With financial assistance from Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park, the park has been able to fill the position of interpretive specialist. After a long search and evaluating several qualified candidates, department administration enthusiastically selected Will Meyst.
Meyst grew up in Valley Center, and loved hiking the canyon behind his house. Living so close to Palomar Mountain, it played a pivotal role in his childhood as he hiked, camped, fished, explored the observatory, and witnessed its biological diversity. After graduating from Valley Center High School, Meyst attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he studied Earth Science, concentrating in Environmental Interpretation and Assessment. He gravitated toward the subject of geology, taking nearly every course that was offered. He also received a minor in Soil Science.
While a student at Cal Poly, Meyst volunteered for the Dunes Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex.
After graduating, he joined the team at the Dunes Center as the Educational Program Coordinator, developing and managing the programs he administered as a volunteer. Meyst worked closely with various schools on the Central Coast, as well as county, state and federal agencies such as Santa Barbara County Parks, California State Parks and US Fish and Wildlife Services. After nearly two years at the Dunes Center, Meyst returned to Southern California to pursue other work in Environmental Science, upon which he came across the offering for the Park Interpretive Specialist position at Palomar Mountain State Park. He says the position will be a spectacular place to utilize his education, work experience, and personal interest in environmental science. The position was made all the more attractive by being in a place that Will had spent a significant amount of time during his early childhood and adolescent years.
Meyst is excited to have become a team member of California State Parks and is eager to share with park visitors what makes Palomar Mountain such an amazing place. He already has had a remarkable first month including performing many interpretive activities including Jr. Rangers program, guided, hikes, and campfire talks with well over 300 people. Some topics included fire ecology & safety, flying mammals, animal songs, and galaxy gazing.
His position is funded completely by contributions from park supporters through Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park, and would not exist without this financial support.
To contact Meyst and learn more about the park’s interpretive programs — including group tours — email Palomar.Interpreter@parks.ca.gov.
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