Delaware State Parks ranger conducts a surf fishing check

Delaware State Parks Natural Resources Ranger Recruitment

Updated 3/24/20

Be a Delaware State Parks Natural Resources Ranger

The Delaware State Parks rangers are law enforcement officers who work to keep the public safe and protect Delaware’s natural and cultural resources. Our rangers work in some of the most beautiful locations in Delaware while enforcing public safety and promoting the mission of Delaware State Parks.

What’s it like to be a Delaware State Parks Ranger? Watch this video to find out!

About the Job

Job Responsibilities

Delaware State Parks Natural Resources Rangers are responsible for:

  • Crime prevention and detection
  • Public safety
  • Enforcement of all Delaware criminal and traffic laws
  • Responding to calls for service
  • Enforcing Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control rules and regulations
  • Interacting with the public to promote the Delaware State Parks mission in a variety of settings, including through public presentations, school presentations, community events, and Delaware State Parks Friends organizations.

Job Duties

Job duties for Delaware State Parks Natural Resources Rangers include:

  • Implementing appropriate law enforcement action in response to complaints, traffic, and criminal, regulatory, and other activities
  • Investigating suspicious and criminal activity, which includes:
    • Detecting, collecting and preserving physical evidence
    • Interviewing victims, witnesses, suspects and defendants
    • Processing charging documents
    • Executing search and arrest warrants
    • Processing defendants.
  • Performing vehicle and foot patrol of assigned areas
  • Performing community policing through informational presentations and educational seminars for other state agencies, schools, the public, and community organizations.
  • Providing protective services to state employees, visitors and the general public
  • Conducting surveillances and performing undercover assignments.
  • Providing assistance to other law enforcement agencies as back-up or primary response
  • Taking into custody and transporting felons and prisoners.

Job Requirements

  • Minumum age of 20 years and 6 months
  • Associates degree or higher in Criminal Justice, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, Sociology or related field.


  • Minumum age of 20 years and 6 months
  • Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Six months experience in conducting investigations, which includes conducting interviews to obtain confidential information, gathering evidence and documenting findings
  • Six months experience in applying natural resources laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures
  • Six months experience in narrative report writing


  • Health, dental and vision insurance Insurance
  • Disability and group universal life/dependent life insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Training and development programs
  • Paid time off
  • Flexible spending, pre-tax commuter benefits, and supplemental benefits through AFLAC

Park Ranger talking with mother and baby at Delaware Seashore Stet Park

Meet Our Rangers

What’s it like to be a Delaware State Parks ranger? Here is what some of our rangers have to say about their job:


Officer Trevor Ditmore with K9 officer Leo

It is my job to keep the public safe and ensure that Delaware State Parks are places that people want to come every day where they can feel safe and have an enjoyable time. The most rewarding aspect of my job is being a K9 officer. My K9 partner, Leo, and I assist the public in many ways, which goes back to our mission of keeping the public safe while they’re in our natural resource areas.

~ Trevor Ditmore

Cpl. John Lister and Vos

I’ve been working in the southern region of Delaware State Parks for over 11 years. I decided to become a natural resources officer because I have always had an interest in law enforcement, but I also have a great interest in the the outdoors. My job is to protect Delaware’s citizens, natural resources, and recreation areas. I find my job rewarding because I get to handle different situations every single day. I also enjoy the different roles that the department has to offer. I currently function as part of the Division’s Honor Guard Unit where we serve as the face of the agency and honor those who came before us. I am also a K9 officer with my partner, Vos.

~ John Lister

Ranger Katie Nelson

I decided to be a ranger for Delaware State Parks because I love the outdoors and I wanted to preserve the outdoors for my children and for future generations. What a better police job than to be out with the general public and getting to protect and conserve the resources that I’ve always loved to participate in throughout my life. I find this job is rewarding because I know that I can keep people safe while also helping them enjoy their visit to the park and learn to understand the natural and cultural resources at the parks.

~ Katie Nelson

Natural Resources Police Officer Gobel

I decided to be an officer with the Delaware Natural Resources Police because I enjoy keeping Division lands safe for recreational use. It is my goal to keep the Division properties in Kent County as safe as possible for Delaware residents and visitors. I find my job rewarding because no two days are the same. I enjoy working outdoors and the physical component of the job. This unique work environment was an important factor in my decision to be an officer with the Delaware Natural Resources Police.

~ Dan Gobel

Being a ranger is a demanding yet rewarding job. Our experienced staff will prepare you to meet every challenge. If you have any questions about Delaware State Parks Ranger positions, contact our Chief of Enforcement:

Chief Wayne Kline
Phone: (302) 739-9232