Employee Profile: Kristen Gounaris
Kristen Gounaris, our most recent addition to the staff at Richmond National Battlefield Park/Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, is the Natural Resource Management Specialist. Born September 10, 1972, just outside of Baltimore, MD, Kristen started working here in Richmond just a few weeks after her birthday on September 25, 2000.
As the Natural Resource Management Specialist, Kristen coordinates the park's Geographical Information System, Integrated Pest Management and Prescribed Burn programs. She also identifies necessary natural resource related problems and needs and attempts to solve or fulfill them. In addition, Kristen says, "I try to advise park staff on how to carry out all actions in an environmentally friendly manner."
This is not Kristen's first park. She started her National Park Service career at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. and prior to coming to Richmond, spent a year and a half at Colonial National Historical Park, in the Yorktown district.
Kristen had this to say when asked what drew her to the National Park Service: "Its mission to preserve and protect natural resources. This has always been something I was interested in. Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved being outside, and I was very interested in any sort of nature -- plants, trees, insects, etc. The National Park Service just seemed like a natural aspiration for me."
Most of Kristen's family still lives in the Baltimore area. While there are no children in her life right now, she does have a dog named Curtis. On December 2 of 2000, Kristen and her fiancé, Jerry Allen were married.
As for the future, Kristen hopes to remain with the National Park Service, eventually moving on to a natural park or perhaps a job where she would be specialist for an entire region. She also said, "I am happy to be at Richmond National Battlefield Park/Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site. They are parks with many wonderful resources. I think my position here will provide me with some great experiences."