→ How long have you been a ranger? This is my sixth season.
→ What drew you to this career path? At the end of the day, it’s about having a great curiosity about the world around me.
→ What does your day-do-day routine look like? No two days are the same. It’s kind of like being a jazz musician—you have to go where you fi t in. You’re playing by nature’s rules.
→ What are a few of your duties? There are several aspects to the job. There’s the visitor’s services element—I see myself as an ambassador for the preserve. We do a lot of public safety and patrolling. There are 2,500 acres, which requires lots of stewardship, trail work, and native plant restoration. I manage staff and coordinate and deliver the educational programs for the preserve. There’s even an element of biological research and monitoring. I’m a science major, so I get to geek out a lot.
→ Could you give an example of some of the biological research you’re involved with? Arabia Mountain is home to two federally endangered plant species, the black-spored quillwort and the pool sprite [the scientific names are Isoetes melanospora and Amphianthus pusillus]. We are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Botanical Garden to protect and to expand the numbers of these plants on the mountain.
→ What’s the best part about your job? Being present every day. I get to see things unfold before me. I have a lot of gratitude for this job. I see it as a great privilege. Free ranger-led hikes are offered every Friday and Sunday at 8 a.m. Visit arabiaalliance.org for more information