Ranger Samantha Pettit
Park Service Profiles
You may have seen Ranger Sam recently during the Live With a Ranger programs via Facebook. Through her educational programs, Ranger Sam has taken us through turtle talks, crafts and more. While Ranger Sam may introduce herself at the beginning of each program, here is a hearty introduction of Ranger Sam and how she began her time as the Interpretive Ranger at Edisto Beach State Park.
Ranger Sam grew up in New York City and moved to South Carolina in 2013. In 2015, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Coastal Ecology and Conservation. (Fun fact: Ranger Sam graduated with fellow South Carolina state park ranger, Maria Campbell from Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.) While in college, Ranger Sam wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to do, but she was sure of two facts about herself: she loved learning new things and she loved the coast. It was after taking courses like Invertebrate Zoology and Herpetology, that she realized she had a passion for the coastal environment.
While finishing up her degree, Ranger Sam began volunteering with the Sea Turtle Conservation program at Hunting Island State Park. She continued to volunteer throughout the end of the season and soon after, discovered an opening as a specialist at the Hunting Island State Park Nature Center. After talking with Ranger Megan Maule at Hunting Island, she knew that being a park interpreter was the path she wanted to take. Roughly two weeks later, she received the position at Hunting Island. Only about a year and a half after, she applied for her current position as the Edisto Beach State Park Interpretive Ranger.
When asked about which park was her favorite to work, Ranger Sam replied, “That’s a tough one! I can’t pick between the two. They are both extremely special to me. I’ve had such magical memories during my time at both parks. I’ve seen the sunrise and the sunset at the top of the Hunting Island Lighthouse. I saw my first nesting sea turtle on Hunting Island and participated in the coldest Pelican Plunge (no joke, I was frozen). I’ve seen my first nest boil while at Edisto Beach, seen countless beautiful sunrises and sunsets, met some of my closest friends and learned so much since I’ve been at Edisto. During my time in the park service, I’ve been fortunate to have a solid support system around me at each park. The support of each person has gotten me to where I am today.”
Thank you Ranger Sam for your hard work and contributions to the South Carolina State Parks Service.