Rod Horrocks

Profile Updated: July 9, 2009
Residing In: Hot Springs, SD USA
Spouse/Partner: Loura
Occupation: Physical Science Specialist - Nat. Park Service
Children: Charla born in 1990
Matthew born in 1999

After working on dinosaur digs and quarry maps for six years for the Earth Science Museum, I married my wife Loura and then got a Masters degree in Computer-Aided Cartography. A week after graduating, I got a job with the National Park Service as a Cave Management Specialist, where I was able to turn my caving hobby into a career. I started my NPS career at Timpanogos Cave National Monument in Utah. After working there for four years, I started a shared position with Great Basin National Park in Nevada, splitting my time between Timpanogos and Great Basin. When my dream job came open at Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota 2 1/2 years later, I competed for and got that job. I've now been at Wind Cave for ten years. I have numerous projects that I have either completed or are now working on at the park. I recently completed a digital map of Wind Cave with its 121 miles of passage. I have also gone on over 275 survey trips into the off-trail portions of the cave where I have mapped 18 miles of passage. I helped discover the Centennial paleontological Site in the park in 2003 and have spent part time ever since chipping the rock off of those 34 million year old fossil bones and gluing the pieces together. The fossils we found belong to several animals, including: the bones of a American Hornless Rhino (see photo below), part of a dog-sized horse with three toes instead of a hoof, a piece of a goose-sized bird, a turtle, several bones from of a cat-sized deer, and a tooth from a dog-like carnivore. I have been working on these fossil bones at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs. I recently finished a project to design a new lighting system for the four tour routes in Wind Cave. Wind Cave has been a very rewarding job. Loura and I have now been married for 21 years. My oldest daughter is getting ready to attend the University of Nebraska Lincoln to study music performance.

Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 9:49 PM