Doug in retirement


Capitan, New Mexico

I was born in Florida but grew up in Southern California, where I fell in love with deserts, mountains, and rugged seacoasts. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences from San Diego State College (now University), I served three years in the United States Marine Corps, achieving the rank of captain in the field of air traffic control.

I joined the National Park Service in the early 1970s and for the next thirty-three years worked as a law enforcement ranger, resource manager, and interpretive ranger at a variety of national parks. As a supervisor, I developed numerous interpretive training courses and frequently trained other NPS employees. I also designed several interpretive exhibits at Colonial National Historical Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and Big Bend National Park, as well as a park newspaper, museum guidebook, and other interpretive publications. While at Colonial, I received the 1987 Freeman Tilden Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the National Park Service, for excellence in the field of interpretation. I also was nominated for the same award while at Big Bend.

Underground Ranger describes my adventures as an interpretive ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, where I presented hundreds of guided tours and other programs about caves, caving, bats, and the Chihuahuan Desert. I also learned to climb rope using technical equipment and became proficient at making long rappels, as shown by my trips into Lechuguilla Cave, other deep caves in the Guadalupe Mountains, and Ellison’s Cave in Georgia, where I rappelled fifty stories into one of the deepest underground pits in the United States.

After retiring from the National Park Service, I moved to the small town of Capitan in the juniper-pinyon foothills of central New Mexico, where I spend my time hiking, reading, writing, and enjoying my friends. I’m currently a member of the National Speleological Society, Association of National Park Rangers, and National Parks Conservation Association.

I'd be happy to hear from you. Feel free to get in touch, using the contact page.