American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • National Park Service
  • Glen Jean, WV, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with New River Gorge National River (NERI) in West Virginia is seeking ONE Vegetation Management Intern to dedicate 12 weeks to with NERI Natural Resource Management staff. The purpose of this internship focuses on resource conservation through forest pest management, exotic invasive plant management, and vegetation surveys.

These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic, emerging professionals with a background in ecology, botany, biology, invasive species management, forestry or natural resource management. Applicants must possess a deep interest in advancing their career goals through learning and commitment to the New River Gorge National Rivers' professional staff and resources.

Start Date: May 14, 2018 (flexible by 1-2 weeks)

End Date: August 4, 2018

* A 12-week commitment is required *  

Location: New River Gorge National River, Glen Jean, West Virginia.  

New River Gorge National River (NERI) is located in southern West Virginia and encompasses 70,000 acres and 53 miles of one of the oldest rivers on the continent. NERI is home to a vast array of natural and cultural resources. Renowned for its recreational opportunities, NERI host miles of hiking and biking trails, premiere white water rafting, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, bird watching, and camping.

Park staff also manages nearby Bluestone National Scenic River (BLUE) and Gauley River National Recreation Area (GARI). BLUE protects 10.5 miles of free flowing river and offers a rich variety of natural resources and history along the Bluestone Turnpike Trail. GARI protects 25 miles of the Gauley River and 6 miles of Meadow River. Known for its multiple class V rapids, GARI is one of the most adventurous rivers in the east.

Project Website: For more information about the park, please visit their website at:,, For more information regarding American Conservation Experience:

Compensation: The ACE intern will be expected to serve 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $250/week. Also, a $250 reimbursement is available for relocation or commuting expenses.

The intern will have use of a government vehicle for project-related travel, though a personal vehicle is required for time off and transportation to/from the park. Housing is provided at no cost to the intern by the park and consists of a furnished house located 6 miles from park headquarters and 13 miles to the nearest grocery store. Absolutely no pets are permitted in government housing.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1538.36) upon successful completion of internship hours. Additional enrollment is required.

Project Background: New River Gorge is home to 1,400 species of plants and 40 different vegetation communities, making it the most botanically diverse river gorge in the central and southern Appalachians. Invasive species threaten these important resources and resource managers at NERI focus on the hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer, and exotic invasive plants including: Japanese knotweed, kudzu, tree-of-heaven, Japanese barberry, autumn olive, multiflora rose, Japanese and bush honeysuckles, wineberry, etc. The intern will assist park managers with overseeing a goat grazing program and will conduct pre- and post- vegetation monitoring to test efficacy of the treatment.

Since 2006 NERI has been managing hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) by insecticides, biocontrols, and monitoring. The vegetation intern will help conserve hemlock trees in globally rare vegetation communities and ecologically significant locations in NERI and GARI by applying insecticides to individual trees. The intern will also assist with a research project studying the effects of imidacloprid (insecticide) on amphibian and invertebrate populations.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) first infested NERI in 2010 and has since killed the majority of ash trees in the park. After initial infestation, 500 ash trees were treated with insecticide in highly significant areas. The vegetation intern will assist with retreating 20 ash trees with an insecticide that is injected into the trunk of the tree.

Position Description: The Vegetation Intern will be involved in exotic invasive plant management using chemical, manual, and biocontrol suppression techniques. This will be done in highly sensitive plant communities that require plant identification skills and careful herbicide application. Safety and herbicide training will be provided and the intern will be registered as a technician with the state of West Virginia.

Other projects such as vegetation and rare plant surveys will also be conducted. 

Training: Training opportunities may include amphibian surveys, bird netting, mine portal surveys for bats, electrofishing, water quality collection/analyses, aquatic invertebrate sampling, and interpretation/public education. Safety in herbicide training will be provided.

Physical Demands: Duties will be conducted in the field, sometimes over rough, steep, and uneven terrain. Hiking for long periods of time carrying weight will occur. Intern must be willing to serve in adverse weather conditions such as heat, humidity, and rain. Encounters with biting or stinging insects, poison ivy, and venomous snakes are possible.

Qualifications: Applicants for the position must hold or be pursuing a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as ecology, marine biology, botany, wildlife sciences, biology, natural resources management, environmental science, or related disciplines.


  • Must be a US Citizen and Permanent Resident
  • Must be 18-35 years of age (interns must be 21-35 to apply for any ACE position that requires or anticipates operation of agency or ACE vehicles for duties.)
  • Must have a valid driver's license; clean driving record and the ability to provide documentation upon request, personal vehicle is required
  • Ability to safely follow procedures used in the field
  • Desire to learn and apply new concepts
  • Ability to complete tasks well with others and individually
  • Must be able and willing to serve outdoors, in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in physical labor
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
  • English proficiency required


  • Degree or coursework in ecology, botany, biology, invasive species management, forestry, natural resource management, entomology, zoology, conservation, environmental sciences or related discipline
  • Experience with hand tools and power drill
  • Plant identification skills including taxonomy and use of dichotomous key and willingness to learn up to 100 plant species

The interns must be willing to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.

To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with three professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on the ACE website:

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This posting may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact ACE EPIC NPS Recruitment Specialist Zoe Moskwa at  

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • Apply Now

  • * Fields Are Required

    What is your full name?

    How can we contact you?

  • Sign Up For Job Alerts!

  • Share this Page