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Hocking College Alumnus Returns As Parks & Museum Education Program Manager

by Tracey A. Maine on July 26, 2021

Patrick Quackenbush is the new Program Manager for Hocking College’s Parks and Museum Education Program.

Originally from Hamilton, Ohio, Quackenbush discovered his love of the outdoors as a child. Some of his favorite childhood outdoor activities included hiking, fishing, canoeing and camping. There were many days he would head out to explore the nearby woods and his parents wouldn’t see him again until dinner time rolled around.

As a student at Hamilton High School, Quackenbush began volunteering at Butler County Parks. This experience helped him realize that it was possible for him to turn his appreciation for nature into a viable career. After high school, he was directed towards Hocking College by a veteran naturalist who recognized his enthusiasm for all things nature.

His initial reaction to Hocking College was a mixture of both amazement and serenity. Overall, Quackenbush admits that when he first toured the campus he realized that, “I had no idea a place like this even existed!

Specifically, he recalled how “when I walked down the halls of the Natural Resources department for the first time, I passed students with vegetative cover maps in hand, field guides to birds and trees, specimens in pans and they had muddy boots and wore smudged glasses!” These images put Quackenbush at ease and made him feel as if his mentor had steered him in the ideal right direction.

IMG_2788 (1)Since graduating from Hocking College with an Associate of Applied Sciences degree and certificates in Wildlife Interpretation and Wildlife Management, Quackenbush has taken on many roles. Some of the positions he has held include Marina Operator for Blue Rock State Park, Ranger for the Army Corp of Engineers, Campground Manager for Hueston Woods State Park and Naturalist Supervisor for Ohio DNR Division of Parks & Watercraft.

As for what students will learn in his classes, Quackenbush replied that “In the Parks and Museum Education program, students will learn about wildlife management, animal handling and history.” He added that his applied science-oriented curriculum will also include lessons in how to educate park, zoo or museum visitors through living history presentations and hands-on hikes.

Another important aspect of this program includes inspiring students to establish bonds and partnerships within the community through their work at the student-run Nature Center, Robbins Crossing historical village and Lake Snowden.

Quackenbush said the only things prospective students need to succeed in his program are a passion for the outdoors and history, an enthusiastic work ethic, a strong sense of curiosity and, "the ability to look down the trail and see around the bend."

More about Hocking College’s Parks & Museum Education Program:

Hocking College’s Parks and Museum Education Program has established itself as the ideal training ground for future educators who want to teach others about the environment and history.

Utilizing the history of Southeastern Ohio, our classes teach students how to lead nature programs and educational tours, as well as how to develop interpretive sites. 

For more information on Hocking College’s Parks and Museum Education Program, contact Program Manager, Patrick Quackenbush, at one of the following:

Person in hiking boots standing on hill