Joe Reilly (jreilly4261) wrote in lgbtmilfamilies,
Joe Reilly

LGBT and wanna work at Yellowstone?

Anyone getting out and want to work in a more peaceful environment?

Passing this along from a staffer at Yellowstone who wants to see more LGBT and ally faces working there.
Please print this and post on any jobs/announcements bulletin boards, etc.

Please announce this at your next group meeting.

Feel free to forward this email to anyone who may be interested, incl. any GLBT campus and GLBT outdoor/hiking/camping groups that you may be a member of or know exist.

If anyone would like to be added to an email list that announces when park jobs are available, please let me know and I will add them to that list.

My name is Kevin Franken, and I happen to work at Yellowstone National Park, but I am sending this email just as myself, not as a park employee. I am doing some informal recruiting/networking/outreach and trying to get more GLBT and ally people to apply for and hopefully get jobs here at the park. I am not a Human Resources person and am not hiring staff myself, but I thought I would send an email to publicize websites where interested and qualified people can apply for jobs here at the park. Again, I'm doing this because I want other GLBT people to share in the wonderful experiences that come from working at Yellowstone and other national parks. Also, it'd be nice to increase diversity here.

(If you are not looking for a job but plan to visit Yellowstone sometime soon, let me know and I can help plan your trip, answer questions, etc. When I worked at other national parks, I have hosted groups and been a tour guide when they visited, and I hope to do that again here.)

If you are still a college student and are looking for summer work, if you will be graduating soon and are looking for your first job, if you recently lost a job or are worried you may soon get laid off and are looking for a new job, or if you no longer like your current job or want to change careers and want to explore other opportunities, I highly recommend you consider the possibility of working at Yellowstone (or another national park). Yellowstone hires thousands of new seasonal/temporary employees every summer, and many permanent jobs are also available. I happen to have a semi-permanent job, meaning I am hired for 1 year then kept on after that first year if I do a good job, there is money to fund my position and work for me to do. I am now in my 2nd year here at the park. Seasonal/summer-only and/or winter-only employees often come back year after year because they love working here so much. The park hires people of all ages, backgrounds, etc.

Let me tell you more about myself: I graduated from a university in Illinois in 1999 with 2 B.S. degrees, one in Botany and the other in Environmental Biology. I decided to move west and go to graduate school in Oregon. After 3 years, I graduated from law school, but decided I didn't want to be a lawyer, even an environmental lawyer at that. I wanted to work outdoors in nature. So, I applied to be a Park Ranger (Interpretation) at several national parks and was offered a job at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. I worked there from June to September 2005, leading boat tours on the lake, giving geology and nature talks, and staffing the visitor center. I also worked at Crater Lake that winter, leading snowshoe walks and staffing the visitor center. In summer 2006, from April to the end of October, I worked as a Park Ranger at Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in Washington State. I gave geology and nature talks and led hikes, staffed the
visitor center, etc. It was AWESOME to be working at an active volcano! I even got to hike to the top of the volcano and see the erupting lava rock up close. Then, in winter 2006-2007, from November to April, I again worked at Crater Lake. From April to September 2007, I worked at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, giving geology and nature talks and hikes, staffing the visitor center, etc. Tourists from all over the world come up to you and say "You have the best job in the world." Of course, I agreed. I always thought to myself: "I can't believe I get paid to work here and do what I enjoy." Then, in September 2007, I started working here at Yellowstone, this time as a Planning Assistant, not a Park Ranger that I had been for the previous 2 years. Now, because I am a semi-permanent employee, I get health care and other benefits that I didn't get as a temporary seasonal employee. Often, it takes 2-3 or more seasons of temporary work to get to be a permanent employee. Even though I now have an office job, I still enjoy what I am doing and where I am working. Not many people can say they worked at the world's first national park! It's a very special place. And you can work here, too, but you have to apply first.

As you can see in the attached file, some jobs require no prior experience. (If you view this msg on the Yahoo Group website and thus cannot see the file, email me and I can email it to you. Also, if the groups allowed it, I have uploaded the file to the Files section of this Yahoo Group, so check there.) There are a lot of different types of jobs in Yellowstone; there really is something for everyone. It doesn't always matter what your major is, how good your grades are (but a higher GPA looks better, of course), or what your past work experience has been. If you want to be a Park Ranger like I was, it usually helps if your major was a science (geology, earth/environmental science, biology, botany, zoology, etc.), but all kinds of majors are hired, incl. English, Speech Communication, Business, etc.

Applying for National Park Service jobs is easy: the application is online. All you do is answer some MULTIPLE CHOICE questions (and sometimes a few essay questions) and upload your resume and sometimes transcripts, and you're done. (Read the job vacancy announcement for complete instructions, though.)

Again, I am not a hiring official, but because I have applied for a lot of park jobs and have worked at 4 different parks now, I have some experience in knowing what works and what to put on your resume to make yourself stand out and have a better chance of being hired. So, if you have any questions, let me know.

