park guide resume example with 20+ years of experience

Jessica Claire
Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 (555) 432-1000,
Professional Summary
As a geologist, an environmental scientist, a caver, educator, and interpreter, my career goal is to manage caves for a federal land manager that cares about this resource. Caves are a unique, incredible, and nonrewable resource that need protection, and at the same time should be enjoyed and studied by those who love caves. Caves are the result of geological processes, and like many natural resources, also provide habitat for unique biota. In my view, cave management is accomplished through, and based on, a good understanding of current cave and karst science (cave development, karst hydrology and geomorphology, cave mapping, cave biota, climate, and use monitoring, geologic hazards, speleothem formation, and cave mineralogy and sedimentology). While caving skills are necessary, a cave explorer doesn't necessarily make a good cave manager. Cave management is also accomplished through a comprehensive inventory of cave contents; you cannot manage what you do not know you have. I have a well-rounded background and the specific skill set to manage caves and the karst landscape using best management practices, based on science and natural resource protection.

cave and karst science

communication: oral and writing

single rope techniques and rigging

cave management



NEPA and environmental assessments

cave gate design and construction

Work History
07/2010 to Current Park Guide Department Of The Interior | Seney, ,

Program development: 7 interpretative cave tours, an outdoor amphitheater program on bats and White Nose Syndrome (WNS), and multi-media indoor presentations, that cover the geological and speleological origin of caves, speleothem formation, cave fauna, historical exploration, and the significance of cave and other park resources.

Logistical planning: plan and implement the logistics to lead groups of 8 to 55 visitors through cave passages and chambers, some of which involve the use of hand lines, ladders, and caving gear supplied by the park, and navigating up or across crevices, across slippery flowstone floors, over bridges, through tight spots, and around delicate speleothems, as well as to remote caves.

Communication: use public speaking skills to clearly communicate and explain park policies, safety guidelines, concepts and principles of resource protection, and recreational opportunities; give informal interpretative talks and formal oral presentations; handle frustrated or angry visitors; and discuss problems/issues or ideas for improvements with my coworkers and supervisors.

Training: teach and peer coach new employees on tour routes and interpretative points of interest, regional geology, speleology, and speleothem formation, single rope techniques, as well as daily operations. Training for myself included Operational Leadership (twice), CPR/First Aid (2016), NPS Fundamentals I-V, ICS 100 and 200b, and NEPA/Section 106. I participated in the iSWOOP program (, where we learned from Dr. Nick Hristov and Dr. Louise Allen the latest science and equipment to study bats, about the Brazilian free-tail bats in particular, how to present this information to the public, and how to use LIDAR and helped map a portion of Carlsbad Caverns. I attended the Science for Parks, Parks for Science summit at UC Berkley in March 2015, where I learned about the beginnings of, and the importance of continuing, the relationship between scientists and NPS resources.

Operations: responsible for opening and closing Carlsbad Caverns and the other tour caves, which involves gates and chains, ensuring all visitors have safely exited the caves, turning lights on and off, and removing any trash; roving interpretation in the cave, which includes ascending 750' 3-4 times/week, and ensuring that visitors are adhering to park policies and not impacting the resources; answering inquiries at the Information Desk, on the phone, and by email; leading and trailing cave tours; maintaining cave gear and lanterns; directing and orienting visitors to trail routes and cave ethics; conducting WNS decontamination according to park protocols; sharing the Lead Ranger position, which serves as a liaison between the Guides and Supervisors by assisting with scheduling duties biweekly, mitigating issues, ensuring daily operations are completed, and coordinating medical evacuations from the cave.

Collateral duties: Serving as park librarian, I brought the library holdings up to date in books and articles, which were 3 decades behind, especially in the subjects of regional geology and sulfuric acid speleogenesis; updated and created inventories; and after training in the new NPS LIBRIS electronic cataloging program, reclassified and relabeled many books.

Accomplishments: I served as writer and editor for the new geology/speleology exhibits in the Visitor Center, which included an animation on cave development that was also included in the new park film. I am serving as a lead player on the wayside committee responsible for developing 63 new interpretative wayside exhibits throughout the park, by researching topics, writing texts, and providing images and diagrams for the geology/speleology exhibits, and helped determine wayside locations. I also represented the park on a Japanese Great Nature documentary (season 5, episode 7) in 2014, titled "Pure White Wonders - the Chihuahuan Desert of North America!"

