Natural Resource Director
Baxter State Park
Opening posted: 05/20/2021 | Expires: 06/30/2021
Baxter State Park, a 209,644 acre wilderness Park in north-central Maine, seeks an experienced manager and excellent communicator with a science background to lead its Natural Resource and Visitor Experience Department, responsible for natural resource monitoring and management, information and education and visitor use management. This leadership-level role is critical as an advocate of the Park’s mission and as a key proponent for wilderness character, values, and visitor experience. The position contributes to policy development and decision-making as part of the Park’s leadership team and is based out of our headquarters in the nearby town of Millinocket. The successful candidate will be a seasoned supervisor, an experienced science communicator, and a proven leader.
As the leader of the Natural Resources and Visitor Experience Department, the Natural Resource Director reports to the Park Director and supervises the Park’s Lands Manager, Interpretative Specialist, and Office Associate II Supervisor (Reservations). The Lands Manager leads the management of the Scientific Forest Management Area in the northwest corner of the Park and is responsible for the Park’s road maintenance and improvement program and GIS. The Interpretive Specialist leads the development and delivery of informational and educational materials, programming, and social media for the Park. The Office Associate II Supervisor is a working supervisor in the Reservations office which fields informational and reservation inquiries to support and inform our 65,000 annual visitors.
A major focus of work for the incumbent will be to design and implement a comprehensive natural resource monitoring program that will increase scientific knowledge of the Park and facilitate better communication of the natural history to visitors and others. Multiple research and monitoring efforts have contributed to current knowledge of the Park’s natural history; the work now is to organize and synthesize that information, identify knowledge gaps, and work with researchers, staff, volunteers, and others to design a natural resource monitoring program that will support the needs of future Park management while capitalizing on the Park’s position as a unique research venue.
The incumbent will also supervise and support the park information and education program including all informational resources and systems, interpretive programs, education and outreach, and related training and orientation for park staff. The Park’s interpretive philosophy, led by the Interpretive Specialist, focuses on integrating our unique wilderness concept into place-based education, borrowing from outdoor and environmental education curricula. Our gentle approach to education aims to foster a connection to nature and allow a sense of personal discovery, with the hope that appreciation follows and inspires a sense of kinship with the natural world. We seek to balance visitor safety information with enabling visitors to make choices within their tolerance for risk.
The role will contribute to high-level wilderness management decisions and policy making as a member of the Park’s leadership, which includes the Park Director, Chief Ranger, and HR Director. This will include significant contributions to the next iteration of the Park’s management plan. Policy and decisions often concern achieving the balance of wilderness preservation and recreational opportunity that Governor Baxter articulated in his Deeds of Trust. Understanding and effectively communicating these nuanced, sometimes difficult issues to staff, advisory groups, Park visitors, and the public is an essential function for the incumbent, who will represent the Park to the outside world of natural resource, visitor use, and information and education professionals.