WIND CAVE NP – The National Park Service has named another Acting Superintendent for Wind Cave National Park, where Vidal Davila retired at the end of last year.
Michelle Wheatley, permanent superintendent of nearby Jewel Cave National Monument, recently began an assignment at Wind Cave that’s expected to run through October.
This is the third time the 20-year agency veteran has served as an acting superintendent, having stints at Colorado National Monument and Grant Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site.
Wheatley says Wind Cave has some incredible natural and cultural wonders that she’ll be exploring and learning more about this summer as she works closely with park staff and partner groups while getting to know community members.
Prior to taking over at Jewel Cave west of Custer, Wheatley was superintendent of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Colorado for 5 years.
She has also been Chief of Interpretation and Outreach Coordinator at Colorado National Monument, lead Education Technician at Rocky Mountain National Park, and a seasonal park ranger at Yellowstone National Park.
Wheatley didn’t start her government career with the Park Service, though. She was a seasonal employee with the U.S. Forest Service in the White River National Forest and the Comanche National Grasslands.
She also worked as an outdoor education program director and summer naturalist teaching youth about nature and science.