Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Goals to be a Well Rounded Ranger

Goals to be a Well Rounded Ranger  

Week 7

Hey, it's me, Brennan McAuley from cohort 5, currently in San Juan National Historic site.

My time in the Temple ProRanger Program has shown me the importance of getting to know and work with the other divisions. Take a look at not only what I have been doing with the Protection ranger division this past week, but what I have been doing in my time off with the other divisions as well.

My Time with The Protection Division 

First, I will update you on what I have been doing with the Protection Division. I worked in other areas of the park and further explored how the jurisdiction of the park was laid out. I continued being present for patrols where I observed several “enforcement through education” contacts. I worked on a risk reduction plan for the visitor parking lot. This included observing the parking lot for a while and picking up on potential hazards. From there, I brainstormed possible solutions and came up with a plan and how it could be executed.

 I familiarized myself with “Ethical Behavior & Core Law Enforcement Values” from a FLETC handbook. I found this to be a great building block.  In addition to all of this, I  assisted Chief Ranger Padilla in an interview for a term position for a protection ranger position. This was a great behind the scenes opportunity for me to learn about what, and what not to do in an interview. 
REMINDER: SAJU is an urban park, it just happens to offer a beautiful scenic trail!

Wonderful views of both El Morro and the ocean

Ranger Cuevas leading me through parts of the Historic Site 


I spent some time with Ranger Treu-Fowler the special use permits ranger. This is an important area for me to cover because, in many parks, this responsibility is handled by the protection division. I learned the ropes and was able to understand the permit and special use process. I even got to see a commercial photo shoot in the park!
Look how beautiful the castle is. 

I only planned on stopping by for ten minutes turns out, I am very interested in learning about permits so I stayed for a little over an hour (to learn about permits).  

Resource Management

I worked with Ranger Palle from the Resource Management Division. Ranger Palle preserves historic artifacts relevant to the San Juan National Historic site. We organized his work space to make it more inviting for visitors to observe his important work. We moved over 800 pounds of historic artifacts and rearranged his work tables. This work aided in both preservation and interpretation of the artifacts.
This cannon ball was discovered in the field at El Morro just ten months ago

Planning time 


I enjoy walking through the castles and saying hello and striking up a conversation with all of the Interpretation Rangers. They always have such a welcoming smile in addition to at least 3-4 facts about the castle and local history that I did not already know! This newly acquired knowledge helps me better answer visitor questions.
In addition to picking up historical facts, I learned how to both open and close El Morro and San Cristobal. This is good because it is directly related to security and the protection of the park and the contents therein. 

Taking the flags down for the night


After watching the riveting short NPS film titled “Rediscovering old ways, Preservation at San Juan National Historic Site”, I had to get out and see the preservation team in action. It was incredible to see the material in the film right before my very eyes. These men and women work so hard to preserve this enormous historic site.  

Boots on the Ground

All of the aforementioned teams are truly one big park family with a shared vision for the park. each team has its specific duty and tasks it must complete for the overall functionality of the park.  There is a monthly meeting referred to as "Boots on the ground". the atmosphere I experienced at the most recent meeting is one filled with positivity and free thinking discussions where everyone has a voice and can feel comfortable saying anything.

Can you spot the ProRanger? 

How about now ?! (Selfie tip: you cannot yell "Smile" when you are in the picture) 

*Only a select few examples are shared here for the sake of attempting to be brief. (key word  “attempting”)

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