Paul Austin has been named chief ranger for Glacier National Park, the National Park Service announced Nov. 24.
Austin, the current chief ranger at Saguaro National Park in Arizona, will oversee the law enforcement, fire and trails programs, among other duties within the park’s visitor and resource protection division.
He will begin his new duties in mid-December and is replacing Mark Foust, who stepped down in spring to become superintendent at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah.
Austin worked the summer of 1995 in the Belly River area of Glacier National Park as a Student Conservation Association Intern, and worked as a backcountry ranger stationed at St. Mary in 1997. He continued to work summers in units of the National Park Service while teaching middle school science during the school year.
He worked seasonally at Glacier, Rocky Mountain and Yosemite National Parks before being appointed a permanent position in Yosemite, continuing his career at Grand Canyon and Saguaro National Parks.
Austin grew up in the Pacific Northwest, outside of Seattle. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in chemistry, and attended Western Washington University earning a master’s degree in education.
His connection to Glacier National Park also involves his mother and grandfather, who worked at the Many Glacier Hotel. Austin is proud to continue that family tradition, and to bring the fourth generation to the park, the NPS stated in its announcement.
Austin and his wife have two young sons, ages 9 and 6. They are looking forward to the many outdoor activities throughout the seasons in Northwest Montana, including camping, mountain biking, skiing and climbing, the NPS stated. Both he and his wife participate in triathlons and Ironman competitions.