Rick has been a member of ANPR since 1981 and is currently a Life member. Rick is an NPS retiree who served 36+ years. His career started as a seasonal protection Ranger at Buffalo National River Arkansas and then a seasonal interpreter at Petrified Forest NP. He became permanent as an interpreter at Ford’s Theatre NHS, then went on to Protection Ranger jobs at Bandelier NM, Grand Canyon NP, Wrangell-St. Elias and Glacier Bay NP’s Alaska, Yellowstone National Park and Chief Ranger at Wind Cave National Park. He served as acting Superintendent for various times at Wind Cave and Fort Laramie NHS. He served as Operations Chief and Incident Commander for the central Incident Management Team on numerous incidents including the 2002 Winter Olympics, President Obamas Inauguration and the Gulf Oil Spill. Over the years he served on numerous details in Washington, DC and other Park areas. After retirement in 2012 he became the Director of the NPS certified Park Ranger LE Academy at Colorado NW Community College. Currently he serves in the same position at Skagit Valley Community College, Mount Vernon, Washington (State). In his off time he still climbs mountains around the world, Fly fish’s, scuba dives and enjoys world and domestic travel. Rick has attended four World Ranger Conferences.
Demmy Vigil is originally from New Mexico. After earning her Multi-Resource Forest Management degree from Northern Arizona University, she served in the Peace Corps, Costa Rica. Upon returning, she began working at Bandelier National Monument until she landed a permanent job with the U.S. Forest Service, Tonto National Forest as a lands and recreation assistant. After two years, she transferred to the Caribbean National Forest in Puerto Rico where she worked numerous positions for 10 years. She did special use authorizations, land acquisition, fire management, radio and telecommunications, and timber management, among other interesting work. In Puerto Rico, Demmy met her husband and had two children. In her last two years in Puerto Rico, she transferred to the National Park Service, San Juan National Historic Site as the chief of interpretation with a diverse staff. In 2000, she transferred to Grand Canyon National Park as deputy chief of interpretation and supervised a large staff. After four years, she was invited to transfer to a "shared position" between GRCA and the Albright Training Center as an instructor. There, she was active with the RFIT, or Recruitment Futures Implementation Team, a national NPS team that strategically recruited diverse candidates and assisted them through the early years of their career to retain them as excellent employees in the NPS. In 2009, Demmy was recruited to the Mather Training Center as a Fundamental V instructor. In 2011, the NPS Fundamentals program was redesigned, and Demmy competed for and transferred into a training manager position at Mather, covering a large portfolio of series and grades. As training manager, she was a member of the Learning and Development Division and covered employee development for Public Affairs, Legislative and Congressional Affairs, International Affairs, and the division of Visitor and Resource Protection (VRP). This portfolio included working with the training centers at FLETC, Carhart, and NIFC. Demmy retired in December of 2021. She says she "feels fortunate to have worked for and with an incredible workforce over 35 years." Two highlights were buying seven valuable properties in Puerto Rico to 'fill in the green' protecting Forest Service land for generations to come; and helping NPS employees throughout the service grow and develop to be the best they could be.
I am a life member of ANPR and have attended every RR except six, starting with RR#2. During the early years of ANPR, I served in several BOD positions, including regional representative and vice-president. For several years I coordinated and managed the RR conferences. I have also attended several World Ranger Congresses and represented ANPR at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa in 2003. Since my retirement in 1997, I have had several international assignments, including Abu Dhabi and the Kingdom of Jordan, and have developed and presented numerous leadership training courses for NPS areas. I am also a founder of, and a past Council member of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks.
Rae Emerson is a retired National Park Service employee with more than 30 years of experience, and a life member with ANPR. As a young snippet, Rae always envisioned being a park ranger, even though, at the time, the park service did not allow women park rangers. Fortunately, that would change.
Rae started her career as a GS-4 seasonal park ranger at Minute Man National Historical Park and continued her park service career with a variety of parks: Boston African American National Historic Site, her first permanent position, Salem Maritime and Saugus National Historic Sites, and National Mall and Memorial Parks - Ford's Theatre National Historic Site. Rae's positions included interpreter, supervisory park ranger, division leader, site manager, deputy superintendent, and acting superintendent until she retired from National Mall and Memorial Parks as their community liaison and partnership specialist. Rae specializes in organizational development, community outreach, training and education, grants management and partnerships. She uses her creativity and positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to be successful in continuing their learning and career development.
