Park Manager Nate Johnson
Park Service Profiles
Nate Johnson grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, where he attended the University of Wisconsin. When he was 20 years old, Johnson's college advisor approached him wondering what he was planning to do with his degree. After a conversation with his advisor, Johnson decided he was interested in working at historic sites so he set a path for his summer internship to work as a park ranger. Johnson loved the internship and ended up earning a B.A. in Spanish and History from the University of Wisconsin. He went on to pursue a M.A. in Public History from University of South Carolina and a Certificate in Contexts of Environmental Policy from George Washington University.
Johnson started his career in 2005 as a ranger with the National Park Service at Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston, SC. He has experience with a variety of venues such as parks, monuments, and historical sites. Most recently, Johnson took a position as the park manager at Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site.
According to Johnson, being a ranger involves constant learning and on-the-job training such as the chainsaw operation training he recently completed at Paris Mountain State Park. This course taught him how to safely and properly cut down, limb and buck a tree – very useful skills to have when you’re in charge of a 44-acre site with many trees!
It is important to Johnson that visitors have meaningful experiences at Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site. He spoke to us about how the past can have a powerful impact on people and said: “One of the most satisfying aspects of the job is being the person who facilitates those experiences.” Johnson has also had his share of funny moments while working. He told us the story of when, while working at Fort Sumter, he stood near the end of the dock and a big gust of wind caught his campaign hat and whipped it right off his head- and about twenty yards into Charleston Harbor!
Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is the first South Carolina State Park where Johnson has worked but he has visited many of them. Johnson talked about how he has fond memories of camping at Edisto Beach State Park soon after moving to South Carolina. Exploring the beach and marshes, admiring the old moss-covered live oaks and sitting with new friends by a fire under the stars are just some of the things that made South Carolina so memorable for Johnson. Thank you Park Manager Nate Johnson, for all you do! We’re excited to have you with us!