Not every National Park Service employee works in a pristine national park, surrounded by the wonders of nature.
But for Charles Notzon, an economic planner working at the NPS Denver Service Center who’s charged with providing planning, design and construction services to all park units, being based in a multi-story office building near Denver is a good start.
Student Profile: Charles Notzon, Professional Certificate in Sustainable Business Practices
“Of all the public agencies, I feel we have the best mission,” said Notzon. “What could be better than protecting our nation’s most unique and spectacular natural and historical sites, all 402 parks around the country?”
Notzon earned his Professional Certificate in Sustainable Business Practices at UC San Diego Extension in 2013. He was hired by the park service in the midst of completing his certificate.
What helped him get the job was his class project, a logistics plan that devised a set of strategies to save resources at Channel Islands National Park, just off the Ventura coast.
Among other logistical challenges, two of the Channel Islands lack a fresh-water source, so thousands of gallons of fresh water must be transported to these islands each year by boat.
“I found ways to transport staff, supplies, and equipment from the mainland to the islands and back, at a much lower cost with more flexibility, plus improved safety,” he said. “Unfortunately, it hasn’t been implemented due to sequestration and other budget-related challenges.”
Notzon graduated from the University of Texas, Austin and earned his master’s from UC San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.
His love for the outdoors goes to back to his childhood, growing up along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park in his native Maryland.
“Our parks offer a quiet refuge from the daily grind,” he said. “Hiking, camping, climbing, relaxing, whatever you want to do.”