• Career Connection: Jul 10-22, 2016
  • Career Connection
  • Yosemite National Park: Everywhere!

Six talented and incredible people came together for two weeks to experience what life is like working in Yosemite National Park. These WildLink alumni representing Generation Green chapters from Central and Southern California, as well as Reedley and Los Angeles schools had an adventure filled 12 days. They helped restore the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, experienced the interesting history and beauty of Hetch Hetchy by boat, and interviewed dozens of happy people who have chosen to live and work in a National Park. This group thoughtfully explored what career opportunities await them in wild places everywhere - the future looks bright for beautiful landscapes, and for these six wonderful people! Thank you Crystal, Mariah, Karina, Brandon, Carlos and Gerardo for sharing your thoughts, questions and excitement during your two weeks here in Yosemite. We hope to see you here again soon...maybe wearing a uniform!

crystal barnes

The students began their adventure by studying Peregrine Falcons with Ornithologist Crystal


Gerardo scopes the nesting site to catch a glimpse of the pair of falcons


Budding Wildlife Biologist, Carlos, spots one of his favorite birds

mariposa grove

The participants were able to visit and help restore the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias while it is closed to the public. They learned the art of restoring an area to its natural state which will help save the lives of all of these majestic trees.


Karina smiles for the camera with a Sequoia cone, filled with the seeds of the world's largest trees.

mariposa grove

Taking a break to lean against the trees


Crystal moves duff and other materials to cover trails that caused erosion around the tree roots


Mounted Ranger, Charlie shows the group how to saddle and pack horses and mules for long trips in the Wilderness

stock use

Shelton "aspires to inspire before he expires" and the participants learn how important the art of interpretation is in order to help people from all over the world make deep connections to beautiful places like Yosemite


A tour of Yosemite's ambulance was a real treat! The group learned about the difference between the skills and scope of practice of EMT paramedics and how each of them are useful in this wide and varied National Park. Brandon was hooked up to the heart monitor and the paramedics marveled at his low, healthy heart rate.


The group also met with law enforcement Ranger, Tom who explained that being a law enforcement Ranger meant so much more than we might think. He teams up with a helicopter crew to help with technical rescues, he has medical training which help him save lives and he protects the park and visitors through education and enforcement. Later in the week, Crystal went on a ride along to see what a day in the life of a Ranger really looked like.

ryan kelly

Yosemite Conservancy project coordinator Ryan discusses the important role park partners play in the implementation of projects in Yosemite National Park.

volunteer office

Ranger Sally from the National Park Service's Volunteer Coordinator office spoke about her role in helping people from all around the world volunteer and live in the park. She also offered advice regarding first steps to take to begin working for the park service.


park planner, Echo explained the rewards and challenges of managing a park with 5 million visitors each year


A perfect afternoon was spent in El Cap Meadow, learning from Climbing Ranger Eric about tools used to rock climb and how to stay comfortable while sleeping on the side of El Capitan and other big walls. Eric also explained his role in educating the public about climbing and how climbing is a big part of Yosemite's rich history.


The group found the portaledges surprisingly comfortable. Would that change if they were 2,000ft above the valley floor?


Whether we dream of our future career from a microscopic lens, or from far away, we can take comfort in knowing that Yosemite will always be here. In just 12 short days, these students created a network of people who are now invested in their future - many of them hoping to hire them someday!

WildLink is a proud partner of the National Park Service, National Forest Service, and Nature Bridge.