The National Parks Service

And what we do for you!

Our Purpose

Founded in 1916, the National Parks Service works towards preserving natural landscapes and monuments for future generations. The Service looks after parks, campsites, trails, monuments and monitors animal populations. We try to minimize human impact on landscapes by restricting activity to specified trails, hunting seasons, and areas in order to allow the majority of the lands under our control to be unaffected by human activity. Currently, we manage around 79.7 million acres of land in practically every US State, and 66% of our lands are in Alaska. We primarily adhere to the Endangered Species Act, since many of our parks represent niche habitats that contain unique ecosystems, which we try to study and preserve.

Some of Our Parks

What working as a National Parks employee means

An Ecologist at Yellowstone National Park

Being an ecologist at the oldest National Park in the US is interesting. Everyday I am in a different part of the park, looking at how different inter-species interactions have affected the landscape. Right now I am tracking the birds of prey within the park, and looking at how their populations change in response to human interactions. In the past I have studied rates of erosion in certain park areas, and monitored fish populations in the rivers. It is my job to report on how the wildlife of the park are behaving, and advocate for the animals. I spend almost every day out in the field, looking at and studying wildlife. To get to this position, I had to get my bachelors degree in a biological science, such as ecology. Others have higher degrees, such as a masters' or doctorate, in other areas too, such as microbiology, marine biology, or even just ecology overall. However, only a bachelors is required.

A Park Director at Weir Farm National Historical Park

As the Park Director of Weir Farm National Historical Park I am in charge of many different things. I coordinate specific dates to hold fundraisers and activities. I also handle recreational operations and plan dates for things like tourist attractions, resupplying things for the wildlife, clean up days, etc. I overlook expenses and develop marketing and financial plans. Further, I also oversee conservation efforts in the park. In short, I basically oversee all that goes on in the park. It's helpful to have a Bachelor of Science degree in park and recreation management, conservation, botany, geology, wildlife management, or forestry.

A Landscape Architect at Yosemite National Park

Tasked with the job of being a landscape architect of a 1200 square mile expanse of California's vast wilderness is incredible to say the least but its importance goes much deeper than that. Much of my day is spent planning and designing specific land areas and the rehabilitation of the surrounding habitats. You may think that my days are almost exclusively spent in the outdoors, but a lot of it is in fact spent painstakingly in the office. In order to even be considered for this job I had to obtain a bachelors degree in landscape architecture and obtain a license. Intern experience is very helpful and the passing of of the Landscape Architect Registration exam is essential as well. If you have a deep respect for the wilderness and a drive to preserve one of the most beautiful parks in the country than this might indeed be the job for you.

Botanist at Sequoia National Park

As a botanist of Sequoia National Park, I have the privlege of scouring through huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, and vast caverns to monitor the diverse plant life including the world's largest trees. The majority of my job consists of experimenting with different plants and discovering the different conditions they grow under. Sometimes I'm even lucky enough to find a new species! I also observe harmful effects like acid rain on the Sequoia trees and figure out ways to protect the trees from extreme damage. To become a botanist, you must obtain an undergraduates degree in a biological science and a bachelor's degree in botany. It also helps to intern with government agencies or educational insitutions.