Our Meet Your Ranger series introduces you to the many amazing people who support your OBX national parks every day!
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Education: Miami University of Ohio; History and International Studies
Position: North District Interpreter
Where you’ll find her: Her office is at Wright Brothers National Memorial, but you can find her at Fort Raleigh National Historical Site as well.
Other national parks she’s worked at: Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico), Clara Barton National Historic Site (Maryland), Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana), Joshua Tree National Park (California) and Pinnacles National Park (California).
What do you like most about the Outer Banks?
There’s so much history here! Geographically, the Outer Banks might not be that big of an area, but there are so many important stories that happened right here.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
My role is a supervisory one, so a lot of my time is spent making sure my team has everything they need to provide a positive experience for visitors to Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, whether that’s tracking down the answers to questions they have, putting together staffing schedules or giving feedback on program ideas. I also spend time working with partners and other park staff on planning and implementing projects from our annual December 17th celebration of the first flight, to exhibit design and repair, to drafting the park newspaper. Every day is different, which is a large part of the appeal of the job.
What inspired you to follow this career path?
I’ve always loved National Parks. I remember visiting places like the Grand Canyon and Independence Hall with my family when I was a kid and thinking even back then how special they were. After college, I took an internship with the National Park Service and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love being able to help tell the stories of these amazing places, whether it’s the story of the California condor in Pinnacles National Park or the first flight at Wright Brothers National Memorial. These are some of the most significant and iconic stories in our country’s history.
What do you like most about working in your position with our OBX National Parks?
I work with a group of incredibly talented and dedicated people, and they make it a joy to come to work every day.
What is a favorite memory you have from working at the Outer Banks parks?
I don’t know that I have a single favorite memory, but the moments that really stick out in my mind are the times I see people making a powerful connection to the stories we help tell. I remember the visitors who come back into the Visitor Center after attending a ranger program, and they’re visibly emotional because the story resonated with them in some way. Those memories help sustain me when I’m feeling stressed over deadlines or when I’m stuck in the office all day.
Why should people care about their OBX National parks?
These three parks are so diverse with so many incredible resources. There’s a place or a story that everyone can connect to in some deep and meaningful way. No matter what your interests are, there’s something here for you.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
My father-in-law was a park ranger at Cape Hatteras National Seashore many years ago, so my husband (who is also a park ranger here) and I are following in his footsteps, in a way.