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Yosemite National Park is pleased to announce that the 2021 Edwin C. Bearss History Fellowship has been awarded to Emily Dayhoff. Emily is a Park Ranger who works in Yosemite National Park’s Division of Interpretation and Education, and specializes in cultural demonstration.
In addition to being a full-time Park Ranger in Yosemite, Dayhoff is working on her Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage Management from Johns Hopkins University.
Emily grew up in Mariposa County and is Southern Sierra Miwuk. She has strong ancestral ties to the Yosemite region and Emily began her NPS career in 2015 as an intern in Yosemite’s Indian Cultural Program. She has moved into a number of different internships and seasonal positions. Dayhoff has also expanded her experience beyond Yosemite to work in the Medicine Wheel at Bighorn National Forest as well as the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
On any given day, Ranger Dayhoff may be giving a tram tour, demonstrating traditional crafts in the Yosemite Museum, working with her co-workers to repair an umacha (traditional bark house) in Yosemite’s Indian Village, gathering materials for traditional crafts in the meadows, researching information for a staff training, or writing temporary interpretive displays to help visitors think harder about cultural stories tied to Yosemite.
Emily possesses a thoughtfulness and passion for sharing untold stories, particularly highlighting American Indian culture, as well as managing the complexity of doing so while engaging with visitors from all over the world. She is passionate about making the uncomfortable comfortable, by developing innovative programming that opens conversations. Emily is well known for her rotating display boards that highlight relevant cultural topics and inspiring questions.
”We congratulate Emily on receiving this prestigious award and fellowship,” stated Yosemite National Park Superintendent Cicely Muldoon. “Emily utilizes her personal knowledge and passion to connect with visitors from across the United States and the World. We are honored and proud to have her as part of our team here in Yosemite National Park.”
Historian Frances Kennedy and her husband, the late NPS Director Roger Kennedy, endowed the fellowship in honor of Edwin Bearss, who served as NPS Chief Historian from 1981 to 1994. The Kennedys’ generous gift supports NPS employees’ graduate-level studies in American History or American Studies and is administered in partnership with the National Park Foundation.
Congratulations to Emily for her accomplishment, and her commitment to strengthening Yosemite National Park’s interpretive programing to tell more inclusive stories from more diverse perspectives.