Member Biography

Dr. Kathleen Perales Jackson

With more than 30 years of natural resources management experience at the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Research and Development Center, Dr. Kathleen Perales is the creator of the Corps’ Natural Resources Management (NRM) Gateway,, a massive, highly-organized knowledge management compendium of more than 100,000 pages of the Recreation program’s most mission-critical information she developed initially launched in 2001.

The NRM Gateway’s vast content includes policies, best practices and other management information, and is reviewed by thousands of Corps employees daily. The platform includes features that bring together communities of practice, in which employees share success stories, pose questions to each other and create meaningful dialogue. The Gateway effectively creates bridges linking workers the Corps’ 400-plus water resource projects across the nation.

The platform allows field contributions, creating empowered subject matter expertise and agility within the agency.  In addition, the Corps Lakes Gateway ( ) is the integrator of all Corps of Engineers water recreation opportunity.  It is a portal for the public to access Corps lands (managed by the Corps and a variety of local, state and federal partners) providing an integrated approach to recreation opportunity across the nation. 

Kathy also directs a team of researchers working to improve Corps Lakes’ usage estimates, and is currently modernizing the Visitation Estimation and Reporting System. Kathy has been a presenter, academic lecturer, teacher and trainer. She has authored and co-authored a variety of reports and publications.

A Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences from Texas A&M in Galveston, Kathy moved from studying fish to fisherman in her graduate studies, obtaining a Masters of Agriculture in Natural Resources Development from Texas A&M, College Station. In 2010, she received her Doctorate in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from Michigan State University upon completing her dissertation “Predicting Trip Spending of Marina-Slip Renters at US Army Corps of Engineer Lakes”. 

Kathy has been recognized by and contributed to numerous organizations, including:

  • The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration’s Cornelius Amory Pugsley Award (2015).
  • Foundation for Sustainable Parks and Recreation Board of Governors (2013-2017)
  • American Recreation Coalition: Legends award (2012) and Beacon Award (2006); 
  • American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration: President's Award (2011) and served on board (2009-2011);
  • National Society for Park Resources: William Penn Mott Award (both team and individual, 2002, 2009) and served on board (2000-2003);
  • National Recreation and Park Association: Served on board (2005-2009) and Executive Committee (2008, 2009) also was Agency Accreditation Visitor and Benefits Trainer and served on numerous committees.
  • Armed Forces Recreation Society: Officer 1996-2000, including President and board member for years. 
  • Corps of Engineers: Commanders Award for Civilian Service (2012) and other agency awards.

[current as of 9/16]