Southern Office of Arizona

August 09, 2016 Posted by: Collin Beckham

Unfortunately, today was my last day interning with the National Park Service. I met Ryan and Dorothy at the Southern Office of Arizona (SOAR) in Downtown Phoenix where they introduced me to all of the staff members who worked there. These were all people who do the "behind the scenes" work like Ryan and Dorothy. The building is exquisite and has amazing views from the Park Service section on the fourth floor. The first order of business for the day was to review resumes for a position in administrative support. I left the room when they did this but they each picked their top five choices and compared. They eventually narrowed it down to just three candidates out of about thirty.

I shadowed Maty Baldwin for a bit and she told me all about the FMSS system which is used to place work orders for specific needs of the parks. The FMSS system is basically the first stop for park projects because this is where the funding comes from. She also showed me another system called CESS that actually calculates the cost of different work orders including parts and labor. I then spoke with Ted Corcoran who is a high ranking officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. Ted's job is to write up different projects and determine the costs. He was actually working on re- engineering some wastewater pools at Montezuma Castle when I spoke with him. Then, I spoke to Justin Mossman who does the budgeting for Tonto National Monument and the monuments in the Verde Valley. He showed me where the funding comes from for each project and told me about his job. He basically manages all of the funding to ensure that the Park Service is making the most out of the resources it has and is doing everything cost effectively. Everyone I met today was extremely kind to me and more than willing to help me out with anything; the whole Park Service staff at SOAR is great at what they do and genuinely care about their jobs.

I am not happy to be leaving my Summer internship with the National Park Service. It has been an amazing experience that I will never forget. I came into the internship knowing very little about the Park Service and I now hold a plethora of knowledge on it. Everyone I met has been so kind to me and more than willing to help me out. The National Park Service is really a first class organization with amazing employees that genuinely care about our nation's history and resources. From being around all of the Park Service staff and volunteers I came away with the impression that these people truly care. Thank you to everyone for such a great summer and a once in a lifetime experience!


Photos of the Southern Arizona office

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Last updated: August 9, 2016

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