Board Member for Strategic Planning
Bio: I am currently the Environmental Protection Specialist, coordinating compliance and assisting in planning efforts, at Zion National Park. I joined ANPR as a Supernaugh Scholar in 2019 and have greatly benefited from the network and camaraderie provided by the Association.
I began my NPS career as a seasonal interpreter, was a Pathways intern during graduate school, and have worked at GLCA, CARE, GOGA, CAHA, MISS, LWCF at MWRO, and SHEN.
Candidate Statement: As the board member for Strategic Planning, I hope to build upon the great work of other board members, stepping up to assist in implementing their great ideas. I will work with each board member to define milestones and actionable goals to achieve desired outcomes.
I’m passionate about recruitment and retention at the NPS and often pitch ANPR as a way for employees to stay actively engaged in issues and affect change. I believe ANPR has a role to play in improving employee wellbeing, advocating around contentious issues, providing essential training, and creating a sense of in-person community in an increasingly virtual world.
As a board member, I plan to engage in the effort to grow ANPR into the 21st Century, increasing membership, and advocating for the value of this incredible association. I encourage colleagues to join ANPR as I continue to grow my professional network and move between parks. ANPR members have an impressive legacy, and I look forward to carrying that legacy into the future with intention and passion.
Bio: I began my NPS career as a seasonal generalist (Walnut Canyon, NM), eventually becoming an interpretive naturalist at Everglades. Between seasons, I taught school, became a 4-H Program Leader, and completed my Master of Science, Recreation and Resource Development from Texas A&M University. Becoming a permanent dispatcher/fee collector in Everglades was both a career highlight and a challenge. Economics and a desire to change my career path, I resigned after accepting a seasonal protection position at Crater Lake followed by a term protection position at Haleakala NP. I returned to Everglades as a protection ranger, remaining for nine years and becoming the LE staff ranger, trained criminal investigator, and serving as the park representative to the South Florida HIDTA center. Ready for a change and to build my LE skills, I transferred to Lake Mead NRA, primarily at Kathrine Landing, before retiring. I accepted a senior environmental specialist position with a major power company, leaving to return to the field in New Mexico as a state park superintendent and now in the Tampa area as a regional parks coordinator.
Candidate Statement: I’m committed to being a “ranger,” however you define that title. I am also committed to working with ANPR leadership and members defining and/or refining a long-range vision for organizational viability and success while building paths forward for today, next month and the years ahead. I appreciate your time. Thank you!
Board Member for Internal Communications
Bio: Greetings! My name is Greta Ketchner and I am running for the board member position of Internal Communications. I have been a member of ANPR since 2021 and I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended the recent Ranger Rendezvous 46 as a Supernaugh Scholar.
It was through my experience that I realize the value this organization has for both professional and personal development. Being surrounded by likeminded professionals was a powerful experience.
Candidate Statement: As an elected board member, I will work to continue reaching perspective new members through social media outlets such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. I also believe that a real-time update of Ranger Rendezvous in the future via Snapchat would be a great way to get the message out about how awesome ANPR is. I would like to see our membership grow. I will aim to increase knowledge of the benefits of membership including what ANPR does to improve the experience of NPS employees.
I will strive to keep open communication between members and the board. I will work to ensure that members will be informed about any association issues which may arise.
I will be available to hear your joys and concerns relating to ANPR. I am open to any suggestions you have to improve communication within ANPR.
Bio: Candidate failed to submit requested bio and candidate statement prior to the deadline established by the ANPR by-laws.
Board Member for Education and Training
Bio: Learning is a lifelong adventure. Rae Emerson is a retired National Park Service employee with 34 years of experience. Previously, she taught high school sciences.
She started her career as a GS-4 seasonal park ranger at Minute Man National Historical Park. She continued her park service career with a variety of parks and positions including interpreter, supervisory park ranger, division leader, site manager, deputy superintendent, and acting superintendent until she retired (for the second time in 2023) from National Mall and Memorial Parks (DC) as their community liaison and partnership specialist. Rae specialized in organizational development, community outreach, training and education, grants management and partnerships. She used her creativity and positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others in their learning and career development.
Rae’s undergraduate studies are in physical and biological sciences and education; her graduate studies are in organizational development and negotiations.
Candidate Statement: Rae is a passionate and dedicated believer in effective mentoring, training and educating staff and members for success. She has initiated, developed, and presented training workshops for introductory interpretive skills to seasonal park rangers and supervisory skills to new supervisors. She is a firm believer in promoting the importance of sharing experiences, skills, and wisdom.
Rae takes this opportunity to serve as a board member very seriously and if elected she will strive to carry out the organization’s strategic plan through effective training, education, and collaboration.
Learning is truly a lifelong adventure. Thank you for your consideration.
Bio: Rick Harwell is an Associate Professor of the Practice at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in the department formerly titled Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. His background includes serving as a park ranger (LE), ranger naturalist and resource management specialist for Tennessee State Parks, the Parks, Culture and Recreation director in Unalaska, Alaska; and assistant city manager in Whittier, Alaska. He has spent more than 40 years in the parks and recreation profession, teaching for the U. S. Army FMWR, Navy MWR and at Clemson University, East Carolina University, and TAMU. His travels have taken him to all seven continents, our 50 United States, over 250 NPS units including all 63 national parks. As a Volunteer-In-Parks (VIP), he has served at Mount Rainer National Park, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, and Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.
Candidate Statement: Rick's interest in serving as ANPR’s treasurer stems from his desire to give back to our profession, to our national parks and those organizations supporting our protected lands. He has a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University and has served nonprofit organizations as president, board member, and various other positions over the last 40+ years. He considers himself semi-retired, so he has ample time to devote to the ANPR, of which he is a life member.