Her college background in archeology and resource management led her to digs in far-flung locales including national parks in Israel, Jordan, Belize, and Guatemala. She realized that those national parks have opened up natural and cultural resources not only to residents, but to worldwide visitors. The visitors learned to value and appreciate the parks’ beauty and cultural & environmental importance. This experience led Barbara to apply to California State Parks as a ranger, where she could connect people at home to the natural world. She has been doing so since 2003.
Another inspiration was the Seventh Generation Principle, an understanding of the Iroquois that today’s decisions should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future. As a Supervising Ranger, Barbara values this as a guiding principle in her decisions.
Day-to-day Barbara manages six peace officers who provide emergency services, including four “aquatic” officers. While she prefers “Supervising Ranger,” her official title is State Park Police Officer Supervisor. Ranger Morris is also responsible for staff who manage operations such as kiosks and campgrounds. At home, her children, ages 6 and 8, and their virtual learning, keep her well occupied.
One of her major concerns is safety in the parks. For example, our coast is one of the few places in the world with a narrow sea shelf configuration that can produce seasonal, life-threatening “sleeper waves.” These occurred last December and January. Longer term, Barbara’s concerns include combating sea level rise.
So which of Coastside State Parks Association’s 15 state parks is Barbara Morris’s favorite? That’s like asking a parent which child is their favorite. She says every day each park is a new experience, and every park has its own unique appeal.