Park Ranger Kat Podmore

Park Service Profiles

Teaching Outside of the Classroom

Three years ago, after receiving her bachelor’s degree in marine science from Coastal Carolina University, 25-year-old Katherine Podmore began her journey working for the South Carolina State Park Service. Podmore says she always tossed around the idea of becoming a park ranger, but it wasn’t until just before her last semester of college she knew for certain it was the profession meant for her.

The revelation came while visiting Washington, D.C. with her family. While touring the city, Podmore realized she could use her love for history, the outdoors and working to help preserve the past, to educate others.

“I’ve always been told I would be a great teacher, but didn’t want to be stuck indoors,” she says. “So I found a way to teach outside of the classroom.”

Podmore started her state park service career at Edisto Beach State Park, where she worked as an Assistant Ranger for two months before being promoted to a Ranger I. Currently, she works as a Ranger II at Chester State Park.

“At Chester, some days [the job] mostly comes down to cutting grass,” she says. “We have a lot of it, and now we’ve added even more with our new disc golf course.”

Right now Podmore stays busy helping to plan the park’s first ever disc golf tournament. Her additional duties at Chester include assisting campers and day guests, working as the park safety officer, maintenance repairs and assisting with interpretive programming. She’s also joined the South Carolina State Park Service Ceremonial Corps. Podmore says being tasked with such a diversity of responsibilities requires her to keep an open mind and be willing to take on new experiences.

Being able to make an impact on visitors’ lives has been the most satisfying aspect of her job, and allows her to fulfill her ambition of sharing knowledge and the outdoor experience with others.

“My job is so much fun and so rewarding,” Podmore says. “You might not think that teaching a kid how to rig a fishing pole, or taking a person paddling for the first time will matter, but it does. They will remember that forever."