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Cordova named park superintendent

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Submitted to the Optic

Karl Cordova, a 20-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), has been named superintendent of Pecos National Historical Park in northern New Mexico.  Cordova will also oversee the administration of Fort Union National Monument in Watrous. He will assume his new post on July 15.

Cordova is currently the superintendent at Casa Grande Ruins and Hohokam Pima National Monuments in Coolidge, Ariz.

He has served in this position since July 2009.

“I am very pleased that Karl will step into this key role at Pecos,” said Intermountain Region Director Sue Masica, who announced Cordova’s appointment. “His ability to collaborate with communities continues our commitment to work with all partners and stakeholders around the parks of our region. Karl is well-suited to engage and work together with them to preserve and interpret the unique cultural and natural resources of Pecos and northern New Mexico.”

Cordova is a 2009 graduate of the NPS’s Bevinetto Congressional Fellowship Program – a distinguished two-year developmental assignment in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a staff member for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and for the NPS Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs. The Bevinetto Fellowship was established in 1988 to improve mutual understanding and cooperation between the National Park Service and Congress, and is considered one of the most effective developmental programs in the NPS.  

Cordova is also a 2007 graduate of the NPS Mid-Level Management Development Program – a competency-based management development program that is designed to enhance the competencies needed to become a more effective manager and leader.

“I am honored and humbled to be appointed to this position at Pecos National Historical Park,” says Cordova. “It is a privilege to be able to work with the dedicated park leadership team, staff, and incredible partners and local constituents who care so deeply about the diversity of resources and cultural significance of this place.”

Cordova has held various positions with the NPS including acting superintendent at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, both in Colorado.  At Rocky Mountain National Park he served as a supervisory biologist and as the park’s lead staff member on the settlement of the Grand Ditch breach lawsuit and the multi-agency Rocky Mountain National Park Nitrogen Deposition Reduction Plan. He was awarded the park’s 2008 Stewardship Award for his efforts.  Additionally, Cordova worked as a biological science technician, where he supervised landscape restoration and air quality programs, and also served as a wildland firefighter, including a stint with the Alpine Hotshot Interagency Crew.

He began his NPS career in 1992 as a park planner and ranger at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Prior to joining the NPS, Cordova worked as a park ranger for Colorado State Parks.

A native of Pueblo, Colo., Cordova earned a bachelors degree in commercial recreation and tourism and a masters degree in park and protected area management, both from Colorado State University. He and his wife, Shannon, have two sons, Ben, 11, and Ryan, 10.