An Inside Look at the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center

Karla Zeutenhorst is a Park Ranger at the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center in Crofton, Nebraska. We caught up with her to get an inside look at what it is like to work as a ranger for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Why did you start working for the Army Corps?

I started working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because I wanted to be a park ranger and they seem to have the best ranger program in my area. 

How long have you been working for the Corps and more specifically, at Lewis and Clark?

I have been working for the Corps for 32 years.  7 years at Saylorville Lake near Des Moines, IA, 7 years at Lake Sidney Lanier near Atlanta, GA, and 18 years at Lewis and Clark Lake in Yankton, SD, where I manage the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center

What is particularly special about the park you manage, or why should someone visit?

Lewis and Clark Lake is the first large reservoir on the Missouri River and provides recreational opportunities for people in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. 

What’s your favorite part of the job?

The favorite part of my job is working with visitors.  At the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center, we get visitors from all over the U.S. and many other countries. 

What kinds of careers are available in the Army Corps of Engineers?

There are many different kinds of careers with the Corps.  Of course there are jobs as park rangers and biologists, but also in engineering, mechanics, electricians, safety, construction, financial, lawyers, public affairs and even medical professions.  Look on www.usajobs.gov for listings.

Are you reading or watching anything interesting right now?

I am currently reading the book “Park Ranger Stories from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” by Joseph P. Barry.

What’s your favorite activity to do at your site?

Watching and photographing birds.

Your park’s best kept secret is…?

The bookstore at the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center 😊

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