V.I. National Park Deputy Superintendent Mike Anderson will be retiring on January 3, 2014 after more than 34 years with the National Park Service.
Anderson began his career with the National Park Service in 1979 when he and his wife of 37 years, Gail (Riggs) Anderson, moved to St. John so he could accept a summer seasonal Park Aid position at VINP.
During his early years on St. John (1979 to 1983), Anderson worked a variety of positions ending up in a Protection Ranger position as the Lameshur Ranger. After leaving St. John in 1983, Anderson enjoyed a distinguished career with NPS, serving in a variety of positions in the Southeast and Northeast Regions.
The majority of Anderson’s career has been spent in the Protection Ranger ranks, including 29 years as commissioned ranger. He has served in field and management level positions in nine NPS areas including VINP and Coral Reef National Monument, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Wright Brothers National Monument, Assateague Island National Seashore, Natchez Trace Parkway and Brices Crossroads and Tupelo National Battlefields.
In his more than 13 years at Cape Hatteras, Anderson progressed from Park Ranger to District Ranger (Bodie Island) and served as acting Chief Ranger. He served as Chief Ranger of Assateague National Seashore and Chief of Interpretation and Protection on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Prior to returning to VINP and Coral Reef National Monument as Deputy Superintendent in 2010, Anderson served as the Chief Ranger of the NPS Southeast Region. In this position, he provided support, direction and leadership to NPS areas from Virginia to the Caribbean.
During his career, Anderson has received numerous performance related awards including two nationally significant commendations. In 1990 he received the Department of Interior Valor Award for his part in a surf rescue of five swimmers caught in a rip current and heavy surf off the coast of Cape Hatteras.
In 1998 Anderson received national recognition when he was selected to receive the Harry Yount Award, a peer nominated, national award that honors Rangers who demonstrate excellence in traditional ranger duties and promote appreciation of the National Park Service.
The Andersons and their family were invited to the White House where the award was presented to Anderson by then President William Jefferson Clinton.
In addition to his permanent postings Anderson has contributed to NPS operations while serving as acting Chief Ranger at Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Biscayne National Park. He also served as acting Superintendent at Congaree National Park, Cape Lookout National Seashore and VINP and Coral Reef National Monument, acting Associate Regional Director in the NPS, Southeast Regional Office.
A Life-time Member and Past Board Member of the Association of National Park Rangers, Anderson would be the first to say that none of his wonderful career would have been possible without the love and support of his family.
The Andersons have two sons; McLean, a computer engineer and Michael, who serves in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician. The Andersons are very much looking forward to spending a lot of time with their one-year-old grandson James.