American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • National Park Service
  • Middlesboro, KY, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a Non-Profit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is seeking ONE Bat Program Interpretation/Education/Monitoring Intern interested in dedicating 52 weeks to interpretation and outreach efforts regarding bat conservation at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The Bat Program Interpretation/Education/Monitoring Intern will be assisting with interpretive programs about bats, helping to lead cave tours, and educating the public. This excellent opportunity is ideal for an enthusiastic young professional who is deeply committed to the preservation of our National Parks. Applicants must have strong interest in a career in conservation and education.


Start Date: Mid-November 2018

End Date:  52 weeks from start date

A 52-week commitment is required *


Location:  Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Middlesboro, Kentucky.

Cumberland Gap National Historic Park (CUGA) is located at the corners of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.  This position is stationed in the KY headquarters of the park located right outside of Middlesboro, KY. The town of Middlesboro is large enough to accommodate three grocery stores, fast food, several restaurants, and a movie theater.  Knoxville, Tennessee is approximately 1.5 hours away and many amenities of a large city.


Project Website:  For more information regarding Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: For more information on the ACE internship program, please visit:


Compensation:  The ACE intern will work 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $250/week dispersed bi-weekly for food and incidentals. Housing may be provided by NPS at no cost to the intern. If housing is not provided, or if the ACE intern opts to find housing outside of the park, they will receive an additional $700 monthly housing allowance ($175/week + $250/week = $425/week). The Intern will be provided with a one-time equipment allowance of $200 for the purchase of field boots.

AmeriCorps: Interns in this position may be eligible for two 900 ($2,907.50 x2) or one 1700-hour Education award ($5,775) upon successful completion of the internship and required service hours.  Additional AmeriCorps enrollment is required. 


Position Description: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park contains 24,000 acres, 14,000 of which are proposed wilderness.  Carved by wind and water, the Park forms a major break in the Appalachian Mountain chain.  Lush with vegetation and supporting diverse flora and fauna, CUGA has 85 miles of hiking trails, mountains, streams, and limestone caves. As the only major predator of night-flying insects, bats play a vital ecological role in CUGA. The park provides valuable habitat for different species of bat, including the endangered Indiana bat, Myotis sodalis.  Recently, White-nose syndrome (WNS), a condition deadly to bats, has been found in CUGA.  This disease is harmful or lethal to hibernating bats, killing 90 percent or more of some species of bats in caves.

The ACE intern will directly assist the Park with implementing and delivering bat education programs to the public and park visitors.  These programs will teach the importance of bats, the value of bats to the ecosystem and the threat of WNS to bat populations.

Specific projects will include but are not limited to:

  • Educating cave tour participants about WNS and assisting with decontamination of shoes after tours
  • Assisting with the presentation of cave tours
  • Preparing for Bat Night Educational Events for the National Park Centennial
  • Assisting with Social Media regarding Bats
  • Educating park visitors and leading school classroom programs about the value of bats and WNS
  • Presenting workshops about building bat boxes
  • Assisting with staffing the visitor center front desk
  • Interpreting the NPS Centennial celebration and specific Centennial programs at CUGA.

Fieldwork for this internship requires willingness to work in all types of weather conditions, hiking up to 2-miles a-day, and being in a cave setting. The ACE Intern must be able to work weekends and holidays.

The staff at CUGA is dedicated to providing Interns with diverse field experiences, while also providing guidance to develop professionalism and a solid understanding of the complexities of managing the resources of a National Historical Park.


Qualifications: Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in environmental education, interpretation, cave sciences, biological sciences, natural resource management, education, park management, or a related discipline.


  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Permanent Residents only.
  • Intern must be between the age of 18 and 35.
  • A valid driver's license and a clean driving record are required (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • A personal vehicle is required for the duration of the internship for personal transportation.
  • Must have effective communication skills with diverse audiences; ability to work alone and in a group.
  • Deep interest in ecology, history, caving and respect for nature is critical. 
  • Must be able and willing to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, and capable of participating in physical labor.
  • English proficiency is imperative.
  • Ability to undergo a federal criminal background check is required.
  • Must be a mature and responsible individual.
  • Must be willing and able to work in all weather conditions. 

This position will likely have recurring (regular, scheduled or anticipated) access to vulnerable populations.  State and Federal Criminal History Checks will be required for participation.



  • Knowledge and skills in the principles of education and interpretation.
  • A strong demonstrated interest and/or education in the field of natural and cultural resources.
  • Excellent writing, research, and organizational skills.
  • Excellent public speaking skills.
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome.

The ACE Intern must be willing and able to represent ACE and the NPS in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.  Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE and NPS reserve the right to require drug testing.


To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with 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.  If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact ACE EPIC Recruitment Specialist, Tori Klotz at (385) 522-3171 or


American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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