Rae's undergraduate studies are in physical and biological sciences and education, her graduate studies in organizational development and negotiations.
Prior to joining the park service, Rae taught high school physical and biological science and mentored student teachers from the local university. She rekindled her park service career vision during her 10 years of summer research in Kenya's national parks and preserves. And, in her last research year she made the decision to have a career with the NPS. After returning from Kenya and before the school year started, she walked into the nearest park's visitor center (Minute Man National Historical Park) and asked if they had any openings for a park ranger. Three years later and after zillions of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Rae resigned from her teaching position to fulfill her lifelong vision to be a park ranger.
Rae is a passionate and dedicated believer in effective mentoring, training and educating staff and volunteers for success. She initiated, developed, and presented training workshops for introductory interpretive skills to seasonal park rangers and supervisory skills to new supervisors. She is also a firm believer in promoting the importance of sharing experiences, skills, and wisdom and the importance of being a life-long learner. Rae is inspired daily by her family, peers, and friends. In her free time, Rae likes to travel, dabble in painting and storytelling, and pursues accessible for all.
Directly out of high school in 1975, I began my career by volunteering with the Student Conservation Association as part of a trail crew at Rocky Mountain NP, and as an SCA visitor center assistant at Badlands NP followed by becoming a seasonal for NPS. In January 2019, I retired from my second superintendency following a 39‑year career that spanned working in 16 locations for three land-management agencies within DOI. I was employed in natural, cultural, historical, city, urban, and wilderness areas, and in NPS units that ranged in size from 33 acres to over 10 million. I also helped build two visitor centers, and have worked in most disciplines, including:
— Law enforcement for 20 years (in LE-only positions, interpreter, resource manager, or when a range conservationist). I was in the fourth seasonal law enforcement academy at Santa Rosa the first year that seasonal academies existed. Prior to that I held a park protectional commission, when the transition from all NPS employees could and were expected to handle law enforcement situations regardless of position held. As a seasonal, I was grandfathered in with a full commission and never issued a seasonal commission once I completed the seasonal academy.
— Range conservationist
— Park ranger, resources manager
— Park ranger, interpreter
— Park ranger, park management/ administrator/ superintendent
I also worked closely with five Native American tribes and in consultation with 13, with a wide range of traditional practices and tribal sovereignty. I first joined ANPR as a seasonal ranger in 1979 and am now a 24th Century life member.
Greta Ketchner started her career in conservation as a Student Conservation Association, SCA, intern at Glacier Bay National Park in 2021. It was in this role that she learned about ANPR and became a member of the organization. She has completed three additional SCA positions since then. Greta has experience working with New Hampshire State Parks (SCA interpretive ranger), Region 8 U.S. Forest Service (SCA women’s fire and fuels crew), and the National Park Service at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (seasonally) and at Big Hole National Battlefield (SCA education specialist).
Greta enjoys exploring the outdoors as long as she is prepared for it. She likes to be on the river and enjoys tide-pooling at the ocean.
Greta is proud to serve as a board member and to work to continue the legacy of ANPR!
In October 2023, Greta attended her first Ranger Rendezvous as a Supernaugh Scholar. She is happy to answer any questions about the experience.
Emily Johnson has BA in Music Business and an MBA focused in Marketing. Shortly after graduation (and the 2008 economic crash) Emily, while backpacking in Nelson Lakes National Park (New Zealand), met a few rangers from Grand Tetons (the Hannas!). She was so inspired she moved across the country and started as a full time volunteer in her childhood backyard park; the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2011 she was able to join the official ranks of NPS employees as a Superintendent's Secretary under Paul Labovitz. After two years she lateralled to Denali and worked as Don Striker's Superintendent's Secretary for three years, and then moved into an Outdoor Recreation Planner role with Denali for another five years. Finding Alaska home, but looking for growth, Emily took a position with the Alaska Regional Office as an Environmental Protection Specialist in 2021. She now enjoys helping parks all over the Alaska Region with their planning and compliance needs. Other collateral duties she holds include being on the national PEPC Advisory Council (PAC) as an ad hoc member, and responding to region-wide incidents as a family liaison or peer support. Emily is also a 2022 GOAL Graduate which stirred in her a passion for voicing cultural change as a way to address workplace issues at their core (to include but not be limited by understanding workplace and personal values). This is why she sits as the Professional Issues Board Member today. In her personal life, Emily, husband Austin, and son August live and enjoy life in Valdez, Alaska, but are always looking for a good excuse to visit any and all of our amazing NPS units.
