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wow, I might have a life goal...finally - Robot Skeleton Army Minion #1983 — LiveJournal
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Sat, Nov. 7th, 2009 02:34 am
wow, I might have a life goal...finally

I put a lot of thought into it, I hope to hear some feedback from some of you :)

I think I finally know what I want to do for the rest of my life. It's been loitering in the back of my mind ever since I was a child. I've been pre-pre-pre planing my trip to Yosemite this winter. I'm preparing way more then necessary but I'm very anal about these things, it's just me.

I bought a few books on Yosemite as well as the National Parks in that region (Mono Lake, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, etc). I've been reading about what to do, the background, and the history of the parks. The backgrounds include the people who make the parks run, the people that protect these parks.

Those of you that have known me awhile know my love of nature. Not only animals, I have a love of nature in general. Animals, plants, the rivers and the mountains. I juggled the idea of working with animals but I thought it wouldn't work for me. Ever since I've been a kid I've wanted to work with nature somehow. As I matured I just tacked on "science" to that, I want a job that's in the field of science. I realize now that just because I have an interest in astronomy, meteorology, oceanography, etc...it doesn't mean I would necessarily enjoy a lifetime of this work. That put me back to square one, but still I was determined to find a career path that had to do with nature.

As I was reading these books it hit me like the sun hits Anderson Cooper's shiny hair...the National Park Service (NPS). It hit me and I said out loud to a room devoid of life except for one lazy cat "oh shit, I'm a moron. It's obvious!"

The NPS! Duh! It's been there in front of me this entire time! It's like a big fat guy flying around on cherub wings for five hours and I only just notice him! (sorry for all these lame analogies, it's nearly 3am). I love nature, I love everything about nature. I love the soft side, walking a lonely forest road and knowing that something wonderful is around the corner. I love the raw and savage side of nature, seeing a polar bear catch it's meal. I love it all. What I don't love is people's disregard for nature...and especially our national parks. I know people that think it's a waste of our taxes to help keep these parks open and safe from man's harm. There is nothing wasteful about protecting these treasures, I think the National Park system is one of the best things about this nation. Our land is full of beauty and we need to protect it.

I want to be a part of this.

I do have an obstacle...school. I don't know how I would go about working with the NPS. In a perfect world I would work in a national park and not the federal offices. I would educate the public or work behind the scenes, making sure the local wildlife and the environment itself is protected from all the well meaning, but naive and ignorant park visitors.

I plan on making an appointment with a school counselor to find out what sort of classes I need and any other information I will need to make this a reality. I will also talk to the employees at Yosemite when I go, especially the Rangers.

The photo says it all. (I did not take this photo, it's from DeviantArt)

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Current Mood: hopeful epiphany time
Current Music: Wonderful! Wonderful!--The Tymes


Sat, Nov. 7th, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)

That's a gorgeous picture.

I agree about the need to protect nature and its beauty.

Unfortunately, my friend worked for NPS and I gotta tell it like it is:
Pro: If you get a job actually working for a national park, walking through, and talking to visitors about the animals and history... you will enjoy your job. It's a lot of fun to be a tour guide.
Con: There are jobs not-so-glamorous that involve sitting in a booth and taking tickets all day. You could get stuck doing that.
Pro: My friend met a lot of nice people at the park that she's still friends with years later. In all likelihood, you'll get along with your colleagues.
Con: The hours can suck. You're not likely to get off of major holidays unless you really push for them. Also, you're likely going to be scheduled on weekends.
Pro: You get a spiffy outfit.
Con: It's a very very unstable job. You usually can't pick where you end up in NPS. So you may have to move. Worse, my friend's jobs at the park usually lasted only a year or two. They're usually seasonal. Basically you lose your job at the end of the year and you have to move to another location for your next one. It's POSSIBLE to get a more permanent job, but very difficult.

It's unfortunate that NPS treats its employees this way. I dunno, maybe you still want to pursue it and don't mind the temporary nature of the job. Maybe you would prefer working for an organization like the Sierra Club or the National Resource Defense Council...

You should also look into the Humane Society's Wildlife Trust Fund. It's got lofty ideals about protecting animal habitats. Very cool.

Agent 27
Sun, Nov. 8th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)

Thanks for the pros\cons list.

I researched some of the positions available and I know I might have to spend quite a long time doing boring jobs before I ever get the chance at doing something I enjoy.
Eh, I'll deal with the hours when I come to them. I don't think I'd have a problem with that.

As for having to move, I honestly don't think I'd care about that, at least for awhile. I actually might welcome having to change locations. If it got tiresome I might try to get a more stable position but I can see myself being comfortable with having to constantly move for a few years.

I still think I want to pursue this. If I find I don't enjoy it I could look into something like you said (Sierra Club or NRDC)

ReplyThread Parent
Sat, Nov. 7th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)

I think it's a great idea, but you can also get a job working in parks at many private companies, so I wouldn't rule those out.

Sat, Nov. 7th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)

Go for it! We need more people like you who want to protect the national parks and nature. Good luck :D

That is a gorgeous picture *drools*

Sat, Nov. 14th, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)

What a wonderful goal. I hope that you are able to live your dream, if that is what you have your heart set on.