No blog last week because I was on vacation (back in the great state of N.C., in Professor Stenberg’s old stomping grounds the Outer Banks!). The week before that, however, was very exciting. One thing I really love about this position I have at Wolf Trap is the support and encouragement I receive from my supervisors. My Deputy Superintendent has really taken an interest in making sure that I am exposed to every opportunity NPS has to offer, and that I understand everything going on around me. One of my duties on a daily basis is coordinating with the Congressional Liaison for the National Park Service. Because of our proximity to Washington, D.C., the Secretary of Interior is given box theater seating in the Filene Center. The seats are reserved first and foremost for the Secretary, Ryan Zinke, but if he has no interest in attending the show or cannot attend he will offer the seats to Interior staff or other agencies. The Congressional Liaison and I coordinate to make sure whomever is using the box has proper parking, or security here at the park.
My Deputy Superintendent thought if I was going to do all this coordinating I should have the opportunity to meet the Congressional Liaison and any other staff at Interior that will often be using the box. Two weeks ago my supervisor, Deputy Superintendent and I went to the Interior building in DC and had a sort of networking/meet and greet with the Secretary’s staff (talk about a favorite child at Interior there are NPS murals and WPA park posters all over). Unfortunately, Secretary Zinke was not there and neither was the Deputy Secretary, but the Congressional Liaison showed us around his office and deck (pictures attached) and we had the opportunity to meet many other staffers. The Deputy Chief of Staff is a Tar Heel and has a ram bust in his office (lots of animal busts all over the office also saw buffalo, deer, polar bear and brown bear). In addition to meeting the Secretary’s staff we also walked around the rest of the Interior building and met many career staff of NPS and visited the Interior museum. My supervisors have a lot of connections and friends that work in headquarters and they introduced me to all of them.