Brandon Barragan

Brandon Barragan

Sunday, 03 June 2018 18:39

The Come Up

Hello Everyone,

My name is Brandon Barragan, and I’m the Interpretive intern for Point Reyes National Seashore. I think the photo above sums up my life pretty well, and that’s why I used it. I know for the first photo it should be one of just me for a good indication, but I really hate taking photos. I’m just absolutely terrible at it, and you will never find me taking a selfie. So in the photo you will find my beautiful fiancée, Daisy, my baby boy Cornelius, and me. We were celebrating his second birthday that day. The reason why that photo is so perfect is because those are some of the most important people in my life right now. I think a perfect day for me is one that is spent with them all day, like that day, which explains a lot about me, but since this is an intro I think I should give a little more background info than that.

My mom is from El Salvador and my dad from Colombia, but I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I have spent some time in both of their countries but I didn’t really learn too much Spanish there. Living in the Bay Area there is plenty of opportunity to learn though. However, when I moved away for school things became very different. I just graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a degree in Environmental Studies. When I went to the school and the nearby towns, it did not take long to notice that I was well in the minority. It was weird, because my home town was actually mostly black and Latino students. At St. Mary’s, it couldn’t have been more opposite. And while there were many people who didn’t see that as a problem, or even went out of their way to keep it that way, I did make some close friends there who helped get me through school and become more aware of the issues surrounding our community. It was there that I realized what I wanted to do with my life. As someone in Environmental Studies, my options are a bit vague. Many people say with that degree they will go save the world. Which would be great, but how? I remember freshmen year someone condescendingly said to me, “What can you do with that, be a park ranger?” I thought about it and replied, “yeah.” It was too late for me to become a pro-cyclist like lots of my friends, so this was the new goal. After that, I began making the necessary moves towards having that career and now I’m here.

In all honesty, I am incredibly excited to work for LHIP. Everything I could have ever wanted in a job is right here. I’ve wanted to work as a park ranger for a few years now, and I’ve wanted to live in Point Reyes for even longer. I remember coming out here with my mom to clean houses, and I told her “One day I’ma live out here and you won’t clean no mo houses mama.” Now I’m here and I’m not leaving. I heard a rumor about somebody doing a really good job and getting a full time job. If there’s a chance, I’m taking it because this job is giving me the opportunity to do my part for the environment. I may not be talented or smart enough to save the world, but maybe I can influence someone who is.

Thursday, 21 June 2018 18:37

1st Week on the Job

Hello Everyone,

So I’m going to do the second post now, just trying to keep up on my duties for the job, and I do have some fun stuff to report. I finally got to start Tuesday here at Point Reyes. I showed up and was basically thrown right into work, which was nice and not nice at the same time. It was strange to see how many people were coming into the visitor center, since it was the middle of the week and not even really summer yet. It wasn’t too overwhelming, but with tomorrow being Saturday, it does have me a bit worried about just how many people there will be! However, the whole team has been great. I always looked up to many rangers and still do, but many I’ve seen have been these tall, proud, strong, people who are all very determined and great with their work. I’ve always wondered what they are like behind closed doors. Turns out they are a bunch a friends who laugh and make cheesy inside jokes all day long. Once I get in on the jokes, this job will be even more fun. I just hope it can happen in ten weeks, or I just get to stay longer.

The initial training has been good. I did, however, cheat a little bit with this job. I picked a park I am very familiar with, and the surrounding areas as well. So while I am still learning a lot on the job, I did come with a fair amount already in the bank. I ride bikes a lot, and the picture above is another of Cornelius (my dog) tag, but also my bike. Biking is my biggest hobby. I’ve ridden in this area a lot and have used all the information to get ahead in this job, which is what I mean by cheating a bit. When you go out for 6+ hours on a ride and cover about 140 km of the park and then do it again the next day, you get to know the area very well. So I’ve been able to help people a lot at the visitor center with directions and activities. I believe I have impressed the team, and I hope to continue to improve, learn and make them more proud. So far this job is everything I’ve wanted and more. I actually got to see the work of the intern there before me, and the bar is set high, so I plan on doing them good!

Monday, 25 June 2018 18:34

The Workload is Stacking Up

Hello Everyone

So the last time I posted a lot was going on, and since then the workload has only gotten bigger. The first week was full of introductions and just getting to know the park and staff. Now that the honeymoon is over, the work has been stacking up.

Saturday, 30 June 2018 18:28

My First Ranger Program

“Rancheros.” Mexico, Aztec, Spanish and Republican, Vol 2. 1852

Hello Everyone,

So I have some news to share that I’m pretty happy about. My supervisor here has been super open to me doing basically whatever I want and has been helping out. So I’m going to get to do my own ranger program, which is very exciting.

Monday, 09 July 2018 18:24


Hello Everyone,

One more week until Latino Conservation Week, and also being halfway through my internship. I’m very excited to do my ranger program that I talked about last time, on the history of the Point Reyes Rancheros. I’ve been advertising it a lot lately, and hope a good number of people will show up.

Sunday, 15 July 2018 18:21

Latino Conservation Week

There’s lots to say today, but I definitely want to keep it short because there’s still a lot to do. Today is the first day of Latino Conservation Week, and I kicked it off with my Ranchero Program and I’m happy to say it was a big success.

Monday, 23 July 2018 18:17

Big Time Festival

So the queen stage of my internship is now over. The final big climb, the last big push. It’s all done, and we are very happy with the results. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my life. I’m no stranger to 40-hour weeks, but 55-hour weeks are something I didn’t exactly expect. Regardless, I am very happy with the outcome.

Monday, 30 July 2018 17:14

Getting Ready for Colorado

Hello Everyone

For the most part things have calmed down here since the big events are all done, but there’s still work to do. I’ve begun translating all the information that we are writing for the bird publication, which is pretty cool. It’s a really good chance to practice my Spanish again, which I desperately need. I have also had a few groups come into the park this last week. The picture above is a group of kids looking at a mountain lion pelt. They were super shocked by it, which was nice to see. I also got them some Tule Elk antlers, other pelts, and whale bones. They loved it, and I was happy to have them there. Doing programs and taking people out on walks and getting them involved with the park, no matter the age, is my bread and butter. These kids were 5th graders mostly, which is still my comfort range. Once again, it’s just nice that my supervisor lets me kind of do what I want. He trusts me and knows I do good work. Also, he’s too busy to say otherwise. So it’s a win-win scenario.

Other things going on out here include that we are doing a lighthouse restoration project in a week. Our lighthouse will be restored for the fist time since 1870, which is pretty crazy. It will be closed for two months, which probably means six months…but we will see. People are pretty mad about that because they travel across the country sometimes just to see our lighthouse. So that may be an issue, but I won’t be around to deal with it since we are done in two weeks. The only thing left is that Colorado is coming up in a few days. I am both nervous and excited because I don’t travel very much. I mostly just travel for races, but this is a new scenario. I am excited, though, as it will be cool to see everyone and what they all have going on.


Wednesday, 08 August 2018 17:10

Back to the Topic

Now that I’m back from Colorado, I only have one more week left with my internship. It was great meeting everyone, and was fun for the most part. However, now I have a whole mess of work to get done and not much time to do it.

Friday, 17 August 2018 17:00

Final Blog Post

So this is my last blog post for LHIP, and I am currently on my last day with my park as well. However, while I may be leaving I’m not going far, because I just accepted a position with our park’s non-profit partner Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA).

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