The National Park Service has selected Nicholas “Nic” Strohmeyer as the new helicopter specialist. The position had been vacant since Meg Gallagher moved into the branch chief job in early 2018.
Nic started his federal career in 1989 as a seasonal firefighter on the White River National Forest in Colorado where he worked on hand crews and as an engine captain. At Colorado State University he received a degree in Natural Resources Management with a minor in Geography. After graduation, Nic accepted a career seasonal position as the assistant foreman on Rifle Helitack, a combined Bureau of Land Management (BLM)/U.S. Forest Service (USFS) helicopter program in Colorado. He then worked as a station manager for Lakeview BLM and as a crew lead for Wenatchee Rappellers. After moving to Utah, Nic helped to start the Provo Rappel Crew, worked as the superintendent of the Wasatch Helitack Crew, and was the acting state aviation manager for Utah BLM.
While serving as the BLM Southern Unit aviation manager for the Alaska Fire Service he earned an Aviation Safety and Security Certificate from the University of Southern California studying aircraft accident investigations and human factors in aviation safety. In 2014, Nic moved back to the Great Basin where he worked as the unit aviation manager for Boise District BLM until 2018, at which time, he detailed and then served as the Idaho BLM state aviation manager and earned his Unmanned Aviation System (UAS) Pilot card.
In his role as a helicopter specialist, he will focus on policy and oversight of the National Park Service’s helicopters that are owned and operated by NPS. Additionally, Nic will represent the NPS on various committees and working groups to develop policy and guidance to ensure the helicopter program operates in a safe and effective manner now, and in the future.
Branch chief, John Buehler, looks forward to having Nic on the national aviation staff. “Nic’s extensive experience in helicopter operations and management, along with his many years in wildland fire operations, will make Nic the perfect fit for the NPS helicopter specialist position. The entire Fire and Aviation Management team is excited to have Nic join NPS. His knowledge and expertise will help the program move forward in the ever changing operational environment.”