The Ranger

The Ranger

Meet Jean Tanis, a woman knocking down barriers and entering a male dominated field with nothing but determination and love for the great outdoors.

Jean grew up in the East Village of Manhattan. With no need for a car in the City and minimal access to nature, the path she chose later in life was surprising to say the least. At 16 years old, Jean visited Colorado. She hiked among the revered Maroon Bells in the Elk Mountains. A lightbulb went off.

Over 15 years later, Jean can actually pinpoint the exact moment she fell in love with the outdoors. In fact, someone snapped a picture of Jean on that fateful trip just as awe and pure joy set across her face.  

After her trip to Colorado, Jean decided to learn everything she possibly could about nature and how to be closer to this long lost friend. Part of this knowledge was learning how to take care of herself and others as she found her way out of the hectic city life and into the thrilling backcountry.  Thus, an interest in the National Park System and wilderness rescue came to be.

To offer up a little history lesson, on March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law America’s first national park. Yellowstone National Park was established as a “public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” During an era of great expansion, Congress had the foresight to forever protect the land’s unique natural treasures. Yellowstone remains one of the largest National Parks in the country spreading across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The park is home to the largest concentration of hydrothermal features in the world including Old Faithful, which has erupted approximately every 44-120 minutes for as long as records have existed.

Theodore Roosevelt called Grant the “father of the national parks" and continued his conservation efforts after becoming president in 1901. Roosevelt established 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks, and 18 national monuments across over 230 million acres of public land. With facts like these, going outside and being an advocate for the beauty Jean encountered was a no brainer.

In 2020, Jean made the decision to leave the city permanently and focus on the natural world. She moved to New Paltz, New York where she worked at the Mohonk Preserve, New York’s largest nonprofit land preserve. While working full time as a Trailhead Advisor and Emergency Dispatcher, Jean volunteered with Catskill Mountain Search and Rescue, running rescue drills, practicing search techniques, and honing her skills as a badass. Jean also hiked all 35 high peaks in the Catskill Mountains, gaining her membership into the Catskill 3500 Club.

One year later, Jean became a National Park Guide at the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites. She helped visitors connect with the cultural and environmental history of the site.  Now, Jean has made yet another leap. In May of 2022, Jean left for none other than Yellowstone National Park. She accepted her first official job as a Ranger in the National Park System at the quintessential park, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as Yellowstone is celebrating its 150th birthday! Her "office" is quite stunning.

With knowledge, grit, a few bruised knees, and a whole lot of cardio, Jean opened her eyes not only to Mother Nature but to the organization that can help conserve the natural wonders of our world.  Today Jean is a National Park Ranger. Tomorrow? One can only imagine…

Follow Jean's adventures on Instagram and learn more about "The World's First National Park!"


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