June 25, 2008

Wild Montana Skies!

Well, I've got news. While I know that some of you were at least aware that I had applied for a few select positions at other parks, I'm sure many of you will be surprised by the news that I was recently offered (as in Monday morning) and accepted a new job. Yep, Sonja and I will be leaving the Verde Valley in probably no more than three weeks, just in time to escape the humidity of the monsoon season.

As you can probably surmise from the title of this post, our destination is somewhere in Big Sky Country. And for a park ranger, moving to Montana can mean one of two things: enduring the remote lifestyle at any number of tiny, po-dunk, backwoods national monuments out in the middle of the endless prairie or, living the high life as a ranger at arguably one of the most sought-after national parks in the entire country.

Guess which one applies in our case? Here's a hint:

Yeah, baby! By the end of July Sonja and I will be moving into our new home at Glacier National Park while I begin my role as the Research Education Coordinator for Glacier's Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center. While I won't be doing much front-line interpretation, I will be helping to bridge the gap between the research done in the park and the programs given to the public. I'm really excited about the possibilities this job offers. I'll be able to help shape the future of education and interpretation in the park, making the science that occurs there more relevant and more accessible to the public. It's gonna be awesome!

I always hoped that someday I'd be able to work at Glacier. Ever since my family began taking summer vacations there back in the 70's, I dreamed of that possibility. In fact, if you had asked me just a few weeks ago to rank all of the 391 national park units in preference of where we wanted to work the most Glacier would have been sitting pretty in the top spot.

Like with any big transition, though, it's still hard to comprehend it as a reality, despite the fact that I just spoke with my new boss this morning and began discussing the various projects I'll be working on when I arrive. I don't think that will change until we actually arrive there next month, either. But I'll be too busy finishing up here at Montezuma Castle to have time to worry about that. Yikes...

Anyway, I'll be posting some pictures from our weekend trip up to Zion National Park later today. I just wanted to get the big news out.


Anonymous said...

Best wishes on your new job and the upcoming move! I truly do envy you!

Evelyn in Mich.

janine said...

I KNEW YOU WOULD GET THE JOB THE MINUTE YOU TOLD ME YOUR PHONE INTERVIEW LASTED OVER 3 HOURS. We will be planning another "BIG TRIP" to see Uncle Paul & Aunt Sonya & the BUBS in the near future! I haven't been to Glacier since the 70's with Mom,Dad & you 4weird brothers of mine! I think I will still try to let my girls "sneak" a cracker or 2 to the chipmunks & gophers---when YOU aren't looking---of course!! :o) Waiting to see pics of your trip to ZION! LUV YA!!! Janine

Patrick Belardo said...

Hey, I've been a bit out of the blogging loop the last 6 weeks or so. This is exciting news! I guess I don't have anyone to visit in AZ now, but now I have an excuse to go to Montana.

Steve said...

Congrats Paul! Can we borrow your car when we amtrak out to Glacier? (jk)

P. Ollig said...

Thanks, everyone! We're pretty excited to be moving to our dream park. And, yes, Steve. You can borrow our car when you Amtrak out to visit us.