Earth and Environmental Systems
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Several years ago, on a vacation to Yellowstone National Park, I fell in love with the idea of being a park ranger. I was working at ISU at the time in the purchasing department as a buyer and office manager. I already had an associate’s degree in business. It took me several years to get that degree, just taking one or two classes a semester while I was working full-time at Indiana State. When I decided that I wanted to be a park ranger as my retirement career, I stepped it up and took two or three classes each semester to get my Anthropology degree. I graduated and retired at about the same time!
A good way to get started as a park ranger is to get some experience by volunteering. I had volunteered at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park for about two years. Once I had graduated, I started applying for jobs on USAJobs.gov. It is very competitive to get positions in the park service. Since I had volunteered at George Rogers Clark NHP, they knew me and hired me for my first seasonal park service position. That was back in 2011. This is my third season working at GERO. I have also worked at the Grand Canyon, the Everglades, Buffalo National River in Arkansas for two seasons, Pompey’s Pillar in Montana for two seasons, and Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. I love my job! I get paid for talking to visitors, kayaking, and hiking! I enjoy learning about the different park’s history, flora, and fauna, then sharing that knowledge with other people who visit the parks.
I have been a mentor with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, a tutor for English as a Second Language at the Vigo County Library, and would really like to share my experience as a park ranger with students from Indiana State University.