Orville “Butch” Bach Jr. always knew working for the National Park Service was his dream job, even though he was studying in the Auburn University College of Business.
Bach, now an interpretive park ranger at Yellowstone National Park, credits the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences for his dream job becoming a reality. “Everything I have accomplished I can relate to my education at Auburn,” he says.
While a student at Auburn, Bach spent two summers in Yellowstone working for the food and lodging company. “I fell in love with the place and realized I wanted to work for the National Park Service; however, I was too far along in my coursework to change majors,” Bach said.
Bach, a 1969 Auburn graduate, took classes in the SFWS, such as wildlife management, wildlife biology and wildland recreation so he could one day work for the National Park Service. “I carefully studied the necessary qualifications to be eligible to work for the National Park Service and selected electives within my major,” Bach said.
Today, the SFWS offers courses that prepare students to follow in Bach’s footsteps to potentially work for the National Park Service. “We now have a minor in nature-based recreation and ecotourism that fits exactly what Bach does,” said Wayde Morse, an associate professor at the SFWS.
Classes such as environmental interpretation and ecotourism prepare students to work as an interpretive park ranger.
Also, just like Bach, students do not have to be SFWS majors in order to minor in nature-based recreation. “A minor in nature-based recreation is available to anyone on campus,” Morse said.
Students who choose the career path of a park ranger can feel certain that their education at the SFWS will prepare them for a job with the National Park Service. “The forestry and wildlife courses were perfect for the challenges I faced in being a ranger at Yellowstone,” Bach said.