Program Overview

The National Park Service Teacher Ranger Teacher (TRT) program is an extended professional development opportunity for educators from K-12 schools to learn about the resources and educational materials available through the National Park Service. Teachers participating in the Teacher Ranger Teacher program will have the opportunity to engage in parks and park resources, participate in a webinar about lesson planning, develop at least one lesson to be used in their classroom or school, assist the park with an education project, and increase their understanding of place-based learning. This program will offer teachers a unique opportunity to infuse their teaching skills with NPS-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education resources and the use of primary sources and place based learning. Administration of the program, professional development hours and graduate credit hours will be made available to participants through the University of Colorado, Denver (UC Denver) through a cooperative agreement.

The emphasis of this program is to link National Park units and teachers from schools with underserved student populations in urban and rural school districts. Teachers spend the summer learning, and sometimes also living in the park. They perform various tasks depending on their interests and the needs of the park that focus on education programs of the NPS. 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 work performed in National Park units by employees from many career fields in the service. When TRTs return to the schools in the fall, they spend part of their classroom time presenting their TRT projects to their own students and to a wider education audience. These presentations can be connected to NPS outreach during National Park Week in April or at other times during the school year. In order to reach the greatest number of underserved students, parks are highly encouraged to recruit new teachers into the program each summer.

The Teacher Ranger Teacher Program is the centerpiece of a larger NPS Teacher Corps concept. The NPS Teacher Corps is an umbrella concept that incorporates all of the ways that educators interact with the NPS including, volunteerism, summer seasonal employees who are teachers, teacher workshops and professional development seminars, retired educators who work for or volunteer for the NPS, or park-based activities that include teacher involvement. The National Park Service through the NPS Teacher Corps wishes to acknowledge all of the ways that educators participate in the NPS education mission.

Program Goals

  • Increase outreach to underserved students by providing professional development training opportunity to their teachers.
  • Provide teachers with place-based learning experiences
  • Provide access to the rich resources of the national parks for inclusion into classrooms and schools
  • Provide teachers with new knowledge and teacher skills related to the resources and themes interpreted in the National Park Service
  • Provide parks with the expertise of teachers to inform and shape park education programs and services
Kings Canyon National Park sign
Teacher-Ranger-Teacher Program at Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks

The TRT positions have been filled for the 2017 season. Please apply next year!

For the summer of 2017, TRTs will be selected to work in Kings Canyon National Park, which is named for one of the deepest canyons in the world. The park is 96% designated wilderness and is the gateway to a vast backcountry trail system. We have the second largest tree in the world: the General Grant Tree, and the largest old-growth sequoia grove: Redwood Mountain Grove.

Projected Dates of Detail: June-August, 2017, 32 hours per week for 7 weeks
Stipend: $3000.00 upon completion of program and graduate course requirements
Graduate Credit: 3 graduate credit hours through University of Colorado Denver
Program Hourly Requirements: Total of 230 hours of effort; 160 hours of major educational project, 45 hours of online coursework, discussion, course readings, 25 hours of NPS operational experiences.

The major education project assigned to the TRT will be creating an information packet for schools, scout groups, and other education-related groups or clubs. Packet will include a self-guiding field trip, worksheets, pre-trip information page, and specific activities geared towards earning scout badges. NPS operational activities include shadowing park staff (interpretation, resources, maintenance, law enforcement, etc.), working at the visitor center, and roving park trails. Useful skill sets desired are the ability to conduct research, write kid-friendly activities, and provide friendly customer service for visitors.

TRT positions are located within the Grant Grove and Cedar Grove districts. Facilities in these districts include trails, campgrounds, small market, restaurant, lodge, and horseback riding. There is no public transportation within Kings Canyon and major grocery stores are several hours away. A personal vehicle is strongly recommended.

Housing is available and is considered rustic. TRT will be housed within a 12 ft X 20 ft one-bedroom, shared cabin. Cabin includes two twin beds and a kitchen shared with a roommate, and restroom facilities shared with other community members. You must walk outside to reach the restrooms and showers. Because it is shared, no partners, family members, or pets allowed. Laundry facilities are located on site. No WiFi, and very little cell reception is available. TRTs may use office phones after hours.

Apply to be a Teacher-Ranger-Teacher

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2017 season.

To apply for this professional development opportunity, please:

  • Review the materials on this webpage and visit the University of Colorado Denver's Teacher Ranger Teacher webpage
  • Download and review Kings Canyon's announcement and application: PDF version WORD version
  • If you have trouble downloading the application materials or if you have questions, please contact Kristi Neilson at 559-565-4302 or kristi_neilson@nps.gov.
  • Complete the application.
  • Obtain permission from a school official to complete the program. (We will require a signature from a school official during the application process.)
  • Submit your completed application as directed for consideration. Please be sure to include the letter of support from your principal or assistant principal and to include contact information for two professional references.

Last updated: May 13, 2017

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