Photography Workshop Credential: A Universally Accepted Credential for Photography Workshops in National Parks

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Date of Award

Summer 2013


The mission of the National Park Service is to preserve our parks' natural resources for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of current and future generations. The mission of a photographic-workshop leader is to teach photographic techniques. The parks see photographic workshops as part of their mission to educate and as a source of revenue, whereas the workshop leader sees easily accessible scenery. The two groups should be on the same page, but they are not. The bureaucracy in each park sets its own rules and prices for the issuance of a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA), which gives the workshop leader authorization to make money in a national park. Some photographic-workshop leaders have found it more advantageous to ignore the bureaucracy, regulations, paperwork, and costs associated with a CUA. This study will examine the feasibility of developing one universal CUA for photography workshops. Because it would be accepted at all the national parks in the United States, the new permit would be a valuable credential for photography-workshop leaders. The methodology involved a two-part survey. Photography-workshop leaders were surveyed to determine their views on a universally accepted credential. The second survey questioned national park superintendents to gauge their reaction to photography workshops and CUAs. The researcher analyzed both surveys to form a marketing plan for the new credential.


Virgil Scott

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities