Nick Myers, Colorado National Monument Lead Park Ranger, knows national parks. In his thirteen year career with the National Park Service, he’s worked at eleven national parks. That’s a lot, even by NPS standards. Of course his current favorite is Colorado National Monument, but asked about his all-time favorite, it was difficult to make a definitive choice. “Working at Yellowstone, the first national park, was a great privilege as well as a challenge. It’s got it all – history, geology, and wildlife. But then there’s Zion. That was great too. And I can’t forget Grand Teton.” But where it all started was Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota.
Nick grew up in Mankato, Minnesota. When he was eight years old, his family took a vacation at Wind Cave where they were given a ranger tour of the caves. Nick hung on to the ranger’s every word, and at one point the ranger asked Nick what he wanted to do when he grew up. Nick said, “I want to do what you do,” and from that moment, he never wavered from that pronouncement. He majored in Natural Resource Management at Minnesota State University and served his internship and obtained his first seasonal position at – you guessed it – Wind Cave National Park. For his first seven years with the Park Service, he worked as seasonal ranger at Wind Cave during the summer and Yellowstone during the winter.
Nick works in the Educational/Interpretive Division at Colorado National Monument. He gives ranger talks to visitors and he coaches seasonal rangers to prepare for their programs. He loves presenting programs to visitors and telling the stories that connect visitors to the park. He presents programs on a variety of topics, but his particular passion is astronomy. There aren’t many astronomy programs in the national parks, so he’s made that his particular niche. He also enjoys the training aspect of his job and passing along knowledge to a new generation of rangers. His ultimate career goal is to become a trainer at the Horace Albright Training Center at Grand Canyon.
When he’s not at work, Nick enjoys running and bicycling. The running and biking opportunities in the area are a large part of why he applied to work at Colorado National Monument. He also likes the sense of community in Grand Junction and Fruita. Most national parks are geographically isolated, and he is excited about the urban offerings in the Grand Valley, particularly the local music scene.
In addition to his other job duties, Nick also schedules and trains volunteers at Colorado National Monument. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Nick at email@example.com