Ranger Kathryn's Arches

February 3, 2011

Just when I needed a good swift kick

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 11:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

At a bakery in Mancos, CO

My ambivalence about pursuing a raptor monitor (i.e., non-ranger) position was being challenged internally and externally. If I had any hope of returning to my beloved red rocks on the Colorado Plateau, I knew I couldn’t depend on securing a ranger job. The “bird in the hand”  — an expenses-paid but salary-less internship — was becoming increasingly attractive, as the “two in the bush” could well stay in the bush all season. All I needed was that final nudge.

The tipping point came in an email from a Wisconsin birding friend. “Kathryn, just think: the idea that you could consider a position like that is epic in itself.” His words struck me with much force. I was inexplicably holding a rare gift at arm’s length.

I contacted the hiring official, who told me that she would be interviewing her top applicant the following day, and that if I wanted to be considered for the position I needed to have everything submitted online within twelve hours.

With an intense single-mindedness, everything was accomplished. Now I would wait. As I went through the next day, I took stock of my strengths:  “I’ve hiked Arches NP for two seasons and am familiar with the land and people,” “I’m a birder,” “I know desert survival,” “I work well with a broad cross-section of people,” “I’m trained in Search & Rescue,” “I have a master’s degree — in science!,” “I have a strong work ethic that is well known in the park.”

I hoped these would put me a notch above my competition.

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