• Views from Penobscot Mountain summit.


    National Park Maine


Have you ever dreamed of being a park ranger and working in some of the most beautiful places in the world? You can make your dream come true by becoming a teacher-ranger with the National Park Service. The nationwide Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) program is a unique professional development opportunity for educators to gain hands-on experience in the summer working side by side with park interpreters, researchers, patrol rangers, resource managers, trail crews, and other specialists.

What is a Teacher-Ranger?

The National Park Service's Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) program gives K-12 classroom teachers a chance to spend part of their summer living and working in a national park. Acadia National Park welcomed its first teacher-ranger in 2007. Since then we have had TRTs representing seven different states. Priority is given to teachers in the state of Maine as well as teachers from schools with under-served student populations in urban and rural school districts.

Teachers spend six weeks working in the park. Shared housing is typically available if needed. The park provides a TRT uniform and a $2400 stipend and pays for related workshops, trainings, and classroom materials. Teacher-rangers develop lesson plans based on their park experience and when they return to their schools in the fall, share their TRT projects with their students and colleagues. During National Park Week in April, teacher-rangers wear their TRT uniform to school and engage a wider education audience in activities that relate to Acadia and the National Park Service. You may be required to participate in an online graduate course as part of the National Park Service Teacher-Ranger program at no cost to the teacher. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Cynthia Ocel.

What are the benefits?

To Teacher-Rangers:

  • Obtain a wide range of new knowledge and skills through working with park staff and partners
  • Gain access to an extensive array of teaching resources and tools to enhance classroom curriculum in multiple content areas
  • Receive a certificate of completion and three graduate credits through an online course in experiential learning
  • Begin or extend a personal and professional connection with national parks

To Schoolchildren:

  • Place-based learning
  • Opportunities and resources to connect to their natural and cultural heritage in new way
  • Awareness of the possibilities for volunteering and paid employment with the National Park Service

What would I do in the park?

TRT tasks and projects depend upon the teachers' interests and skills plus current park needs. TRTs spend most of their time engaging with park education projects, learning about park resources, and developing lesson plans to use in their classrooms and in the park with students. Their experience will also include exposure to a variety of field work performed in the park e.g. public interpretive programs, research studies, boat and road patrols, trail construction, community outreach, and volunteer projects. For a front-line perspective, read the teacher-rangers' blogs here.

How do I apply? Complete the application form and send to the park contacts below. Top candidates will be contacted for a phone interview. There are positions on both Mount Desert Island and Schoodic Peninsula. Positions are typically filled by early spring.

Teacher-Ranger-Teacher Application

Any questions? For Bar Harbor, contact Cynthia Ocel, MDI Education Coordinator by email or phone; (207) 288-8822.

For Schoodic, contact Kate Petrie, Schoodic Education Coordinator by email or phone; (207) 288-1312

Acadia is one of many national park sites that hires classroom teachers to explore and learn about the diverse natural and cultural resources the Park Service protects. You can find other parks with a TRT program by following this link.
Teacher-Ranger-Teacher Nancy delves into glacial geology with a captive audience.

Did You Know?