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1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Waurika Lake Park Ranger Destany Rochell checks fhe fee station during her patrol of a public use area. Destany began her with Waurika Lake as a volunteer in 2017 and then transitioned to a summer ranger before she became a student trainee. She officially became a full time employee with the Corps in 2021 after graduating from college. (Photo Credit: Stacey Reese) VIEW ORIGINAL
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2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Waurika Lake Park Ranger Destany Rochell checks for deposited day use fees during her patrol of a public use area. Destany began her with Waurika Lake as a volunteer in 2017 and then transitioned to a summer ranger before she became a student trainee. She officially became a full time employee with the Corps in 2021 after graduating from college. (Photo Credit: Stacey Reese) VIEW ORIGINAL

Waurika, Okla. – Waurika Lake Park Ranger Destany Rochell began working for the Tulsa District Corps of Engineers as a summer ranger in 2018. She transitioned to a student trainee natural resource specialist park ranger in 2019, giving her the opportunity to work while finishing college.

Before her days as a summer ranger, Rochell says she started her USACE career as a volunteer. Her aunt was volunteering at Waurika Lake and told her about the opportunity.

“Those volunteer days were absolutely some of the most influential of my career,” said Rochell. “Meeting the summer rangers as well as the permanent lake staff was so important to the journey of where I am today.”

Rochell has a deep interest and love for the outdoors. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, hunting, and fishing; all things that blend perfectly with her job as a ranger.

“Destany is very reliable, hard working and organized,” said Waurika’s Assistant Lake Manager Luke Prichard. “She takes her job very seriously and strives for perfection.”

Being able to enjoy the outdoors is only one of the perks she loves about her job. As a new ranger, she is part of the district’s ranger training program. This two-year long program gives rangers an insight into many different USACE missions by offering them 30-day stints with different district organizations.

Rangers are able to choose where they go based on their interests, giving them an opportunity to experience how those other missions impact the ranger’s daily jobs. She has taken the opportunity afforded her by this program to learn more about the district’s real estate mission, structural engineering, Truscott Brine Lake, and generate many new connections with coworkers she might not get to know otherwise.

“The program has provided me with valuable time in areas of the Corps that provide growth as an individual and an employee,” said Rochell. “It also gives rangers an opportunity to be a big part of a large and dynamic operation, even if it is only for a short while.”

As a ranger at Waurika, Rochell wears many hats. Her duties can include routine patrolling in the parks, working with gate attendants, giving a water safety presentation to a group of students at a school or participating in a prescribed burn. She loves that her job is never the same day twice.

“Destany is one of the hardest working rangers I’ve seen,” said fellow Waurika Lake Ranger Alan Harper. “She always takes initiative and is dependable and responsible. She is intelligent and professional when dealing with the public. She goes above and beyond in all she does.”

Rochell has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture with a concentration in environmental science and an additional degree in business. In line with her love of all things outdoors, she is currently pursuing a lifelong dream of becoming a certified diver.