Community service:

  • taught docents at Living Desert State Park and Zoo the local geology, and led them on a field trip through Carlsbad Cavern to educate them on sulfuric acid speleogenesis and speleothem formation, 2014, 2016, 2017
  • gave two campground talks on caving at Brantley Lake State Park, 2012, 2013, and
  • gave talks on sulfuric acid speleogenesis in the cave to groups of geologists from oil companies visiting the park as part of their field trip.



Supervisor: Maggi Daly. May contact at (575) 785-3132.

Salary: $36,626/year

02/2016 to 06/2016 Cave Specialist U.S. Forest Service, Lincoln National Forest, Guadalupe Ranger District | City, STATE,

During this 120-day detail, I was responsible for managing all the caves within the Lincoln National Forest (LNF), which included processing cave permits for recreational and science trips into LNF caves; developing and implementing ways to increase visitation consistent with LNF cave management policies (I submitted a report outlining 4 ways); and representing the Cave Ecosystem Management program at the BLM Pecos District Resource Advisory Council and a LNF Recreation budget planning meeting. I organized a meeting with the BLM Cave Specialist, Fort Stanton Cave Study Project members, and LNF District 1 staff to initiate a NEPA study to resume digging at a site on LNF land that may connect into the Snowy River passage. As one of the ways to increase visitation to LNF caves, I developed a formal agreement, with appendices, between the USFS, LNF and the Cave Research Foundation to survey and inventory all the caves within the LNF, which is still in progress. I researched and purchased all the equipment necessary to implement this agreement for less than $4000. I also designed, drew scaled plans for, had fabricated, and installed a new cave permit drop box to replace the previous one that was vandalized.


Supervisor: Brad Bolton. May contact at (575) 415-5570.

Salary: $36,626/year


07/2011 to 04/2016 Adjunct Instructor of geology New Mexico State University - Carlsbad | City, STATE, I taught a hybrid introductory, 4-credit course in geology, which entailed online lectures and a face-to-face laboratory. It was the first hybrid course offered by NMSU-Carlsbad.
  • I created 14 voice-over PowerPoint lectures, 2 exams, and 14 quizzes, and selected the text books;
  • I used Blackboard, and then Canvas educational programs to create, schedule, and grade assignments;
  • I completed the 2-week Quality Matters course for developing professional online courses.


Supervisor: Mrs. Robyn Hayes. May contact at 575-234-9343
Salary: $650/semester credit hour ($5,200/year)


03/2007 to 02/2010 Geologist/Scientist IV Tetra Tech | City, STATE,

Report writing: Wrote and edited RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) work plans and progress reports for multi-site, multi-year environmental assessment/remediation projects on 2 Army Ammunition plants, and developed figures such as geologic cross-sections and plume maps (50%). Specializied in historical research to develop a conceptual site model (one base had a National Historic Preservation site). Wrote a 5-year review for a landfill site, optimization reports for groundwater monitoring programs at multiple sites, and a brochure for public awareness for a BRAC naval base (30%).


Field work: Conducted field sampling (groundwater, stream, seep, and soil) and monitoring well installation supervision at Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (10%); all sampling points were located by either survey or GPS, and this data, along with chemical and physical data collected at these locations, were input into GIS to generate report figures. I was a team member of a USAF Space Utilization project (10%), where we visited all USAF bases nationwide to update facility floor plans and collect space use and occupancy data for input into a GIS database, coordinating our efforts with facility managers, and obtaining security clearance.


Supervisor: Stuart Severns. May contact at XXX-220-4700.

Salary: $64,300/year

05/1998 to 02/2007 Geologist/Scientist III Shaw Environmental And Infrastructure, Inc. (formerly The IT Corporation) | City, STATE,

Report writing: Developed and implemented work plans for Remedial Investigations (RI) at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base (AFB), SC; chief writer/editor of all reports to the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence (AFCEE) for Andrews AFB, MD; team writer for RCRA reports for Air Force Plant No. 6 (AFP 6), Marietta, GA, RI reports for Redstone Arsenal, AL, and Phase I and II Environmental Assessment reports for many commercial clients (60%).


Field work: Responsible for oversight of the RI field program at Andrews AFB. I was the task manager for an RI at the Aviation Fuel Farm at AFP 6. Conducted compliance auditing on many Wal-Mart stores in Mississippi for a national commercial contract. I was the Assistant Manager of the response team on the FEMA "Haul and Install" program for hurricane Rita victims, responsible for maintaining an Access database of all information pertinent to each site. I was an EPA representative in the START program, responsible for documenting remedial/demolition activities of another contractor at a plating facility in GA, working in level B PPE. I supported field activities (soil, groundwater, and seep sampling, ORC injection, monitoring well installation) for many federal and commercial projects, including equipment requisition and calibration, supervision of subcontractors, holding site safety tailgate meetings, and packaging environmental samples for shipment (39%).


