Resource Spotlight: National Park Service Internship Programs

On Top of the World

Last summer, I took a big summer trip to Yosemite National Park. It was incredible, so much so that I began to plan for a return trip immediately after I got home. I found out a few weeks ago that I will be vacationing there again this upcoming summer, this time traveling through their High Sierra Camps. I am super excited!

Before last summer’s trip, I highlighted the Student Conservation Association (SCA), an excellent resource for finding internship opportunities with the National Park Service, with whom they are a partner. However, the SCA isn’t the only resource for finding opportunities to work with in our national parks.

  • Many internships/jobs for students are filled at the park level. If there is a national park that you are really interested in working for, contact them directly. Might I suggest Yosemite 😉
  • You can seek opportunities through the federal government’s Student Educational Employment Program. There are two programs under this umbrella, the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP). To find positions, visit studentjobs.gov and USAJobs. Again, you can also contact parks directly. If you are eligible for STEP or SCEP, let them know.
  • Since UW-Whitewater has both MBA and MPA programs, I should mention the National Parks Business Plan Internship. Up to 15 summer “consultants” are brought on board. The students are grouped into teams of two to three and are assigned to work at one of our national parks. The consultants work with park management to conduct financial and strategy analysis. Transportation to the training session, to the park, and from the park back home are covered. Plus, summer consultants receive a weekly stipend AND are provided with housing.
  • Perfect for history and public history majors is the Historic Preservation Internship Training Program. Notice for Summer 2011 positions will be put out in January. There is also the Heritage Documentation Programs, which offer work to students in documenting historic sites and structures of architectural, landscape, and technological significance throughout the country.
  • The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program is open to diverse undergraduate and graduate students. Interns are placed in opportunities for historic preservation and cultural resources work. These summer internships include a Career Workshop in Washington, DC, a weekly stipend, and housing allowance.

If you are at all interested in working for the National Park Service, you have a ton of resources available to find that perfect internship. Hope to see you out there!