West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Park Management

Applied Arts and Sciences

Office AAS 1C

Park Management Faculty

Full Time Faculty
Chris Cruz
Kim Aufhauser
Adjunct Faculty

John Carnes
William Dall
Mike Durfee
Michelle Guzdek
Elizabeth Hammack
Alex Leman
Eric Mc Farland
Heidi Mc Farland
Tadashi Moody
Derek Neumann
Jeff Panetta
Matt Price

Department Chair
Chris Cruz 

408.741.2145 (f)


Related Links

Geospatial Technology Solutions at WVC

WVC Career Programs

WVC Transfer Center

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California State Park Ranger and WVC Park Management Program alum, Steve Bier, leading a group in Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Upcoming Events & Department News
Check Out our Spring Semester -  
Still Time to Register!

January 14 - Park Management
Program & Career Info Session
Vasona Creek Restoration 

Professional -- Excellence --  Hands-on -- Real World

Started in 1970, our unique program maintains excellence and relevance by continuously evolving.  We listen to our industry partners and work with local, county, regional, state and federal park and resource agencies to ensure we provide cutting-edge GIS technology and the latest in land management methods, strategies, and processes.

Diverse Curriculum

The Program meets the needs of three different groups of students - the typical career-oriented college student, the professional wishing a career change and the established park professional.

Rigging The latter enroll in our Program courses to enhance their skills, obtain in-service training and comply with changing professional standards.

Each group is able to find the path suitable to meet their needs. In addition to our full academic and field program we provide in-service training that includes: four-wheel drive operations and safety, power winch operations, ranger operations and legal updates, low- and high-angle technical rescue, GIS, remote sensing, wildland fire suppression, emergency medical response, wilderness first responder, and wilderness navigation.

Industry Recognition

Public land managers recognize the West Valley College Park Management Program as being one of the few outstanding programs that produces quality graduates in the field of Park Management.

Faculty are continually rewarded with letters and phone calls from park managers who hire Park Management students and alumni for seasonal and full-time positions.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of our program find employment at all types and all levels of city, county, regional, state, and federal agencies. These lands include urban parks, open space districts, state parks and preserves, and federal forests, parks and wilderness areas.

Park Management Students Working

Transfer Preparation

For individuals who want to continue on with their college education after our program, we have articulation agreements that will get you jump started at CSU-Humboldt, CSU-San Jose State, CSU-Chico State, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.


The Park Management Department maintains a 'smart' classroom (AAS-37) and the GIS computer lab at West Valley College, in addition to a full maintenance and field support facility at Sanborn County Park.


Our faculty are working professionals that are here to provide you the best possible experience.

Chris Cruz

Chris Cruz, Park Management Department Chair

Kim Aufhauser, Park Management Instructor

They are experts in their discipline and excellent educators making your course lively, interactive and engaging.


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