Communication: Participated in many team meetings, and meetings with clients and government agencies, where I presented scientific findings (1%).


Accomplishments: I designed and implemented a water quality monitoring project at Redstone Arsenal to monitor karst springs all over the base.


Supervisor: Jeff Johnson. May be contacted at XXX-690-3211.

Salary: $59,800/year

02/1993 to 04/1998 Geologist/Field Operations Leader ABB Environmental Services, Inc. (no Longer Exists) | City, STATE,

Report writing: Wrote and edited Environmental Baseline Survey (EBS) reports for the Navy in support of a Finding of Suitability to lease or transfer, as well as CERCLA investigation reports for petroleum sites on several bases in Florida (50%).


Field work: As field operations leader, I conducted and oversaw entire field programs for a basewide EBS for the Naval Training Center in Orlando, FL, and collected and evaluated data from asbestos, lead-based paint, PCB, threatened and endangered species, and wetland surveys, and Environmental Impact Statements for site-specific EBSs (60%). I conducted petroleum assessments, CERCLA investigations, RI work plan scoping studies, and engineering evaluations (35%). I was the office expert for conducting Phase I and II environmental assessments and compliance audits (3%). I conducted sampling for feasibility studies, risk assessments (NEPA-like documents that evaluate alternatives for remediation to minimize the impact to biota and the environment), and monitoring plans (2%). (49%)


Communication: I participated in team meetings, meetings with clients and government agencies, where I presented our scientific findings and made recommendations (1%).


Salary: $45,000/year

Expected in 1984 28 semester hours toward a MS | geology, igneous petrology Washington State University, Pullman, WA GPA:
Expected in 1979 Bachelor of Arts | Earth Science, with a minor in architecture University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC GPA:

New Mexico Geological Society

Geological Society of America (GSA)

Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

National Association for Interpretation (NAI)


Accomplishments as a Volunteer

National Speleological Society (NSS) member, 1999-2011

East Tennessee Grotto (ETG) member, 1999-2007; Vice Chairman, 2001-2003

Pine Mountain Grotto (PMG) member, 2000-; Secretary, 2004-2009

Spencer Mountain Grotto member, 2001-2007

Facility Chairman for SERA Cave Carnival hosted by ETG in 2000 (appr. 400 attendees)

New Mammoth Cave Management Committee Chairman, 2001-2007

National Geographic Adventure magazine caving articles, March 2002, June 2009

Southeastern Regional Association (SERA) of the NSS Vice-Chairman and Chairman, 2003-2005

SERA's Richard Schreiber award, 2003

SERA Karst Task Force (SKTF) volunteer and Committee member, 2002-2007

Cave Research Foundation (CRF) Joint Venture, 2003-

Tennessee Cave Survey Narrative Files Director, 2004-2009

Cumberland Gap National Historic Park (CUGA)/CRF Gap Cave survey project, 2004-2007; helped develop the CUGA/CRF MOU, 2003; recipient of NPS volunteer award, 2/2007

Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) Director, 2004-2009

SCCi Wolf River Cave Fundraising Committee Chair, 2002-2006

CRF cave survey course taught by Pat Kambesis, 2005

Facility Chairman and co-organizer for SERA Cave Carnival hosted by ETG in 2007 (750 attendees)

NSS Board of Governors, Director 2008-2011

NSS Research Advisory Committee, 2008-2011

NSS Strategic Planning Commitee, 2009-2011

Additional Information

Computer Skills: MicroSoft Office software (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint), Adobe Illustrator, NPS LIBRIS library database


Professional Knowledge/Skills: I am a geologist with 20 years experience in the environmental consulting field, 7 years working in caves at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and 7 years total teaching geology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and New Mexico State University at Carlsbad. With this experience, I am proficient at

