In this interview series, I’m going to introduce you to park rangers across the United States. Today’s post features DeAnn Casimiro, or “Ranger Dee,” a seasonal park ranger at Death Valley National Park.
What is your name and job title?
My name is DeAnn Casimiro and I’m a seasonal park ranger, so my job title changes depending on my current job. Currently, I’m working at Death Valley National Park as a Visitors Use Assistant.
Is this the first National Park you’ve worked at? If not, tell me what other parks/nature centers you’ve worked at.
This is the third National Park site I have worked at. Before Death Valley, I worked at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. My duties at Death Valley National Park include collecting park entrance fees and assisting visitors in planning their visit in the park, campgrounds and surrounding areas. I suggest hikes or things to do depending on the interests and abilities of the group. In other parks, I have done Interpretation and Education so I gave tours and did classroom visits and hosted field trips. This summer (2017), I will be working at Yosemite National Park.
Where did you grow up? In the country, a city or a suburb?
I grew up on Guam in a small fairly modern village. In comparison to stateside suburbs, I would say my village was rural.
What did you love about the outdoors as a child?
As a child, I loved exploring the beach and jungles looking at different plants and animals. Today I am a naturalist and quite certain that my time outdoors as a child nurtured these interests of mine.
When did you know you wanted to work in outdoor education?
As a young mother, I loved taking my small children on all sorts of outdoor adventures. It has just been in the last few years that I have tried to steer my career into outdoor education.
Who encouraged you to pursue a career in outdoor education?
This was a choice that I made independently.
What is the most common question you get from park visitors?
“Where is the bathroom?” Also, visitors often ask me questions about the particular place or resource. Often I give hiking suggestions.
How can parents raise kids to love the outdoors?
Go outside and allow kids to explore at their own pace for their own interest. Does your kid like summiting peaks to get a beautiful view or would she rather stay near the creek all day looking for salamanders? Help them find their own interests and support your kids in developing those interests. If a child doesn’t like long hikes and you force them on a 5-mile difficult hike, you just might discourage their interest of the outdoors.