Hello, I have read your book and understand that the NPS have rangers specialize in specific fields. Are there certain areas where there is still the "ranger-does-all," such as law enforcement, firefighting, EMS, interpretation, maintenance, etc...?
I noticed looking through USAJOBS that there was one listing out of the other listings titled "Park Ranger (I)" that hopefully will still be up on this link: http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/
Thank you for writing the book!
Thanks for reading my book. I hope you enjoyed it.
The type of job you are describing is termed a "Generalist Ranger" in National Park Service parlance. Truly and totally generalist positions are becoming harder to find. The demands of modern society have required park rangers to receive specialized training to be certified to perform duties in law enforcement, firefighting, EMS, and search and rescue. This time and education commitment is good on one hand, but on the other tends to lead toward more specialization of individuals.
As a result in most parks rangers are divided into two main categories. Protection Park Rangers are the ones who are mainly charged with law enforcement, fire fighting, EMS, and Search and Rescue.
The second category is Interpretive Park Rangers or what you noted on the USAJobs web site a Park Ranger (I). This is where you find your naturalists, historians, and educators. These Park Rangers in many parks also get involved in protection functions other than law enforcement. This is not normally part of their job description and is done more often if the employee is interested in doing that work and they have a supervisor who supports it.
Some parks will tend to have their personnel in more specialized positions and others will have people more involved a variety of duties. It may even depend on where in the park a person is assigned. As an example in Yosemite National Park if one works in protection position in the main Valley they will be spending most of their time focused on law enforcement. There are also park rangers who specialize in search and rescue and others in interpretation. If the position is in another area of the park that is less populated with visitors the duties will be more general in nature.
When reading through vacancy announcements on USAJobs.gov be sure to carefully read through the section on Qualifications and Duties. This will give you some idea of what that specific position will entail. If possible, I would recommend that you contact the park and talk with the Chief Ranger or other Park Rangers to ask what duties and the percentage of time Park Rangers spend conducting each activity run. Even better whenever possible would be to visit the park in person.
Look at parks in a bit more remote areas with smaller staffs. These areas tend to have their staffs work in more general positions to cover all the functions within a park with their limited personnel resources.
I hope this in some way answers some of your questions.