  • interpretation of data (geological, analytical, seismic, aerial photographic, topographic, etc.),
  • technical writing and editing, and creating illustrations (maps, graphs, cross-sections, photographic),
  • formal presentations to clients, federal (EPA, DOD) and state government officials, contractors, students, conference attendees, cave-related organizations, and the public,
  • formal and informal education and training on geology and speleology,
  • leading the public through caves and cave passages,
  • federal regulations (CERCLA, RCRA, Threatened and Endangered Species Act, National Preservation Act, Federal Cave Protection Act, and Archeological Resources Protection Act), NEPA,
  • being a team player and team leader on multi-year, multi-site, million-dollar projects
My field experiences include conducting and supervising
  • sampling and monitoring of all environmental media (soil, groundwater, surface water, air)
  • using, calibrating, and maintaining environmental sampling and monitoring equipment
  • geologic mapping
  • leading geology field trips for students, geologists, interpreters, docents at Living Desert State Park and Zoo, and cave managers


Cave and Karst Experience since 1999

Cave survey and inventory: long-term projects included

  • Gap Cave at Cumberland Gap National Historic Park (CUGA) with the Cave Research Foundation (CRF) (2004-2007,
  • Hubbards Cave in TN, owned by the TN Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) (2004-2006),
  • Roppel Cave in KY (2001-2003),
  • Hellhole Cave in WV with the German Valley Karst Survey (2004-2006),
  • Wolf River Cave in TN, owned by the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) (2005-2007),
  • Juggernaut Cave in KY (2003-2005),
  • Blue Spring Cave in TN (2004-2009),
  • Webb Cave in TN (2004),
  • Hidden River Cave in KY, owned by the American Cave Conservation Association (ACCA) (2000-2001)

Short-term cave survey projects included numerous trips in wild caves in TN and KY (2001-2009) as a grotto member or helping other cavers with their projects.


For many of these projects, I served as a sketcher/team lead or front point man. I have used and been trained in CRF cave survey methods since 2004. Cave inventories included geology, hydrology, speleothems, paleontology, biology, and cultural data, which was input into a database for the Gap Cave project. As a Director of the Tennessee Cave Survey (TCS), I designed and coordinated a cave survey course with invited instructors, and the class surveyed portions of Webb Cave, which I finished surveying after the course ended. My main duty as a TCS Director was to field verify and update the Narrative files, which included location and entrance data.


Vertical caving techniques: I was taught single rope techniques (SRT) by National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC) members of the East Tennessee Grotto (ETG) in 1999. Additional training included

  • NCRC rescue training with ETG on a cliff, which included pickoffs, bypassing an unconscious person on rope, changeovers, rappeling and climbing using different systems and devices, and switching ropes,
  • NCRC SAR mock rescue with ETG at Grassy Cove Saltpeter Cave in TN, using two patients,
  • Rope Technician I and II course taught by Bruce Smith of On Rope One, Inc. in 2001,
  • NCRC small party rescue training in Mammoth Cave by CRF in 2004, and again in 2016 on a cliff in Montana,
  • NCRC Orientation course in 2013 in Carlsbad, NM
Real experience included
  • many self-rescues of fellow cavers during wild cave trips,
  • assisting in the body recovery of Dick Graham in Omega Cave in VA by conducting cave-to-surface communications and helping carry the wrapped body through a tight canyon passage and up a tight corkscrew entrance passage,
  • teaching SRT to many new cavers,
  • rigging many pits and traverses, including multi-drop caves, using rebelays and redirects and setting anchors,
  • giving two SRT demonstrations to the public during Bat Flight Breakfasts at Carlsbad Caverns NP, and
  • rappeling and climbing deep pits, such as Fantastic (586') and Incredible (440') pits in Ellisons Cave in GA, and Hoya de las Huahuas (662') and Sotano de las Golandrinas (1094') in Mexico.


Organized cave trips/projects: most of my caving has been in southeast USA, Mexico, and the Guadalupe Mountains, which requires traversing rugged, steep terrain in remote areas that are accessed by long-distance hiking. I have
  • located many caves using GPS, topographic maps and a compass,
  • led numerous cave trips for grotto members, Boy Scouts, participants at regional caving events, and visitors to Carlsbad Caverns NP,
  • led long-term digging projects (with overnight camping in the cave) and short-term restoration projects (SKTF, ACCA),
  • assisted in cave gating projects (TNC) that required complex field logistics,
  • assisted with trail locating/building in two commercial caves (Cub Run and Hidden River in KY),
  • served as technical advisor for, and helped set up, the lighting and locations for the still photography and filming at the caves in Carlsbad Caverns NP for the Apple iCaverns app.