Troy Hunt has been a member of ANPR since 2021, He has worked as a seasonal interpretive ranger off and on since 1997, He started at Cedar Breaks National Monument (4 seasons), and has worked at Badlands National Park (1 season) and Curecanti National Recreation Area (4 seasons). Most of his life is spent in the classroom teaching students speech and media communication. He is currently an Associate Professor of Communication at Missouri Valley College, and has also taught at schools in Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. He earned an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Utah State University, an MA in Communication from Eastern New Mexico University, and a BS in Broadcast and Interpersonal Communication from Southern Utah University. A native of Utah, he spent much time in the national parks exploring the beauty of his home state, and many others throughout his life. Who would have thought when, as a faculty member at SUU, he walked through a summer job fair and asked a park ranger about the summer job as an NPS ranger, that he would find a passion for seasonal gigs as an interpreter. He was a 2022 Supernaugh Scholar, and looks forward to representing the interests of seasonal workers in the parks.
Mike is originally from southeastern Minnesota and graduated from Mankato State University, Minn., with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Park Administration. He began his NPS career in Yellowstone National Park where he worked for 11 years in a variety of positions. He has also worked at Mount Rushmore NM, Midwest Regional Office, Keweenaw NHP, Pictured Rocks NL, and Badlands NP, with significant temporary assignments in several other park areas. He has held positions in interpretation, telecommunications, resource and visitor protection, resources management, and park management at grade levels from GS-3 to 15. Mike retired from the NPS at the end of 2021 after more than 41 years of service. He first became a member of ANPR in 1987 and has been a Life Member since the mid 1990s. Mike and his wife, Barbara, currently split time between residences in Rapid City, S.D., and Hancock, Mich. They enjoy travel, hiking, photography, events with family and friends, attending Ranger Rendezvous’, and exploring the great public lands of our nation.
Lauren studied Geology at Hamilton College in Upstate New York. In the summer of 2016, she ventured to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for her first seasonal position in Bullfrog, Utah. Inspired by the NPS mission, she holds a master’s degree in Parks and Recreation Management through Clemson University. Lauren has worked as an interpretive ranger, outdoor recreation planner, and environmental protection specialist across NPS units and programs in Utah, California, North Carolina, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Virginia.
Thanks to the Supernaugh Scholarship, she attended Ranger Rendezvous and became an ANPR member in 2019. She currently serves as the compliance coordinator at Zion National Park and is honored to serve in her second term on the board.
Shannon is medically retired from the National Park Service who served in six different units, GRCA, JECA, WICA, MIMI, DESO, LIHO, and SEKI during her time as a ranger. During her time, she mostly spent her time in the interpretive field, giving programs to visitors, but her last station she found herself in the world of fees at the entrance station at Ash Mountain in beautiful Sequoia NP. In her off time, she loves to travel and visit as many National Park units as she can squeeze in. Most of her time though is focused on training her service dog in training Atlas, and maintaining her current service dog, Ash Bear’s training. The three of them make quite a trio cruising around. Shannon looks forward to serving as the membership specialist as she brings a unique perspective of having been on the frontlines not too long ago, but has now seen the side of the retiree.
Rick is an Associate Professor of the Practice at Texas A & M University where he teaches Parks and Recreation courses. He has degrees in Parks and Recreation from Memphis State University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. For several years he served Tennessee State Parks as a ranger, as law enforcement, naturalist and resource management specialist managing the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Program. Years ago, he completed the NPS’ SLEP and has recently served as a VIP at MORA, LEWI and TIMU. A Life Member of ANPR, Rick hopes to continue serving the NPS as a VIP and/or seasonal ranger in the future. Having visited all 63 "national parks" and the seven continents, Rick enjoys traveling and sea kayaking. He looks forward to serving ANPR as its treasurer and working with the ANPR Board of Directors.
Melissa DeVaughn is a freelance writer, editor and designer focusing on the outdoors and adventure travel. She grew up in Virginia, graduated from Virginia Tech, and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1993. She moved to Alaska in 1995 and has lived there ever since. She worked at the Roanoke (Va.) Times, Peninsula Clarion (Alaska), The Associated Press in Alaska, and the Anchorage Daily News before pursuing a fulltime freelance career in 2008. She is married to Andy Hall and has two college-age children in Colorado. She lives in Eagle River.