Phone: 208-885-6111
Toll-free: 88-88-UIDAHO
Fax: 208-885-9119
Student Union Building
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264


Phone: 208-334-2999
Fax: 208-364-4035
322 E. Front Street
Boise, ID 83702


Coeur d'Alene

Phone: 208-667-2588
Toll-free: 888-208-2268
Fax: 208-664-1272
1031 N. Academic Way,
Suite 242
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814


Idaho Falls

Phone: 208-282-7900
Fax: 208-282-7929
1776 Science Center Drive, Suite 306
Idaho Falls, ID 83402


Katie Bilodeau, water resources program master’s of science candidate, works with Professor Machlis.

Gary Machlis

Conservation professor Gary Machlis has a new address: Washington D.C. Machlis has been tapped to become the first ever science adviser to the director of the National Park Service (NPS). The appointment was effective Sept. 7.

“Applying the very best science and scholarly research to management of national parks is critical,” said NPS Director Jon Jarvis. “The appointment of Dr. Machlis to this new and important position will advance the role of science within our agency as we meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Dr. Machlis’ is a proven leader and innovator within the scientific community.”

In his new role, Machlis will help in the effective delivery of scientific information to NPS managers, decision makers, the Department of the Interior (DOI), Congress, stakeholders, park visitors and citizens. He also will help assure that NPS uses the best available science to address complex natural and cultural resource challenges facing the Service – from climate change to youth science education.

Machlis continues as a University of Idaho faculty member and is serving in this role through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, with his salary and benefits paid by the National Park Service during the assignment.

“I am enthused and grateful for the opportunity to serve as the first Science Advisor to the NPS Director,” said Machlis. “This is an extraordinary time to advance science within the Service, and I look forward to working with the DOI and NPS leadership, our outstanding scientists, partner agencies, field professionals and the scientific community.”

Machlis, a Seattle native, has been at the University of Idaho since 1979.

"Dr. Machlis’ appointment is a great example of how the University of Idaho partners with key organizations to expand intellectual boundaries for the good of our planet,” said Bill McLaughlin, dean of the University's College of Natural Resources. “His outstanding leadership continually positions the University to provide sustainable solutions for a changing world.”

"Gary blends great science with practical application in a way that has made an impact for years in developing best conservation practices for other countries as well as in the U.S.," said former Idaho Provost Doug Baker. "This new post will enable him to serve even more effectively the university’s commitment to innovative research, technology and leadership. We are pleased that he will step into this national leadership role."

While firmly rooted in Idaho, Machlis' teaching career has had a global impact. A few examples of his international leadership include:
  • 1990 - academic specialist for the U.S Information Agency at Moi University in, Eldoret, Kenya
  • 1980 - adjunct professor at Nanjing Technological College of Forest Products in the People’s Republic of China.
  • Founding member of the Wolong Nature Reserve International Advisory Council, and adviser to its facilitiy managers 
  •  Member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas.

During 30 years of active research, Machlis has received more than $12 million in grant and contract awards, including more than $1.4 million for the Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program. He helped create the National Parks Ecological Fellowship Program, with more than $4 million in fellowships provided by the Mellon Foundation.

Machlis earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle and his doctorate in human ecology from Yale.