Junior Ranger Program at Rocky Mtn National Park

Posted: October 03, 2019 | Author: Andrew Brown | Read Time: 2 minutes

Spencer StokesBiology major Spencer Stokes has always loved the outdoors and saw an opportunity to share that love with others through a student project while attending Southern Utah University. Working as a wilderness ranger in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, Stokes designed and implemented a junior ranger program to help kids engage with nature.

“My inspiration came for my love of the outdoors,” said Stokes. “I wanted to be able to learn more about helping other people get outside and have some of the same life-changing adventures that I have had. I had been to many national parks and have had rangers help me have wonderful experiences, so I thought that being a national park ranger would be a perfect opportunity to complete this goal.”

In addition to his regular duties as a wilderness ranger, Stokes was able to help create a junior ranger program that helped to bring love and knowledge of the outdoors to kids.

“The junior ranger program I designed helped kids learn how to navigate nature,” said Stokes. “I was able to educate kids about how to be safe around the large animals in the park, and how to camp in spectacular locations. Ultimately by working as a wilderness ranger, I was able to help many people.”

Before his student project Stokes had never been to Rocky Mountain National Park, but this opportunity allowed him to discover many of the great experiences that the park holds as well as share them with others.

“This project benefited me immensely,” said Stokes. “I was able to better teach others about wilderness. I learned how to gauge other people's abilities and help them have safe excursions. Some of the best outdoor adventures I have ever had occurred in Colorado. I had to push myself beyond what I thought was possible on hikes and learned how much I can accomplish.”  

SUU biology program educated students in a variety of areas, including botany, forensic science, biology education, zoology. Classes are kept small, so students have opportunities to work closely with their biology instructors on research projects, assignments, and field trips to the major ecoregions located within driving distance of SUU. This combination of coursework and experiential learning prepares students for post-baccalaureate pursuits

Learn more about the Department of Biology at SUU.

Tags: College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Biology

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