People of the Park: Dottie Vauls
This month we had the opportunity to talk with Dottie Vauls, a Law Enforcement Ranger for CRNRA. This is an important role that protects the park we love and helps ensure all visitors have a good time.
Do you have a favorite CRNRA park?
Reluctantly I would pick East Palisades. I say this because it is a popular park, and I want to keep it a secret. It is a very pretty place during all seasons, and a wonderful place to hike.
Working for the National Park Service you’ve probably seen a lot of parks. But is there a National Park on your bucket list to visit?
My absolute favorite thing about the National Parks is no matter what you’re into, there is a park for you; #FindYourPark. This variety feeds the curiosity of my Gemini soul. When I have a new hobby or interest, I know there’s a park for it. So, my bucket list includes all the parks.
How did you first get involved with the NPS and the CRNRA?
Actually, the NPS found me. After graduating from Albright College with a BA in Environmental Policy & Anthropology, I joined AmeriCorp and volunteered with the Maryland Conservation Corps. The Lake Mead NRA got a copy of my resume and offered me a position. I was initially part of the Arid Land Restoration Crew, then was a BioTech in the Resource Management Division.
While stationed at Lake Mead NRA, I got a second degree in Criminal Justice and attended the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program. Since graduation I’ve worked at several locations in the US before accepting a position at CRNRA.
Where did you grow up and have you always liked the outdoors?
I’m from Severna Park, MD (between Baltimore and Annapolis) but I wasn’t really involved in the outdoors growing up. After college, my AmeriCorp assignment and other related activities increased my love of the outdoors.
Finally, do you have a favorite book or movie to recommend?
Although not a traditional nature book, one of my absolute favorites is “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” by Kent Nerburn. For the most part, it is the conversation, interaction, and relationship between a white man and a Native American elder. I read this book in college. It changed my view of the world around me, my relationship with nature and the environment.
Photo of Dottie Vauls