National Park Service Oral History

By National Park Service Oral History

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Interested in what it's like to be born in the middle of a Yellowstone winter or raised in the heart of Yosemite Valley? Curious about the inner workings of parks or how people establish careers with the National Park Service? Hear firsthand accounts from former and current National Park Service employees that celebrate the history of our national parks and the role they've played in lives around the world. Thanks to the Association of National Park Rangers Oral History Project for making many of these interviews possible. People's stories are among the most valuable resources that the National Park Service preserves and protects for future generations. Listen to people who have made the Park Service what it is today.

Episode Date
Bill Wade: Protecting Shenandoah Resources
In this episode, Bill Wade describes how he had to bend the rules to safeguard resources when he was superintendent of Shenandoah National Park in the 1980s. The result? Some admonishments; a few accolades; and a sense of a job well done. Thanks to the Association of National Park Rangers for this oral history collaboration with the Park History Program.
Jan 30, 2017
Meg Weesner on Community and Natural Resources
In the 1980s Meg Weesner was among a pioneer generation of women to move into Natural Resources Management in the National Park Service. During her career she discovered that collaboration with partners was the best way to preserve and protect valuable resources.
Nov 14, 2016
Sandra Weber: Doing A Job You Love
In college Sandra Weber decided to major in a subject she loved--history. Following her passions and gifts led to a job at the Clara Barton National Historic Site, the first step in a career with the National Park Service.
Oct 19, 2016
Flo Six Townsend: Paying it forward
Do you realize how many people it takes to make the National Park System work? Many are like Flo Six Townsend, who found her Park Service passion in career development and employee training. In 2013 we talked as part of the Association of National Park Rangers Oral History Project. Townsend reflected on her satisfaction is helping others advance their careers and how she herself discovered and developed her own talents in the National Park Service.
Oct 02, 2016
Dick Martin: My Role Was To Listen
Dick Martin served as the second superintendent Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska between 1985 and 1990. The assignment, in hold interviewer Alison Steiner, taught him how to work with communities in the face of controversy. This interview was part of the Association of National Park Rangers Oral History Project.
Sep 01, 2016
Wendy Lauritzen Developing A Career
How do you build a successful career in the National Park Service? In this installment of Centennial Voices, Wendy Lauritzen describes how she combined careful planning, serendipity, the guidance of mentors, and a professional organization to build a satisfying career.
Sep 01, 2016
Ed Rizzotto: The Importance of Urban Parks
In 1988 Ed Rizzotto began working at Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City. During his seven years at Gateway helped him recognize the unique role that urban parks play in the National Park System and in people’s everyday lives.
Aug 23, 2016
Anne and Scott Warner: Seasonal Rangers
Anne and Scott Warner share their stories as seasonal park rangers who began mid-life careers with the National Park Service. They've worked from Maine to Nevada and Louisiana to Texas, exploring our national parks in depth as seasonal rangers and eventually putting down roots at Acadia National Park in Maine.
Aug 15, 2016
J.D. Swed: Dealing with Death
J.D. Swed shares some of his experiences as a search and rescue ranger in the parks. He discusses how he learned to deal with death and helped others to do the same.
Aug 08, 2016
Diane and Dan Moses: Raising Kids in the Parks
Diane and Dan Moses share what it was like to raise two daughters while living and working in the national parks. Listen along as they tell their stories of giving birth during a Yellowstone winter, finding community in the parks, and allowing their daughters to explore freely.
Aug 01, 2016
John Reynolds: Growing Up in the Parks
John Reynolds tells us what it was like to grow up in our national parks as the son of a park ranger. Listen as he shares childhood memories from Yellowstone and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks, and hear him discuss how these experiences shaped his own career with the National Park Service.
Jul 25, 2016
Bill Wade: Calling a national park home
What's it like to grow up in a national park? Retired NPS superintendent Bill Wade will tell you.
Jul 09, 2016
Laurel Boyers, NPS wilderness ranger
In the 1970s Laurel Munson Boyers was among a pioneering generation of women who assumed new roles in the National Park Service. Listen to Boyers describe one frightful night as a wilderness ranger, stationed at Buck Camp.
Jul 01, 2016
Ranger JD Swed, a flathat, and a horse
In this segment of "Centennial Voices," we hear how a disciplined mentor and a balky horse teach a seasonal National Park Service ranger the importance of his image as well as his duties.
Jun 14, 2016
Retired NPS Ranger JD Swed on family and work
Retired Park Ranger J. D. Swed talks about how family life and work are inter-related in the National Park Service. Thanks to Nolan Edmondson, NPS volunteer, for audio production.
Jun 13, 2016
Retired NPS park ranger Butch Farabee
Butch Farabee was a revered National Park Service ranger who excelled in search and rescue. During a interview conducted in 2012 at the Association of National Park Rangers Ranger Rendezvous, he described how the demands of his job took a toll on family life
May 04, 2016