Webinar: U.S. National Parks



This Discussion Guide is designed for virtual programming at American Spaces to create a greater awareness of U.S. National Parks and how they operate.


Links: Vimeo Videos
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 Duration: 40 minutes for all 4 parts
Recorded: March 2021
Sponsor: U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa
Speaker: Bob Keiter


  • Once downloaded, you can capture the video feed with a streaming tool or can upload it to your social media account for a watch party. If bandwidth is low option, have viewers watch the webinar before hosting a discussion.
  • Consider inviting a local expert or U.S. official to facilitate discussion during and after the webinar.
  • For more tips go here.


Bob Keiter – Director, Wallace Stegner Center of Land, Resources, and the Environment

Bob Keiter is the Wallace Stegner Professor of Law and the University Distinguished Professor at the University of Utah. He is also the founding Director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment at the University of Utah. Keiter served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Professor Keiter has written many books, including To Conserve Unimpaired; The Evolution of the National Park Idea; and The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Redefining America’s Wilderness Heritage.


American Spaces Toolkits

Key Terms

National Park- A scenic or historically important area of land protected by the federal government for the enjoyment of the general public or the preservation of wildlife.

National Parks Service – An agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior that manages and maintains several hundred national parks, monuments, historical sites, and other designated properties of the federal government.

Conservation – The preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment and wildlife.

Endangered Species Act – One of the strongest laws for protecting biodiversity passed by any nation. Its purpose is to prevent the extinction of the most at-risk plants and animals, increase their numbers and effect their full recovery.

Further Reading

About the Webinar

In this webinar, Bob Keiter discusses the United States National Park system through an Environmental Workshop hosted by the Ethiopian Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Commission. The series is broken into 4 parts with each video running under 15 minutes. Part one gives an overview of the U.S. National Park System, part two explains what a national park is, part three discusses landscape conservation, and the final part explains how new national parks are made official.

Discussion Questions

Preview the video beforehand to determine which parts of the webinar you will show. Also, consider stopping the webinar periodically to engage your audience with the below questions as appropriate.

  • Why is it valuable to have federally protected National Parks and a National Parks Service?
  • In addition to conserving the natural beauty of the land and vital wildlife habitats, the National Parks also boost the economies of the surrounding areas. What type of businesses do you think are near a National Park?
  • Does your country have any programs similar to U.S. National Parks? If so, what are some of those protected areas?
  • If your country does not have a program similar to National Parks, what lands would you like to see protected within your country?

The views expressed in these links and resources do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. government.

Updated May 2024