National Park Rangers come in all shapes and sizes. Our Meet Your Ranger series introduces you to the many amazing faces that support your OBX national parks every day.
Hometown: Whitney Point, New York
Position: Public Affairs Specialist for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial (Outer Banks Group).
Where you’ll find him: Park headquarters on the grounds of Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.
Other national parks he’s worked at: Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
What do you like the most about the Outer Banks?
Besides enjoying spectacular Outer Banks sunrises and sunsets, I like and appreciate learning about what has occurred on and along these barrier islands. The history of the Outer Banks is rich with stories from the earliest settlements to modern times. Stories of flight, a lost colony, hundreds of shipwrecks, piracy, life-saving stations, war, freedmen, devastating storms, Billy Mitchell’s military tests, watermen, Reginald Fessenden’s first radio broadcasts, lighthouse keepers and moving a lighthouse have all helped shape the Outer Banks.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
As a National Park Service Public Affairs Specialist, I spend a lot of time communicating with the public using press releases, the Cape Chronicle e-newsletter, park websites, social media platforms and conversations with members of the media. Internal communications are also important, so I work to ensure that our staff and volunteers receive regular updates on operations, achievements and feedback from our visitors and local stakeholders.
What is your favorite thing about working in your Outer Banks national parks?
I like staying busy, and my position keeps me on my toes and quite busy. I wouldn’t want it any other way!
What inspired your career with our national parks?
Years ago, I certainly didn’t think I would be a communicator for a federal government agency. After college, I taught tennis full-time in New York and Pennsylvania, followed by almost a decade serving our country in the U.S. Air Force. Shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, I enlisted as an Airman at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, where my father served until his retirement, and where my grandfather trained prior to his journey across the Atlantic Ocean and entry into World War II on “Omaha Beach” in France. I can say without a doubt that my work ethic, self-confidence, ability to adapt and respond to changing situations and attention to details, are direct results from my time in the Air Force. It’s not too surprising that I chose a career with the National Park Service after my time in the Air Force as national parks and the military have strong ties going back to the establishment of Yellowstone as the world’s first national park in 1872. The U.S. Cavalry watched over America’s national parks and did double duty, serving as the first park rangers until the National Park Service was created.
What is your favorite memory from working at our OBX national parks?
Last year, I enjoyed helping to plan the first Cape Hatteras Surf Fishing Heritage Celebration with several local organizations, including Outer Banks Forever. The event’s program was full of great speakers, presentations and discussions! I’m happy that Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the surf fishing community came together to celebrate this very popular recreational activity.
Why do you think our OBX national parks important?
For so many reasons, including the long list I provided above. People from our local community, nearby states and states thousands of miles away love their Outer Banks national parks, so it’s critically important to preserve these natural, historic, and cultural sites for this generation and beyond.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you or the parks?
Helping my wife raise our daughter Rebecca, who just turned 1 year old, is currently at the top of my enjoyment list. Second on my list is tennis. The sport has remained a big part of my life for 30 years.
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