RCL Exclusive

Six Incredible Women Working to Conserve America’s Parklands

These current and former park rangers boast envy-inducing outdoor views on Instagram.

Women By

They map plants, monitor wildlife, and teach America’s children how to appreciate the natural world. They also conduct research, keep the parks beautiful, and advocate for conservation. Meet seven incredible women working to keep America’s national parks pristine.

Denise Amador, Northern California

Denise spends enough time outdoors to make John Muir jealous. When she’s not at work, she’s exploring the most jaw-dropping  mountain views and landscapes America’s West has to offer. When she’s at work, well—see for yourself. Her Instagram feed is full of snakes, skinks, and stunning snapshots of her treks across various national parks. Her most recent posts show her mapping plants and working in the field.

Snake ?(?: @angel.sprague #npsranger #fieldscience #californiaherps

A post shared by Denise Amador? (@damador10) on

Holly Scott, New York City

A recent transplant to New York City from Colorado, Holly is properly acclimating to life in the big city with plenty of baseball games, tourist destinations, and rooftop views. That’s when she isn’t finding homes for abandoned pet turtles, surveying beached whales, or cataloguing local fauna, of course. Her recent posts showcase a mix of city and wild, with an emphasis on New York’s natural world and wicked cool animals.

Laura Bromigo, California

Laura has a background in law enforcement and put in her time protecting Yosemite National Park as a ranger in 2016. While she worked with NPS, her posts show her singing in the hills, rappelling off “Middle Earth,” and saving bear cubs after their mother was hit and killed by a car. Calling Yosemite “a place like Heaven” on Earth, Laura is now working at what she describes as “a beautiful Christian summer camp in Kentucky” — though she admits now and then she misses the stunning views from California.

I am 🙂 Loving this! #lassenvolcanicnationalpark #nps #ranger #findyourpark

A post shared by Laura (@lbromigo) on

Mercedes Leigh, Colorado

Mercedes Leigh has a M.S. in forestry and a B.S. in biology, and puts her brain to work helping save the planet. The co-founder of conserVANtion — a non-profit with a mission to “increase conservation awareness and education through stewardship in local communities”—Mercedes works out of Colorado, showcasing in her posts outdoor adventures that range from running and hiking to cleaning up public places and electroshock fishing, the latter of which is used “to determine how our conservation efforts are working.” Take a look at her work below.

I love my job. I love educating visitors about why our public lands are important, why we should protect them, and what they mean to me. I love trying to inspire others to make their own positive impacts in their own everyday lives. • However, one of the negative parts of my job, is seeing all the trash that people leave behind. Sometimes it’s on accident with people just being careless, but usually not. Please do your best to pack out what you pack in. The majority of litter I see is from alcohol and beer bottles. Drinking is no longer allowed where I work, yet I still find glass bottle shattered everywhere – where people come to swim and play with their families and friends. And I’m assuming it wasn’t a young girl with her family who ripped out our sign, which was merely there to warn them that the water is very shallow and cliff jumping is not a good idea here. This is a place where many people get med-flighted every summer and safety is a huge concern. • If I can make a difference one person at a time, then I feel like I am doing my part. Please do your part, and educate yourself about our public lands, local wilderness areas, and even about leave no trace methods. Be the change ? Be the hope. • #optoutside #sustainability #conservation #bethechange #keepitwild #runner #liveadventurously #discoverearth #adventureawaits #wildernessculture #forceofnature #nature #rei1440project #outdoors #motivate #staywild #running #wilderness #mypubliclands #earthfocus #getoutside #findyourpark #findyourdirt #vanlife #getactive #earthofficial #coloradolife #choosemountains #lnt #goparks

A post shared by Mercedes Leigh ?️ (@sciencecedes) on

Today we’re out electroshock fishing with @coparkswildlife to check out the species, size, length, and amount of fish. We can use this to determine how our conservation efforts are working. • Also, with being in an extreme drought and these record-breaking temperatures, we’re expecting this to have detrimental impacts on our fish populations. With these numbers, we can compare current fish populations to those still present in the upcoming fall. Fingers crossed that we get some extreme rain and our fish can make it through ??? • Fun fact: these fish are shocked while in the river, which allows us to catch them. This gives us the ability to collect important data, and then release the fish back into their original habitat. • #optoutside #sustainability #conservation #bethechange #keepitwild #runner #liveadventurously #discoverearth #adventureawaits #wildernessculture #forceofnature #nature #rei1440project #outdoors #fishing #staywild #ourpubliclands #wilderness #mypubliclands #earthfocus #getoutside #findyourpark #findyourdirt #biology #ecology #earthofficial #coloradolife #choosemountains #hydrology #goparks

A post shared by Mercedes Leigh ?️ (@sciencecedes) on

Erin Aadalen, Minnesota

Currently located in Minnesota, Erin Aadalen’s feed is pure nature porn—and she’s constantly traveling from one breathtaking place to the next. From the deep reds and oranges of Zion National Park in the fall to rushing waterfalls in late summer in Utah, Erin’s passion for the outdoors is palpable in the photographs she posts to her Instagram feed. She also recently adopted a puppy, so any scrolling is punctuated by a healthy dose of humankind’s best friend. Take a look.

Happy Birthday to Yellowstone National Park! #nps #yellowstone #nationalpark

A post shared by Erin Aadalen (@erin_aadalen) on

Amanda Zimmerman, Maryland

Like the others on our list, Amanda never stops moving. When she’s not spending time at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, she’s posing with Joe Biden, exploring other corners of the country, and admiring all types of wildlife—even the bees—on the way.