Tristan Hernandez
At Sitka National Historical Park in Alaska, Tristan worked in tidal pools as a National Park Service volunteer Ranger.
Tristan Hernandez
Tristan celebrated the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service with other employees from Timpanogos Cave National Monument in 2016.

Tristan Hernandez, EES Sophomore

Inspiring people to protect and cherish national parks and beautiful places is the reason Tristan Hernandez chose to be a park ranger for the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS is known to have a rigorous application process and seeking a job for seasonal employment is often highly competitive. Because of that, Tristan took a gap year between high school and attending the University of Maine to spend a year volunteering at five national parks, and used this opportunity to boost his resume, thereby improving his eligibility for future NPS jobs.

On a daily-basis, as an “interpretive” or “education” Ranger, Tristan delivered programs and gave tours through the Timpanogos Cave National Monument in Utah. He was responsible for hiking along the parks trails to ensure everyone was safe and happy. He worked at the visitor centers where people bought tickets, supplies, and souvenirs, as well as defended park rules to protect the Park’s natural resources from damage.

Through the NPS, Tristan was given a platform to discuss the things he is passionate about –conservation and environmental science- and given the opportunity to share them with people from around the world. Tristan remarked that “There’s no greater feeling for me than to know that I’ve made a connection with someone about the beauty of nature and have deeply connected them to the national park they have spent their vacation visiting!”

Tristan has shared his NPS experiences with University of Maine EES classrooms, prospective students as an EES ambassador, and for the Green Team club.