|Megan Blackwelder, Park Manager|
|Loving our jobs!|
The daily variety of work is important to Megan Blackwelder.
Name and position
Megan Blackwelder, park manager, Utah State Parks
Part of Megan's job is helping visitors to learn more about Goblin Valley and Utah's incredible natural heritage.
What do you do?
I work at Goblin Valley State Park where I am responsible for the daily operations at the park. Every day is different, and that's what I love most about my job. I offer visitors suggestions, like how to get to hiking trails, or direct them to the best spot to see the sunset. On any given day, I could be collecting fees, ordering new books for the gift shop, working on interpretive exhibits, or maintaining park facilities. I also provide interpretive programs to park visitors and school groups such as guided walks and junior ranger programs. I hire and train seasonal staff, and assist with medical accidents and search and rescue incidents.
What kind of education is required for a job like yours?
A college degree is needed to start most careers with Utah State Parks. Whether you work at a museum, park, or administrative office, the required experience and background varies.
What would you suggest to people considering a career in state parks?
If you love the outdoors, enjoy working with people, and care about protecting wild and historic places, a park career may be right for you. If you'd like to find out, come and work with us! Apply for a seasonal position during the summer, or volunteer at a park near you. There are 43 Utah state parks to visit and explore, and each one is unique.
Why did you become an assistant manager?
I started my career with Utah state parks as a park naturalist. I wanted to become a naturalist because I love sharing the park story with people. I have seen visitors in awe at the sight of a dark sky full of stars, and watched visitors marvel over the sandstone goblins and erosion's handiwork. I sense that they understand, like I do, how important it is to protect parks. Becoming an assistant manager was the next step in my career and it has been challenging, rewarding, and a constant learning experience through leadership and responsibility. My job and my personal interests are centered in the outdoors, so being able to work and play outside is great!