Emily Brine knew she wanted to be an interpretive park ranger growing up in Olympia, Washington. Her family loves to camp and visit national parks. She remembers one trip to Yellowstone National Park when she was six or seven when she read on an interpretive sign that bison can run as fast as a car. She didn’t believe these huge lumbering animals could keep up, so she asked her mom if they could tie a rope around one of the huge animals and tow it behind them as they drove.
With her degree in Parks, Tourism & Recreation Management, Emily now knows never to mess with a 1,000-pound wild animal, but she still loves to read interpretive signs. In fact, Emily’s favorite class was Natural Resource Interpretation. She dressed up as a Civil War-era drummer boy to give a living history talk for a class assignment.
“If I can go into a job where I can connect people to the landscape and foster an understanding of that area then that will inspire stewardship. The national parks are one of the best ideas the U.S. has ever had. I want to see them well cared for and protected for future generations,” Emily says about her passion for national parks and communicating about natural resources.
Before she dives into that job, she’ll spend the next five months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. She and her hiking partner will travel 2,660 miles through six or seven national parks, national forests, BLM land and state land. And she’ll be thinking about interpretation and recreation the whole way: “You can’t really turn it off – the parks, tourism and recreation management mindset – and I always notice things like ‘oh they could have worded that trail sign differently or this trail needs work.’”
Emily is graduating with a degree in Parks, Tourism & Recreation Management with a second major in Resource Conservation. She’s also getting a minor in Music. Emily got a Western University Exchange to attend UM. She received the Mary Cardell Moore Memorial Scholarship and the Recreation Management Excellence scholarship from the CFC and is a Mortar Board scholar. She also received any International Sustainability Fellowship to travel to Chile this winter. She’s a member of the Druids and the Montana Recreation & Parks Association student chapter – and was president of MTRPA this year. She also played in the UM Percussion Ensemble.