BOONE, N.C. — The National Park Service has awarded $21,508 in funding for two recent Appalachian State University graduates to serve as interpretive staff at Shenandoah National Park, which is located along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. The 16-week internship period will take place May through August.
Dr. Mark Spond, who serves as Appalachian’s liaison to the National Park Service (NPS), is the grant recipient.
According to Spond, park interpreters are the public face of Shenandoah National Park.
“Through NPS’ Cultural Resources Office of Interpretation and Education, interns are responsible for researching, preparing and presenting a variety of programs, such as guided walks and hikes, interpretive talks, Junior Ranger programs, evening programs and curriculum-based education programs on the park’s interpretive themes (wildlife, geology, ecology, history, climate change, etc.),” said Spond, who teaches in the Department of Geography and Planning.
These programs are performed in diverse park locations, including campgrounds, trails, visitor centers and historic buildings, Spond said. Interns also staff visitor centers and provide information and informal interpretation to visitors during fixed station and roving assignments.
The two Appalachian alumnae selected for the Shenandoah National Park internship are Paige Anderson ’17, of Mooreseville, and Kate Hayes ’16, of Hickory. Anderson received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Appalachian in 2017, and Hayes graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in political science. Hayes is currently a graduate student in Appalachian’s Master of Public Administration program.
About the Appalachian State University Liaison to the National Park Service
The Appalachian State University Liaison to the National Park Service (NPS) is the central contact for initiatives that partner Appalachian with NPS units across the United States. The liaison promotes opportunities, such as service projects and task agreements, that mutually benefit NPS units and university students, faulty, staff and alumni. Past projects have partnered members of the Appalachian Community with NPS natural/cultural resource personnel, interpreters and educational initiatives.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.