Managing the natural environment

The role of park rangers and the skills they need

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The paper explores the roles and skills needed by park rangers in today's challenging work environment. Data from semi-structured interviews with 20 park rangers from NSW, and 14 from Victoria was analyzed using the frameworks widely cited in the management literature as a frame of reference. From this data it was possible to identifythe situational and contextual circumstances that make the role of a protected area manager unique. The ability to makesound decisions about resource allocations, acting as spokesperson to manage community expectations, using flexibility to implement policy, and leading projects involving various people are particularly important roles. The skills most commonlyidentifi ed were not the technical skills such as managing plants or animals but skills such as priority setting, multi-tasking,and communication. The results are very different to the iconic image of a ranger as someone in the outdoors dealing withanimals. In comparing this data with other studies, I conclude context is a critical factor affecting the particular set of roles and skills needed by people in the workplace. I further suggest that the key contextual factor related to the roles and skills needed by rangers is the increasing polarization of environmental issues within the wider community and that training needs to focus more on non-technical skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
JournalRural Society
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

resource allocation
workplace
environmental issue
protected area
polarization
communication
animal
need
natural environment
Natural environment
decision
project
policy
Animals
Environmental issues
Resource allocation
Critical factors
Structured interview
Polarization
Work place

Cite this

@article{25d05c8ab70141219fb4e30081b8dac7,
title = "Managing the natural environment: The role of park rangers and the skills they need",
abstract = "The paper explores the roles and skills needed by park rangers in today's challenging work environment. Data from semi-structured interviews with 20 park rangers from NSW, and 14 from Victoria was analyzed using the frameworks widely cited in the management literature as a frame of reference. From this data it was possible to identifythe situational and contextual circumstances that make the role of a protected area manager unique. The ability to makesound decisions about resource allocations, acting as spokesperson to manage community expectations, using flexibility to implement policy, and leading projects involving various people are particularly important roles. The skills most commonlyidentifi ed were not the technical skills such as managing plants or animals but skills such as priority setting, multi-tasking,and communication. The results are very different to the iconic image of a ranger as someone in the outdoors dealing withanimals. In comparing this data with other studies, I conclude context is a critical factor affecting the particular set of roles and skills needed by people in the workplace. I further suggest that the key contextual factor related to the roles and skills needed by rangers is the increasing polarization of environmental issues within the wider community and that training needs to focus more on non-technical skills.",
keywords = "National parks, Park rangers, Workplace role, Workplace skills",
author = "Jonathon Howard",
note = "Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: month (773h) = June, 2013; Journal title (773t) = Rural Society: the journal of research into rural and regional social issues in Australia. ISSNs: 1037-1656;",
year = "2013",
month = "6",
doi = "10.5172/rsj.2013.22.3.242",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "242--250",
journal = "Rural Society: the journal of research into rural and regional social issues in Australia",
issn = "1037-1656",
publisher = "eContent Management Pty Ltd",
number = "3",

}

Managing the natural environment : The role of park rangers and the skills they need. / Howard, Jonathon.

In: Rural Society, Vol. 22, No. 3, 06.2013, p. 242-250.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Managing the natural environment

T2 - The role of park rangers and the skills they need

AU - Howard, Jonathon

N1 - Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: month (773h) = June, 2013; Journal title (773t) = Rural Society: the journal of research into rural and regional social issues in Australia. ISSNs: 1037-1656;

PY - 2013/6

Y1 - 2013/6

N2 - The paper explores the roles and skills needed by park rangers in today's challenging work environment. Data from semi-structured interviews with 20 park rangers from NSW, and 14 from Victoria was analyzed using the frameworks widely cited in the management literature as a frame of reference. From this data it was possible to identifythe situational and contextual circumstances that make the role of a protected area manager unique. The ability to makesound decisions about resource allocations, acting as spokesperson to manage community expectations, using flexibility to implement policy, and leading projects involving various people are particularly important roles. The skills most commonlyidentifi ed were not the technical skills such as managing plants or animals but skills such as priority setting, multi-tasking,and communication. The results are very different to the iconic image of a ranger as someone in the outdoors dealing withanimals. In comparing this data with other studies, I conclude context is a critical factor affecting the particular set of roles and skills needed by people in the workplace. I further suggest that the key contextual factor related to the roles and skills needed by rangers is the increasing polarization of environmental issues within the wider community and that training needs to focus more on non-technical skills.

AB - The paper explores the roles and skills needed by park rangers in today's challenging work environment. Data from semi-structured interviews with 20 park rangers from NSW, and 14 from Victoria was analyzed using the frameworks widely cited in the management literature as a frame of reference. From this data it was possible to identifythe situational and contextual circumstances that make the role of a protected area manager unique. The ability to makesound decisions about resource allocations, acting as spokesperson to manage community expectations, using flexibility to implement policy, and leading projects involving various people are particularly important roles. The skills most commonlyidentifi ed were not the technical skills such as managing plants or animals but skills such as priority setting, multi-tasking,and communication. The results are very different to the iconic image of a ranger as someone in the outdoors dealing withanimals. In comparing this data with other studies, I conclude context is a critical factor affecting the particular set of roles and skills needed by people in the workplace. I further suggest that the key contextual factor related to the roles and skills needed by rangers is the increasing polarization of environmental issues within the wider community and that training needs to focus more on non-technical skills.

KW - National parks

KW - Park rangers

KW - Workplace role

KW - Workplace skills

U2 - 10.5172/rsj.2013.22.3.242

DO - 10.5172/rsj.2013.22.3.242

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 242

EP - 250

JO - Rural Society: the journal of research into rural and regional social issues in Australia

JF - Rural Society: the journal of research into rural and regional social issues in Australia

SN - 1037-1656

IS - 3

ER -