What is your name?
Hello Tigran! My name is Kelly Moore. Most Junior Rangers call me Ranger Kelly!
What is your job as a ranger?
My job with Channel Islands National Park is as a marine ecologist and park dive officer. As a marine ecologist I study the habitat, populations and interactions among things that live in the marine (ocean) environment. I also present education programs for students and present live, interactive programs for our distance learning program called Channel Islands Live.
How long have you been a ranger?
It is hard to believe but this is my tenth season as a park ranger! Boy, how time has flown by!
Have you worked at any other parks?
I have never worked at any other national parks, but I have had the opportunity to visit other parks for SCUBA diving training. I have visited Biscayne National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. I really enjoy visiting other parks with diving programs to share ideas and learn about how we can all improve the safety of our own dive programs.
What is your favorite animal in the park?
My favorite animal in the park lives underwater in the kelp forest! It is the two-spot octopus! I love to watch this animal change colors from grey to yellow to orange to brown. They are masters of camouflage!
Why do you think the National Park System is important?
National parks protect the best parts of our country! These parts include historical sites, natural landscapes, and extraordinary wildlife. In my opinion, National Parks are one of the greatest achievements of our country!
What was your favorite experience as a ranger?
It would be very hard to select just one favorite experience as a park ranger. I love my job every day!
What is your funniest ranger experience?
I was working on a 5-day kelp forest monitoring cruise and we were diving off Santa Barbara Island. It was late in the day and while we were finishing up our dives, the cook for the evening began preparing for dinner. On the menu - roasted chicken! Yum! The cook took three uncooked chickens out of the fridge and decided to clean them on the swim step of the boat because there was more space there than in the tiny kitchen. The next thing we know - KERPLUNK! A chicken slipped through his hands and fell into the water!
We decided we needed to send in two divers to recover the chicken because that chicken was our dinner! And we were all going to be so hungry with only two to cook. So, my dive buddy and I got our dive gear back on and jumped in to retrieve our dinner chicken!
We were anchored on a shallow reef and could almost see the chicken from the surface. What a relief! This was going to be an easy task to retrieve it. However, as I approached the chicken I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. I turned my gaze and found myself face to face with a giant black seabass! One of the largest giant black seabasses I have ever seen! This fish wanted our dinner chicken too! Oh no!
My buddy and I were stunned by what we were witnessing as the giant black seabass swam in and took a bite out of OUR chicken and swam off! After a few seconds, we decided to grab the chicken and head for the surface. As soon as I had the chicken in my game bag, the black seabass came back! It swam after me - following me towards the boat! It REALLY wanted our chicken! We swam faster but the large fish kept up with us to about 15 feet below the surface of the boat.
Then, the black seabass gave up and swam off. I think it finally realized that we weren't going to give up our chicken!
On the surface, we trimmed off the part of the chicken that was around the bite area and put it straight in the oven! We ended the day with a wonderful three roasted chicken dinner and replaying the exciting recovery mission together!
What is a part of your park a kid must see?
That's easy! - the kelp forest! About half the park is located underwater so there is much area to explore! The kelp forests are teeming with a rich diversity of plants and animals. There really is no other place like it on the planet!
If you could visit or work at any park what would it be?
I have always wanted to visit Dry Tortugas National Park! I have seen photos of the pristine coral reefs, crystal clear water and extraordinary wildlife. I have not spent much time in conditions like that and I know I would really enjoy it!
Finally, do you know who Buddy Bison is and why he is important?
Tigran, to be honest with you I had to Google Buddy Bison! I did not know who (or what!) he is! I now know that he is "fuzzy, brown and ready for adventure!" Ha! You two make a good adventure pair!
Similar to you, Tigran, Buddy Bison is encouraging kids to get outside and explore our national parks! I think it is fantastic that you found each other! You are both important because you are serving as stewards for the outdoors and for our National Parks and inspiring others to do the same. Thank you, Tigran and thank you, Buddy Bison!