Staff Spotlight, David Dodson
David H. Dodson
David H. Dodson, is a native of Florida, retired U.S. Army soldier and Polk County Extension volunteer. His appreciation of nature began in his youth, as he spent much of his time outdoors in Florida’s forests and hammocks.
David’s Army assignments around the world exposed him to a vast array of ecosystems, where he saw firsthand the troubling human impact on them. After retirement from the U.S. Army, David attended the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), Master Gardener certification course. After obtaining the certification, David volunteered over 5300 hours, assisting the Polk County Extension’s Horticultural Agent, educating residents on the need to preserve, conserve and use horticultural practices that are Florida friendly.
During one of the Extension’s outreach events conducted at Colt Creek State Park, he was exposed to the multifaceted skills that a park ranger must perform. He also discovered just how selfless and dedicated park rangers are in their duties of serving the public and protecting our environment, traits he embodies personally. This direct interaction with park rangers sparked David’s desire to serve as one.
His wish to become a park ranger was achieved in May 2022, when he was offered a position at Alafia River State Park. David is eager to learn even more about being a Park Ranger, managing and preserving the Park’s resources, interacting with its visitors, and performing all the necessary tasks required to ensure that visitors responsibly and safely enjoy everything ARSP has to offer.
David has been married to his wife, Beverly, for 36 years. They have two adult children and one grandchild.