Please tell us a little bit about yourself.   

Hometown: Chesterton, Indiana 

Relevant job experience: 8 years with the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service in a variety of positions, mostly focusing on interpretation. 

Position in our Outer Banks national parks:  Lead Interpretive Park Ranger at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site 

Where you can be found: Fort Raleigh Visitor Center 

Other national parks you have worked at: Arches National Park (Utah), Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana), Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site (Virginia), and Whitman Mission National Historic Site (Washington).

Currently listening to and watching: Broadway musical playlists and watching The Crown and Jeopardy! 

What do you like to do in your free time? My pandemic hobby became 3D printing and I have continued to make movie prop replicas from Star Wars and Marvel movies! 

What do you like most about the Outer Banks?  I love being somewhere warm! Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I have never been a cold weather person. If I can avoid snow most years, I’m happy.

How did you end up in your current position with the National Park Service? I wanted to continue to advance my career and saw the opportunity to become a supervisor and take on a larger leadership role. It also put my partner and I closer to her family in Richmond, which is a big bonus! 

What does a typical workday or work week look like for you? My day always starts with opening the Visitor Center with the other staff there and then often I have an interpretive program during the day about the Lost Colony or Freedmen’s Colony. As the lead I often get involved with planning projects or events for the site as well and that can take up a good chunk of the day when I’m not in front of visitors! 

What do you enjoy most about working at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site?  I love that there is a wide range of history captured by the park’s interpretation. I can go from talking about the Lost Colony, to slavery and formerly enslaved people, to plants and animals on Roanoke Island. It’s exciting to have such a diversity of topics to explore. 

What is a favorite memory you have from your time working in the Outer Banks? I haven’t been here long, but my first Lost Colony program was memorable! Interpretive programs are always my favorite, but often you finish without knowing the full impact of them. However, on my very first one here a visitor came back to the Visitor Center and gave me a lot of compliments and said that she was inspired by my program. That is always my goal, to inspire people! 

Why are our Outer Banks national parks important? The national parks of the Outer Banks are important because they help to preserve, protect, and educate the public about this very special area of our country and world. From barrier islands and sea turtles to colonization in many different forms, to human successes to take flight, there is so much to explore and share with people that wouldn’t be possible without these parks. 

Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or about our Outer Banks national parks? I hope you come to see Fort Raleigh and all the wonderful things happening in the park! I’m excited to be a part of the team here and help to make this place as special as it can be!