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I met some rangers down in the Delaware Water Gap this summer, Lets just say we didnt have the best meeting. Well that is irrelevant but would you guys say you are like the forest police? Because I got that vibe off of them. I would like a job working in the national parks but yet I dont want to be a cop(studying criminal justice and whatnot drug searches etc, speeding tickets), Giving tickets for whatnots other than the protection of our enviroment and the safety the park( Even though both coincide). What kind of employment oppurtunities would you say there are in the parks . Other than hotel and gift shops./ I am very interested so any feedback would help. Thanks a bunch. -marielle
(also posted in nationalparks community)

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
crayonbeam
Sep. 7th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
There are many different jobs that all have the title park ranger...

visitor protection (law enforcement)
interpretation (historians, story tellers)
cultural resources (archaeologist, histornians)
natural resources (scientists, biologists)

and others too, but only the law enforcement rangers carry guns and write tickets.

Law enforcement is one great way to get into the Park Service since that department tends to be hiring more than other departments often. I went to the seasonal law enforcement academy knowing I did n't want to be law enforcement, but knowing it would give me a boost up.

Go to usajobs.com and search for park ranger - you'll be surprised by the variety - there are even park rangers for other places than the park service, including the army corp of engineers.
gwynny
Sep. 7th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
The type of work you might do in a park varies a lot by agency and individual park. For example, the National Park Service has many different kinds of rangers. The founder of this community just finished three years of serving as an interpretive ranger with NPS. He was not responsible for law enforcement. However, there are rangers who do that thing. In California, where I live, State Parks rangers are technically police officers. State Parks Interpreters are not. But being a CA SP ranger doesn't automatically mean you do nothing but law enforcement. It depends on the park you work at (does it have a high or low law enforcement need?) and the assignment you get at the park (do the other rangers want to do more law enforcement or more education?).

Before you go looking for a parks job you should find out what you want to do. Do you want to hike the backcountry, alone, maintaining trails and campsites? Do you want to lead nature walks and campfire programs? Do you want to work at the entrance station and collect fees? Once you decide that, you'll probably need to get a relevant degree. Parks jobs are competitive and most require some college coursework.

You may want to check into city and county parks jobs in your area. My first parks job was with a regional parks district and it was great. Lots of agencies have positions especially for students, if you're taking classes.

Hope that answers your question, and good luck!
celtlass
Nov. 14th, 2007 02:44 am (UTC)
Police or naturalist
If you enjoy nature, being a park ranger will be one of the best jobs you've ever held for a summer season. I rant a lot about the down sides to Rangerhood, but it really does afford unparralleled opportunities for outdoor adventure, meeting like-minded people from all over the world.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of nature-lovers out there who wouldn't care if they loved nature to death. You see people abusing the parks, taking advantage of being out in the wilderness to trash it, taking more of their share of the commons as well as breaking laws. As previously stated, most rangers have no authority to write tickets - but that doesn't mean that you have no authority. That hat pulls a lot of clout with the plebs. If you love the natural state of nature, you're likely to want to defend it, and that means saying a lot more, "please don't do that" than you might anticipate. But you don't have to do it in a crotchety school-marm kind of way.

You also get the opportunity to teach others about their greater combined impact on the remanants of intact ecosystems that have survived our human conquest of Progress. You get to share your love of nature, and help it spread. That's not something the police department gets to do all that often. And it can be very rewarding.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )