Park ranger and public information officer…continuing to be a girl scout.

I’m a park ranger and I’ve been in the park service for the past 20 years. Currently, I’m public information officer at the park. You have to know a lot about the park and communicate well. And you have to handle rough media sorts….

I grew up as a girl scout and I guess I wanted to continue to be one. My mom was my leader. I went to school in resource management learning about forests, water, wildlife… I was also interested in communication and outdoor education.

I grew up in Wisconsin and there were no jobs there so I came to Kentucky and got a summer job in the caves as a guide. Afterwards, I stayed in the area and got a job at Lincoln’s birthplace memorial. It’s a federal employment thing so you have to apply in a certian way. The government announces a vacancy at the office of personnel management. They hire all government employees and it was there I applied.

As public information officer, I talk on the phone and work on the computer. I work with the local media. They call and ask me to review things and I do.

I can’t tell you the things I don’t like as this isn’t anonymous enough, but I do think about leaving and becoming a mommy. I would like to spend more time with my kids. But my boss has worked with me to match my kids schedule…

And I honestly like the job. It’s something different every day. A lot of it is reactive depending on who calls and what happens in the park. I enjoy that, but not everybody does. But I do and I never run out of things to do.

I get to pitch stories a lot as there isn’t much hard news here. One summer, we had 3 bodies on the river. It was a rough period There had been some floods upstream and someone had washed out of their car and someone had capsized fishing.

In 5 years, I’ll be working here still as my kids will be in school. In 30 years, maybe I’ll be a volunteer in the parks.