American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • National Park Service
  • Brecksville, OH, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit conservation corps, in partnership with Cuyahoga Valley National Park, is seeking ONE Native Plant Nursery Intern to serve primarily at the park's native-plant nursery, propagating native plants for reforesting and restoring disturbed habitat at the park. The Native Plant Nursery produces more than 20,000 container plants annually propagated from seeds collected locally for use in restoration and native landscaping.

This opportunity is intended for an enthusiastic professional with a background in conservation biology/ecology, horticulture, natural resource management, plant science, botany, or a closely related field, with a deep interest in advancing career goals through hard work and commitment to Cuyahoga Valley National Park's professional staff and diverse resources. 


Start Date: Late May, 2018 (likely 5/29)

End Date: 26 weeks from the start date

* A 26-week commitment is required *


Location: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio


Cuyahoga Valley NP protects 33,000 acres surrounding the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron in northeast Ohio. The park's mission is to preserve and protect the historic, scenic, natural, and recreational values of the Cuyahoga River Valley for public use and enjoyment and to maintain open space in an urbanized environment. The park is dominated by deciduous forest but also supports meadows, wetlands, and farming. More than 53% of the park is considered functional riparian area. Summers are moderately warm with average temperatures in the 70's and 80's but with occasional warm spells in the 90's.


Project Website: For more information regarding the Cuyahoga Valley National Park or area, please visit the park's website at For more information regarding the ACE, please visit:


Compensation: The ACE intern will serve for 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $160/week for food and incidental expenses, paid bi-weekly. Dormitory housing is provided by NPS. Pets and family members are not permitted to live in Park housing.


AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education award ($2,907.50) upon successful completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required. 


Position Description: Under direction of the park's Plant Ecologist, the Native Plant Nursery Intern will manage the park's native-plant nursery, focusing on propagating a variety of herbaceous and woody plants for restoring native habitat at the park. The intern also will coordinate collection of native plant materials (seeds and cuttings) and will engage with volunteers to maintain plants and manage nursery operations, including assisting with or leading the distribution and installation of native plants at restoration sites. The intern occasionally will assist the park's exotic-plant-management crew in managing invasive plants using chemical and mechanical methods. Many projects, including plant propagation and restoration activities, will be completed in coordination with large groups of volunteers. Other projects, including service at the native-plant nursery, may require independent, solitary work.

The intern will travel to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plant Material Center in upstate New York to clean seeds collected throughout the year. Depending on personal interest, the intern also will have opportunities to assist on other park projects, such as coyote surveys, deer surveys, butterfly surveys, vegetation monitoring, and wetland monitoring.


Training: The park will provide training to interns in:

(1) plant identification;

(2) propagating native plants;

(3) using GIS and GPS technology;

(4) understanding methods and managing exotic plants with potential to become a state-certified applicator, if interested;

(5) safely using chainsaws and other tools to manage exotic plants and restore habitat;


Qualifications:  Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in some aspect of natural resource study. This could include subject areas such as botany, ecology, biology, wildlife, natural resources, environmental science, entomology, or related disciplines.


  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Interns must be 18 to 35 years old (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 ability to provide documentation; personal vehicles are required for personal time off
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS
  • Must have effective communication skills with diverse audiences
  • Must be able to serve alone and in a group
  • Must be comfortable and willing to use herbicide as part of the position responsibilities 
  • Must have a deep interest in field projects and a respect for nature
  • Must be able and willing to serve outdoors, in varying weather conditions, participating in physical labor
  • English proficiency is imperative
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check


  • Previous experience in nursery, horticulture or landscaping
  • Knowledge and understanding of plant taxonomy and identification
  • Experience and/or knowledge of chemical and manual treatment of invasive plants
  • Volunteer supervision and project management
  • Field proficiency with GPS and/or GIS

The intern must be willing to represent ACE and the NPS in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.  Drug users, including recreational smokers of marijuana, 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 contact information for 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on our website here:


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
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