Humans of the Gateway Arch: Meet Ranger Doug
In our “Humans of the Gateway Arch” series, we spotlight a member of the Gateway Arch team who helps make the Arch one of the premier travel destinations in the world. The Arch’s park partners work together to attract and welcome visitors to St. Louis’ renovated urban national park, where visitors create lasting memories and learn about American history.
Meet Doug Harding, Gateway Arch National Park Ranger.
How did you come into your current position as a park ranger?
Back in 1979, I worked as a seasonal ranger at the Old Courthouse. I enjoyed my time as a ranger so much that I came back to the Gateway Arch to serve as a Jefferson National Parks Association Ranger in 1986. Then, in 1989, I became a National Park Service Ranger. I have been with Gateway Arch National Park ever since (over 30 years!).
What are your responsibilities in your current role?
I handle many of the day-to-day operations at the Museum at the Gateway Arch and Arch Visitor Center. Additionally, I plan, research and conduct special historical events hosted at the Arch and Old Courthouse. I have also held a few other positions at the park, including wildland firefighter, medical first responder and frontline supervisor. I am currently the park’s Historic Weapons Safety Supervisor, Regional Historic Weapons Safety Inspector, and an Instructor for the NPS Historic Weapons School.
What does a “normal” day at work look like for you?
On a “normal” day, about half my time is spent in the museum and visitor center helping visitors enjoy their time at the Gateway Arch. The other half is spent researching and planning the special historical events we host throughout the year.
Any fun facts about the Arch, park grounds or Old Courthouse that people may not know?
The Gateway Arch was surveyed to be built based on the center of the rotunda of the Old Courthouse. However, the Old Courthouse is not centered on the block it sits on; therefore, the Gateway Arch is not centered between Market and Chestnut streets.