outdoors — kayaking, hiking and horseback riding — with his wife, Jo Anne, who also works for the National Park Service.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument was established in 1975. Situated along the John Day River, the park’s colorful rock formations preserve a world class record of plant and animal evolution and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years.