The Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity was officially established in October of 2017 with an initial grant from the Resources Legacy Fund and the Nathan M. Ohrbach Foundation. Jonathan B. Jarvis, the former Director of the National Park Service (2009-2017), was hired as the Inaugural Executive Director and is embedded within the College of Natural Resources. The California Outdoor Engagement Coalition, a part of the Institute, is led by Jenny Mulholland-Beahrs. The Coalition coordinates cross-sector members in applying and evaluating programs for their collective impact on equitable access to the outdoors.
The Advisory Board provides overall direction, focus, and priorities for the Institute and serves to offer a broad, field-based perspective. The Advisory Board is complemented by a UC Faculty Executive Committee, which oversees the research component of the Institute and California Outdoor Engagement Coalition Executive Committee.