Cave science: I have
  • performed cave and karst spring sampling at Redstone Arsenal and karst groundwater monitoring at Volunteer Army Ammunition plant in AL for Shaw Environmental,
  • performed a dye tracing study at Wolf River Cave in TN for SCCi,
  • led Dr. George Crothers, his PhD student, and some human trackers into Wold River Cave to study 4500-year old aborigine footprints and prehistoric jaguar tracks,
  • led geologist Dr. Rick Toomey to photo-document a newly discovered short-face bear skeleton in Gap Cave in TN,
  • led historian Dr. Joe Douglas to New Mammoth Cave in TN, a cave I was managing for TNC, to conduct an inventory of historical signatures and pictographs prior to a graffiti removal project,
  • assisted PhD student Jen Buhay in collecting DNA samples from cave crayfish in multiple caves in TN and KY, and
  • assisted the KY Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, White Nose Syndrome (WNS) program by collecting baseline soil data in hibernaculum caves.


I have been involved with WNS from its initial appearance. I was involved in
  • KY's and NM's WNS response plans by participating in the plan develop meetings, which included subjects such cave closures, sampling, and adopting decontamination procedures,
  • SCCi's management decisions to close bat hibernaculum caves and develop access policies,
  • Bat Conservation International (BCI)'s program to collect soil samples from TN caves for analysis of Pseudogymnoascus destructans spores,
  • the WNS decontamination station at the NSS convention in CO in 2011, and
  • the assessment of caves for bat use for the SCCi, Carlsbad Caverns NP, and the Lincoln National Forest.


I also participated in two BCI bat seminars taught in Carlsbad, NM.


Cave and karst restoration/mitigation:

  • For six years as a volunteer and Committee member of the SERA Karst Task Force (SKTF) of the NSS, I helped with many projects involving in-cave graffiti and trash removal, trash removal in karst drainage basins and sinkholes, and speleothem cleaning. We experimented with and learned what methods work best for graffiti removal.
  • I participated in the ACCA cleanup of the deep pit entrance to Saltpeter Pit Cave in KY, which had been used as a trash dump for decades. This operation required the creation of a hoist system involving a steel I-beam across the pit.
  • While a member of ETG, I participated in routine roadside cleanups in the Grassy Cove sinkhole in TN (adopt-a-highway program).
  • Since I became a NPS employee, I have spent many volunteer hours mitigating algae, lint, and trash from Carlsbad Cavern, as well as retape and remove mud from trails.


Cave Management: I learned cave management and cave ownership skills from the largest cave conservancy in the USA, the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc., which owned or leased over 25 preserves with over 100 caves. As a Board Director for 5 years, I helped develop management plans and access policies for recreational and scientific use of the caves. But more importantly, I learned a cave management philosophy similar to the that of the USFS, to protect caves through controlled access, but at the same time allowing cavers to explore and enjoy these caves, knowing that it is cavers that provide the data needed to properly manage the caves. All management and funding decisions were made by the Board, which were implemented by each cave manager. I represented SCCi at the one and only National Cave and Karst Conservancies Forum in VA in 2006, where I learned what works well at other cave conservancies. As a member of ETG, I volunteered to manage the newly gated New Mammoth Cave in TN, a bat hibernaculum, for TNC, which involved cave access, keeping the logging road to the cave clear of fallen trees due to storms, performing a cave cleanup of trash, maintaining the cave trails, and assisted with a bat ingress/egress study when two gates were present. I participated in the development of a national cave management plan for the USFS, headed by the National Cave Coordinator, Jerry Trout, before he retired.


Cave education/outreach: Cave conservation is achieved through teamwork - cave owners/managers working together with the volunteers, researchers, educators, and cavers, and through education. As a Park Guide at Carlsbad Caverns NP, I have educated thousands of visitors about why caves are worth preserving through my conversations and tours. My message has lead visitors to write about their experience (Associated Press article published in newspapers nationwide titled, "Tourists Treated to Caving 101 at Caverns" by Susan Montoya Bryan, and an article in Earth, vol. 57, no. 8, titled "Commercialization: Carlsbad Caverns Gets It Right" by Lisa Rossbacher). I also brought this message to visitors at Brantley Lake State Park during evening presentations, as well as to students of Vista Grand High School in Taos, NM on a field trip, hosted by the National Cave and Karst Research Institute.

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Resume Overview

School Attended

  • Washington State University
  • University of North Carolina

Job Titles Held:

  • Park Guide
  • Cave Specialist
  • Adjunct Instructor of geology
  • Geologist/Scientist IV
  • Geologist/Scientist III
  • Geologist/Field Operations Leader


  • 28 semester hours toward a MS
  • Bachelor of Arts

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