Friday, February 24, 2017

2017 Internships - National Parks

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the “clearinghouse” for 500+ internships in the National Parks as well as other federal and/or non-profit agencies.    Even more exciting: The SCA wants students from ALL years (freshman summer  through college graduates) and from all majors and programs, including biology, business, geology, history, wildlife, education, anthropology, geography, and more!

Many SCA summer internships are in the visitor services/visitor education divisions; however, if you apply early and are willing to be flexible with locations, you could secure some of the relatively fewer and highly-sought-after internships in wildlife management or national seashores.   Interns receive housing, uniforms, training, and a refund on their travel to/from their placement.  They also receive a small weekly stipend and an AmeriCorps grant at summer’s end.  They even help you prepare a competitive application.  The SCA does have a one-time application fee of $25.

Examples of 2016 DC-area internships include:

  • Potomac Riverkeeper Events Coordinator -- Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Organize and execute paddling and educational events related to the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Draft content for event-related interpretive programs.
  • Bike Outreach Intern -- George Washington Memorial Parkway. Work as part of the parkway’s bike ambassador team. Work includes public outreach activities, trail patrols, monitor the trail conditions, engage visitors in safety and etiquette standards along the trail.
  • Rare Plant and Vegetation Management Intern -- C&O Canal National Historic Park. Identify and manage invasive plant species, monitor and map new and existing species, and plant native species.
  • Civil Engineer Intern -- George Washington Memorial Parkway. Document conditions of assets and landscapes in field reports. Collect data and update the wayfinding inventory. Assist in development of designs and plan packages for infrastructure improvement projects.
  • Visitor Services Intern -- Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge. Support the Visitor Services program, including special events, interpretation, and manning the refuge visitor contact station.
  • Community Crew Leaders -- Co-lead, mentor and coach a crew of ten students, ages 15-19, for programs in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD. Complete various conservation service projects designed to build an ethic of community and environmental stewardship. Projects run for six weeks during the summer, and include a range of activities such as trail and park maintenance, habitat restoration, and invasive plant removal at parks throughout the Washington, D.C. area, including Fort DuPont Park, Rock Creek Park, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and parks across Montgomery County. Past park locations in Baltimore include Clifton Park, Herring Run, Leakin Park and Real Food Farms.  Must be at least 21 to qualify for this position.

UMD students have also interned at:  Shenandoah NP (VA), Acadia National Park (ME), Everglades (FL), Cascades National Park (WA), Yosemite (CA), and national forests across the country (AK, NH, UT).

Applications are accepted until late-April for summer internships but you'll have less to choose from.  For more information, go to > Serve > Young Adult Programs.