Interview with Morgan Gnatz

by Vicki Heisser and Jessica Young  |   

We had a chance to check in with Morgan Gantz, Park Planner and Compliance Coordinator at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, to learn about her summer working with PWSC intern Joe Kay.

As Kay’s supervisor, there were many highlights for Gantz as she got to work with and mentor Kay.

When asked what the top highlight of the season was for her, she notes, “[g]etting out into the field with Joe and having him help out our GIS technician with the collection of data on a big planning project I have been working on. Seeing how comfortable he was with being outside and his willingness to learn and adjust.”

Throughout his internship, Kay had the opportunity to learn a number of new things. Gantz explains that she and Kay were involved in, “[s]taff training on compliance with environmental laws and policies, GPS data collection, learning how to make maps (Cartography) in ArcGIS, learning the National Park Service culture, and giving presentations.”

Kay took to the training and the learning very well. As Morgan states, “Joe was very willing to learn about all divisions at the park and was flexible with his work schedule - we are looking for more students with those qualities!”

For those looking to take on an internship like this, Morgan explains that a very important part of this type of internship is “Taking initiative and taking it one step further than they know they have to just to satisfy the requirements of the internship.”

For more information about this internship opportunity: Contact Vicki Heisser (Program Coordinator, PWSC) 907-834-1667, or Morgan Gantz (Park Planner and Compliance Coordinator, NPS) 907-308-1020,

 For more information about Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, visit the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve website.