NPS Leadership spotlight: Brandi Stewart, education specialist at Grand Canyon National Park
I grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and moved out west to complete an M. Ed. in Environmental Education and Non-profit Leadership through the North Cascades Institute’s residency program. After completing graduate school in 2011, I started with the National Park Service as an education specialist at Mount Rainier National Park, helping launch standards-aligned programming in the park and a residential environmental education program park partnership. Since then, I have worked at Devil's Postpile National Monument, Stephen Mather Training Center and Death Valley National Park. I continue to serve as a Public Information Officer on incidents, including wildland fires in California and Idaho.
How long have you worked at GRCA? Where are you based out of?
I have worked at Grand Canyon since December 2022, when I was hired as a Canyon District interpretation ranger. I started as an education specialist in January 2023, and I’m based out of the South Rim Headquarters building.
What have you enjoyed the most about working and/or living at GRCA so far?
As a canyon interpretation ranger, I enjoyed having an “in depth” experience at Grand Canyon in which I was immersed in the nuances of the corridor—from geology to plants to different visitor interactions at every elevation. This experience really prepared me for my new role in exploring the park with students from gateway communities and around the greater Grand Canyon region. It’s a stark contrast from working with inner canyon visitors who planned their trips for a long time — to now working with students who may not have visited Grand Canyon if the NPS and its partners, like GCC, didn’t put energy into funding for staff, technology and transportation. I also greatly appreciate working with such a highly skilled team of permanent educators, which allows the program to be sustainable and build relationships with teachers.
Where is your favorite vacation spot? or What is your favorite winter sport?
Well, I’m going to visit Death Valley National Park this weekend to trade snow mounds for sand dunes. So, I’d say I’m growing tired of the snow and winter activities, and I’m excited to go back to Death Valley as a (winter) tourist!
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