National Park Service arrowhead symbolNPS Ranger Quest           

Introduction

    Message from the Director: How many NPS areas can you name? How many have you been to? Well, you are in luck! You have just been awarded the chance of a life time, an Interpretive Ranger position with the National Park Service!  Congratulations, these jobs are hard to come by! Our great nation has a wealth of land set aside for the public by way of our National Parks System. The first national park created was Yellowstone National Park in 1872. The National Park Service was established in 1916 in order to "conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."  There are currently nearly 400 such areas, 58 of which are national parks. The NPS oversees everything from battlefields to national parks to historic trails.

 

Task

  You may pick the park to work at since we want our employees to LOVE their job! Your initial task is learning everything  you can about your park. Next, you need to educate others about your park! This is a huge responsibility because future generations are depending on YOU! Your major in college was Geology, so you will specialize in the geology of the park .

Parks That Need You:

1.) Dinosaur National Monument                                                                                                               

2.) Acadia National Park

3.) Capitol Reef National Park & Canyon Lands National Park

4.) Channel Islands National Park

5.) Crater Lake National Park

6.) Denali National Park & Glacier National Park (You will be flying back & forth)

7.) Wind Cave National Park & Badlands National Park

8.) Hot Springs National Park & Crater Of Diamonds State Park (you'll work part time here)

 

Process

1.) You and a partner will choose a US National Park. Make sure no other group is doing that topic. (Group of 3 must do 2 parks)***

2.) Your research focus will be the on the geology of the park but there is other information to examine, as well, so that you can be well rounded .

3.) Interpretive Rangers develop and implement programs to inform visitors of a park's historical, cultural, and natural significance so you will be creating 3 items for the public.

A. Postcard        B. Brochure        C. Multimedia Presentation

4.) The postcard should be very general with pictures. The Brochure should give basic information on things like hours, prices, things to do, directions, map, etc. (keep it basic & professional, think of brochures you have seen in the past) The Multimedia Presentation should encourage visitors and be more educational about the park. **only 1 each, even if you have 2 parks**

5.) Be prepared to share your information with the "visitors" and to field questions

6.) Questions for focus:

    Geology:

        A. What soil types are in the park?

        B. Can any fossils be found? If so, which ones?

        C. What rocks & minerals can be found in the park?

        D. What formations are in the park? How were they formed? What major geologic events influenced the park? Are they still at work today?

        E. What are names of the well-known geologic/ scenic features in the park?

        F. When were the features formed? Are they still being formed?

    History:

        A. When was the park established?

        B. Where did the park name come from?

        C. Why was the park established? Why is it significant?

        D. Find 4 other historical facts about your park.

    Climate/Meteorology:

        A. What are the typical weather conditions of your park? (highs & lows, precip. amounts, etc)

        B. What should people wear during different times of the year?

        C. When is the best time to visit with regards to weather (maybe more than one depending on what you hope to see)

        D. How does the weather affect safety conditions?

    Biology:

        A. What plants & animals can a visitor expect to see in the park?

        B. Are there any rare, endangered or threatened plants and/or animals in the park? If so, describe them.

        C. How can visitors enjoy the wildlife in the park while keeping themselves & the animals safe?

        D. What are the best times of day to observe the wildlife?

        E. When a visitor is in the park, what biome(s) are they in ?

    Recreation & Accommodation

    A. What activities can people do in the park? Which of these are ranger-led?

    B. What accommodations are located at or near the park?

    C. What services such as food and souvenir shops are available at the park?

    D. Is the park open year -round? If not, when is it closed?

    E. What are directions to the park? (from Georgia)

    F. What are the hours & fees of the park?

    G. What are general safety hazards in the park? How can visitors be safe?

    Future of the Park

    A. What conditions exist that may damage the park's resources, plant & animal life, or scenic qualities?

    B. What conservation or environmental programs are offered at the park/ is the park involved in?

    C. Is this park threatened by encroachment of humans? If so, explain.. Is the park an "island of green surrounded by city?"

    D. What environmental  concerns impact the park? (ie. air pollution, water quality issues, etc.)

 

Resources to get you started

National Park Service: www.nps.gov

Maps/Directions: www.mapsonus.com

National Park Foundation: www.nationalparks.org

National Parks: www.nationalparks.com

U.S. National Parks Travel Guide: www.us-parks.com

American Park Network: www.americanparknetwork.com

Adventure Planning: www.llbean.com/parksearch

Weather Info: www.weather.com , www.noaa.org, www.weatherunderground.com

General Information: www.wikipedia.org

National Parks Conservation Association: www.npca.org

 

Evaluation (click here to see what is expected)

Conclusion

"To the sane and free, it will hardly seem necessary to cross the continent in search of wild beauty, however easy the way, for they find it in abundance wherever they chance to be."  John Muir

"Our National Park System encompasses the Crown Jewels of the American Heritage."  Ansel Adams

There are nearly 400 NPS sites in the United States set aside for our enjoyment and reverence. Many have rare wildlife & plant life, as well as unique geologic pasts. It is my hope that this webquest gave you an appreciation for the beauty of nature & the geologic processes that shaped our natural wonders. Also, I hope that you will do your part to preserve these sites for future generations and that you will pack your bags and visit!