HISTORICAL SOCIETY News:
The Los Alamos Historical Society’s November lecture features a panel on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, including the first Los Alamos appearance of the new MPNHP Superintendent Kris Kirby.
The “Manhattan Project National Historical Park” panelists include Kirby, Kirk Singer, Charlie Strickfaden and Ellen McGehee at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos.
The Manhattan Project National Historical Park was established in November 2015 to preserve portions of three World War II sites where the United States developed the first atomic weapons. Managed in partnership with the Department of Energy, the three sites that make up the park are Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Hanford, Wash.
Kris Kirby is a veteran National Park Service (NPS) employee, most recently designated as permanent Superintendent of the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park. She has extensive experience in NPS partnerships, including her most recent assignment at Yosemite National Park as Chief of Business & Revenue Management. Prior to her assignment there, she served as Chief of Commercial Services at Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA) and previously worked in concessions management at Glacier National Park.
Since October 2012, Kirby has administered and managed the $25 million recreation fee program and the $150 million concession program at Yosemite National Park. The park’s primary concession contract provides a wide range of visitor services, both seasonal and year-round, in one of the nation’s most iconic national parks. Kirby obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Charlie Strickfaden has worked with the NPS for almost 30 years in over 20 national park units across the country. He served most recently as Acting Superintendent of Manhattan Project NHP this summer and assisting the transition of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service in 2015. His home unit is Fort Union National Monument, near Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he serves as Superintendent.
Kirk Singer has spent the last 14 years as a seasonal park ranger and volunteer coordinator at eight national park units and is the Los Alamos Unit Park Ranger. He arrived here this spring and worked closely with the Los Alamos Historical Society staff and volunteers in the park’s first joint Visitor Center. He oversees the Los Alamos Unit interpretive activities and supervises the growing Los Alamos Unit NPS volunteer program.
Ellen McGehee has been working as an archaeologist and historian at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) since 1984, the same year she graduated from the University of Arizona at Tucson with a bachelor of arts in Anthropology. While at LANL, she has researched the Pajarito Plateau’s prehistoric and historic past, specializing in the Homestead, Manhattan Project, and Cold War periods.
In 2004, Ms. McGehee graduated from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque with a master’s degree in History. McGehee worked on the award-winning restoration of V-Site and is a co-author, along with fellow historians Judith Machen and Dorothy Hoard, of “Homesteading on the Pajarito Plateau, 1887–1942,” a government publication that was named to the American Library Association (ALA)’s list of “Notable Government Documents of 2012.”
She recently completed her doctoral studies in December 2015, receiving a Ph.D. in history from UNM. Recent major projects include the restoration of Gun Site, where design and assembly work for the Little Boy weapon was conducted, and the preparation of documents leading to the establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.