Park needs volunteers to help survey Mount Rainier visitors
JEFFREY P. MAYOR
Volunteers are needed in August to help staff members from the University of Idaho’s Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units conduct Mount Rainier visitor surveys.
The surveys will be used to track the demographics of park visitors as well as other issues.
Volunteers will hand out questionnaires and conduct interviews with park visitors Aug. 4-10.
One volunteer per day is needed at the Nisqually entrance, and an additional volunteer is needed Aug. 5 at the Stevens Canyon entrance.
The last time this survey was conducted was in 2000. Plans to do the survey last year were stymied by a lack of funds. The survey is led by the University of Idaho, but volunteers will help cover more areas, said Kevin Bacher, the park’s volunteer program coordinator.
Each volunteer interviewer will conduct 2-minute interviews with selected visitors to determine if the visitor will take a mail-back questionnaire. The interviewer will also gather some information from the visitors. Interviewers will be required to ask people for personal information including age.
The parks is looking for people who are over 18 years of age, friendly and outgoing, like working with people, are good at basic record-keeping, are reliable and can follow directions. Also, since they will be stopping cars at entrance stations, volunteers need to be able to work outdoors and stay on their feet for most of the day.
Prior experience is not required. An hour and a half of training will be provided at the park before the surveys begin. Each person must be able to commit eight hours minimum to work on the survey and must be available for training.
If interested, contact Bacher by email at Kevin_Bacher@nps.gov, and send a copy to the survey supervisor Lena Le at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate which dates you’re available for helping. For more information, contact Bacher at 360-569-6567 or call Le at 208-596-1671.
Chip Jenkins, who has been serving as superintendent at North Cascades National Park Complex, has been named deputy regional director for resource stewardship and planning for the National Park Service in the Pacific West Region.
In his new position, Jenkins will be responsible for leading and managing park operations for 17 parks located in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, as well as the administration of four major program functions – cultural resources management, natural resources management, planning and environmental compliance. He will also serve as the regional director’s principal representative in the Pacific Northwest and be the lead official for the Seattle office of the Pacific West Region.
Jenkins has been on a temporary detail in this role since April. He replaces Rory Westberg who recently retired.
Jenkins promotion continues a leadership changeover at the state’s three national parks. Randy King took over in November as superintendent at Mount Rainier National Park, after serving eight years as deputy superintendent. Olympic National Park superintendent Karen Gustin retired March 2. She had been the superintendent since 2008. Todd Suess, the park’s deputy superintendent, is serving as interim acting superintendent.
Jenkins has worked for the National Park Service since 1985. Prior to leading North Cascades National Park, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and Ross Lake National Recreation Area, he was superintendent of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Oregon and Washington.
He and his wife, Laurie Lee Jenkins, who also works for the National Park Service as an ecologist, have two young boys.
VIEW RAINIER SKY
Park volunteer and astronomer Don West-Wilke is holding day and night sky viewing programs throughout the summer at Mount Rainier National Park. All the programs are weather-dependent.
At Paradise, the viewing takes place in front of the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center on Thursdays-Mondays. The program typically runs from 10 p.m.-midnight or later. West-Wilke provides a Meade 12-inch telescope to view the night sky and helps park visitors learn about the National Park Service Night Skies Program.
On Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, West-Wilke will set up a solar scope in front of the visitor center to allow people to view the sun. He will be there from 3 p.m. to sunset.
On Thursdays, he will be at Longmire in front of the National Park Inn, and on Sundays in pullouts along the Stevens Canyon Road for solar viewing opportunities from 3 p.m. to sunset.