Here's why I love working in national parks. We live in such a fast-paced, stressed-out society: go-go-go there, do-do-do this and that. I dislike the concrete jungle and rat race of cities. I took myself out of that society and came to work and live in national parks, where it is so laidback. I enjoy the slow pace, peace and quiet, clean air, beautiful scenery. I just love the mountains, hiking trails, wildlife, etc.

I live in a nice, but simple government housing-style efficiency apartment that is just a 5 minute walk from work. Let me repeat: I walk to work. No long commutes for me. Yay! I save on gasoline that way, get to sleep in more and not waste time stuck in slow traffic. I pay only $160/month for rent, and I pay only electric for utilities ($15/month). All the other utilities are paid by the government, incl. water, heat, and trash. The apartment comes with a large storage unit in the basement and indoor garage stalls for parking your car in the winter months. I live in Wyoming, which has no state income tax, and I do my shopping in Montana, which has no state sales tax, so I have LOTS of money by getting the best of both states: no state income tax, and no state sales tax. Very nice! Even if you work for just the summer, you'll not have to pay a state income tax; just federal income tax. Car insurance is cheap in Wyoming, and I pay only $102 every 6 months! Cost of living is very low, so one can save money easily. In fact, people who live and work in national parks in remote areas such as Yellowstone make enough money and have so few living expenses that they often have a second home that they own outside the park.

Living in the Yellowstone is very nice - it's very safe; we don't have violent crime. You don't even have to lock your door at night. We have hundreds even thousands of miles of hiking trails, and you often can hike without seeing anyone else.

Folks paying outrageous rents in cities and commuting miles and miles every day don't know what they are missing. Federal employees earn good wages/salaries and have great quality of work life.

There are a lot of perks to being a federal government employee. In this bad of an economy, gov't jobs offer good job security. You don't have to worry about losing your job, unlike private employers. Federal employees get excellent health benefits (the same that the President and members of Congress get), good retirement benefits, flexible/health spending accounts, thrift savings plan, annual leave (8 hours/month for first 3 years, then more after), sick leave (8 hours/month, equaling 13 days/year), 10 paid holidays every year, and flexible work schedules, among many others. The biggest perk is being able to live and work in a national park, where most people come and visit on vacation, yet you live and work here all summer or sometimes all year long. When I was a Park Ranger, tourists would come up to me and ask where I lived. I'd tell them I lived down the road from the Visitor Center here in the park, and they were so envious. Other times, visitors would say to me: "You have the best job in the world!" I agreed, of course, because it's true.

There are a lot of different types of jobs here. I work for the National Park Service, so I am a federal employee. Then there are several concession companies here who run the hotels/lodges, campgrounds, general stores, medical clinics, phone company, etc. Contact me if you'd like more info. about jobs in national parks. The park is gay-friendly.

I'm trying to get GLBT people and straight allies to apply for jobs in Yellowstone. If more GLBT and ally folks get jobs here, we can start a social group for GLBT and ally park employees. This group can have movie and game nights, hiking/camping events, and other fun social activities.

Foreign/international students/citizens can be hired for jobs with Yellowstone concessioners, so one need not be a US citizen to work here. (NPS hires only US citizens, however.)

Most employees are here in the summer, with fewer over the winter. If you or anyone is interested in working here at Yellowstone, let me know and I'll give you some tips.

Working at Yellowstone (or any big and famous national park) looks GREAT on your resume!! It's a dream job and a dream location for many people. Some people work here for just a summer, while some stay here for life.

To read more about living and working at Yellowstone, go to

To see pictures of what you can see and do and how much fun you can have once you get to Yellowstone, go to

Other websites about jobs in the park include: (direct link to jobs is

FYI. Right now, there is a seasonal/summer Park Ranger (Interpretation) job vacancy for Yellowstone posted online at Actually, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier National Parks each will be hiring several interpretive park rangers for summer 2009 under this same announcement. (Yes, the parks are now hiring for summer 2009 jobs!) The announcement number is YL218992 and you can apply online for it from 11/17 until 11/26. Often, if you work one season as a Park Ranger at one park, and you do a good job, you often can be rehired at the same park the next year without even having to fill out a new application. Or, if you'd rather work at a different park like I did to get more experience doing different things and get to live and work at another park, you can apply for jobs there. Often, you get job offers from several parks and you get to decide which one you'd prefer to work at.

If you don't want to apply for this particular job, keep checking the USAJOBS website very few days for new job openings. For National Park service jobs, you can only apply for advertised open jobs. The other park employers (concessioners) have an open application season where you just send in an application whenever you want. See the attached file and their websites for details.

Remember, you can apply for jobs at national parks other than Yellowstone, as there are national park units in every state (except Delaware). If you want to stay close to family and friends by working at a park closer to you, go to and look for parks nearest you.

Again, please feel free to forward to anyone who may be interested, incl. any GLBT group, esp. GLBT outdoor/hiking/camping groups that you may be a member of or know exist. If anyone would like to be added to an email list that announces when park jobs are available, please let me know and I will add them to that list.

Well, I think I've said enough (maybe too much!). If you are interested, read the attached file for instructions on how to apply for jobs. Also, contact me or someone in Human Resources of the potential employer you are interested in if you have questions. Email me at
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