“You can never be paid enough to do something you don’t enjoy.”
JODI BAILEY is Manager of the International Affairs Program at Yosemite National Park.
Featured photo: “Here I am with Engilbert Panil, a park ranger from Kinabalu Park in Malaysia on the island of Borneo which includes Mt. Kinabalu, the highest peak in the region. He was a World Heritage Fellow and was in Yosemite for about a month in May 2016.”
This group photo: “From the Yosemite International Symposium last September, this photo was taken on the edge of Cooks Meadow (Half Dome in the background!) at the end of a signing ceremony where we officially signed our last three sister parks — Blue Mountains National Park, Australia, Parque Nacional Cumbres de Monterrey in Mexico, and Wadi Rum Protected Area in Jordan. I am the woman on the far right. The other woman was our Acting Superintendent at the time, Linda Mazzu.”
A few notes from Jodi on her background:
“I grew up in a ranching community about 65 miles from Yosemite, but never visited the park or even went camping or backpacking until I was in my 20s. I always loved being outside though and fell in love with mountains through television. It was also TV, especially Jane Goodall specials that made me want to save endangered species and travel all over the world.
Originally, I thought that would be through journalism, but after working as a sports writer at a daily newspaper at the start of college, I decided I’d rather write for magazines. The advice I got was to get a general degree or a degree in a field I wanted to write about. That’s when I discovered Geography. It’s a great discipline for someone who is curious about “how things work” since it integrates the social and natural sciences. It helped me understand the social, political, cultural, and economic issues behind environmental problems. Once I started on that path, I never went back to journalism.
I got all three of my college degrees in Geography (BA, MA, and Ph.D.). The BA is from UC Berkeley, the MA is from University of Hawaii, Manoa and the Ph.D. is from Berkeley. I specialized in international conservation and economic development for my doctorate and did about 20 months of fieldwork for my dissertation in Washington, D.C. and Ecuador. The topic was the role that big international environmental organizations play in on the ground management of protected areas in developing countries; to make that operational, I did a case study of The Nature Conservancy and some of its projects in Ecuador.
I have worked as a land use planner for the State of Hawaii (Dept. of Agriculture), and environmental regulator for the State of California (water resources for a division of the California EPA), and at a regional nonprofit environmental organization in the East Bay area, as well as a national nonprofit environmental org. I also taught numerous courses while in grad school — both lecture courses as well as field courses (2 six-week courses on natural and cultural history in Hawaii — all camping and backpacking).
I’ve been with the National Park Service in Yosemite since late January 2013.”