Ric Barnett is a native South Carolinian who was raised in the Upstate near Greenville, He currently lives on the land where he grew up, so for over 60 years he has watched natural succession transform the landscape. As a young boy, his father brought him to swim in the Keowee River before Jocassee Valley was flooded. (A slight pall was put over that trip, however, when his father, trying to impress the lad regarding the great change that was about to take place when the lake covered the valley, told little Ricky, “This is a very historical place." To which the boy replied, "I don't see nothing funny about that." Sigh.....
Ric graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Recreation and Parks Administration and a commission in the United States Air Force. For a brief period after graduating and before entering the military Ric worked for Duke Power on the Jocassee project. He helped get the last two hydro electric generators on line and conducted environmental survey work for the Bad Creek project.
For 20+ years Ric flew fighters and taught survival skills for the USAF, a mission which took him all over the world. He finished his military career in Alaska and spent the next 18 years as a resident of North Pole, Alaska, where he also flew search and rescue missions with the Civil Air Patrol throughout "The Great Land.' As a global traveler Ric says, “All things considered, I have never seen a finer lake than Lake Jocassee.
Ric is a South Carolina Master Naturalist who shares his love of the natural world with everyone who has an interest in what is going on around them. He also volunteers as an environmental instructor at Paris Mountain State Park, where he teaches 2nd and 5th grade classes.