Delaware Water Gap Ranger Receives Prestigious Award

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Date: March 19, 2014
Contact: , 570-426-2472

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area SuperintendentJohn J. Donahue announced today that Michelle Schonzeit, a Park Ranger in the ResourceProtection and Visitor Management division, has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Harry Yount Award for the Northeast Region of theNational Park Service (NPS). This award is conferred annually on the ranger whomost exemplifies outstanding attributes in the field of rangering and is one ofthe highest honors a ranger can receive. "We are all extremely proud of RangerSchonzeit and her accomplishments. She is a highly valued member of our teamand is very deserving of this honor. Everything she does to serve the Americanpublic is in the highest tradition of the NPS," said Donahue.

The award is named after Harry Yount who is generallyrecognized as the first National Park Service ranger. It recognizes and honorsoutstanding rangers, encourages high standards of performance, fosters positiveattitudes toward public service, enhances the public's appreciation of the parkranger profession, and furthers the art and science of rangering. The award willbe presented to Schonzeit by Northeast Deputy Regional Director Gay Vietzke ata ceremony in the park on March 24.

Ranger Schonzeit has worked at Delaware Water Gap NationalRecreation Area for 5 years. Prior to that she worked at Lake Mead NationalRecreation Area in Nevada; Crater Lake National Park in Oregon; Grand TetonNational Park in Wyoming; Olympic National Park in Washington; and YosemiteNational Park in California. Throughout her career, she has been involved inleading and teaching a variety of emergency service operations including EmergencyMedical Services, Search and Rescue, High Angle Rescue, backcountry and frontcountry patrols, SCUBA diving, ski patrols; and structural and wildland firefighting.

Schonzeit hails from Plattsburgh, New York, and was activein the National Ski Patrol at nearby Whiteface Mountain while still in highschool. She graduated from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh, witha Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, National Park Service Law Enforcementand Expeditionary Studies. She also completed the Seasonal Law EnforcementTraining Program at Southwestern Community College in North Carolina and graduatedfrom the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia.

Ranger Schonzeit is currently the Emergency Medical Servicescoordinator for the park and manages EMS training and certification programsfor over 150 NPS employees from several units in the Northeast Region. She alsomanages the parks High Angle Rescue Team and Search and Rescue Operations. She maintainscertifications as a Park Medic, Wildland Firefighter, and SCUBA diver. She iscurrently a participant in the NPS GOAL Academy (Generating OrganizationalAdvancement and Leadership), a rigorous 10-month mid-level leadershipdevelopment program designed to challenge and train the next generation ofleaders in the Service. In her spare time, she volunteers with the High PointNordic Ski Patrol and the Whiteface Mountain Ski Patrol.

Did You Know?

A small steamboat passing a beach with rowboats

... that a century before this recreation area was formed, the Delaware Water Gap was touted as a Wonder of the World, and drew vacationers via rail lines from Philadelphia and New York City. There were trails to stroll, verandas for viewing the gap, and a steamboat for moonlight cruises. More...

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