American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • National Park Service
  • Luray, VA, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with Shenandoah National Park, is seeking TWO Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Interns interested in dedicating 12 weeks in support of the National Park Service and Shenandoah National Park. The ACE interns will assist with sampling 34 sites throughout the park to monitor aquatic macroinvertebrates, take various habitat measurements, and conduct quality control on samples. Extensive hiking (daily) in streams and mountainous terrain with up to 45 pounds of gear is required.

This excellent opportunity is ideal for enthusiastic young professionals who are deeply committed to the preservation of our national parks. Applicants must have a strong interest in a career in aquatic ecology, fisheries, ecology, biology, wetland sciences, natural resource management or a related discipline. ACE is seeking two internsinterested in dedicating 12 weeks in support of the National Park Service and Shenandoah National Park. This job is being posted on March 15, 2019 and is looking to start the intern exactly one month from the position posting date, so please apply as soon as you are able.


Start Date: April 15, 2019

End Date: July 7, 2019

*A 12-week commitment is required*


Location:  Shenandoah National Park Headquarters, Luray, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park contains 196,000 forested acres along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia. The Park's backcountry of steep rugged terrain contains 500 miles of trails, including 95 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and nearly 80,000 acres of federally designated wilderness. Skyline Drive, the famous scenic tour road through the Park, follows the ridge crest for 105 miles and connects to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nearly two million people visit the Park each year to enjoy views from the Skyline Drive, hike trails, rock climb, enjoy nature study, camp, or stay overnight in one of the Park's rustic lodges or backcountry cabins. The Park supports approximately 1400 vascular plant species, numerous state-rare plant species, and a variety of forest community types. The mountain streams are inhabited by 40 species of fishes, over 230 taxa of aquatic invertebrates and provide some of the best protected strongholds for native eastern brook trout south of Maine.


Project Website:  For more information regarding Shenandoah National Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: For more information on American Conservation Experience and the Internship Program, please visit:


Compensation: The ACE Interns will receive a living allowance of $170/week to cover the cost of food and incidental expenses, paid bi-weekly. ACE interns will be accommodated in park housing at no cost for the duration of the internship.

Also, a$500 travel allowance will be distributed evenly throughout the internship to aid in the costs of relocation and commuting to the duty station.


AmeriCorps: This internship may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1566.14) upon successful completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required.


Housing: Housing consists of several homes with double occupancy bedrooms. Housing will most likely be in Luray, VA or within 10 miles. If housing is located further than 10 miles from Luray, VA, a government vehicle is intended to be provided for transportation to and from site.  Luray, VA is 5 miles from Park Headquarters and has all of the standard amenities (Grocery stores, movie theater, shops, restaurants, library etc.). Laundry facilities are also available at park housing locations.

Cell phone reception is not always reliable. A personal vehicle is required. The site is remote and there is no reliable public transportation. The Intern will have use of a government vehicle for project related travel.


Position Description:  During the first six weeks of this position, you will focus on aquatic macroinvertebrate monitoring. Results from this work help the park service assess stream ecosystem health and the work entails hiking to stream sites and collecting invertebrates, water quality, and stream habitat information, as well as entering data when in the lab.

The second six weeks of the internship will be more diverse.  We will monitor streamside vegetation at some of the 34 sites looking at vegetation changes around the sites in the past 30 years of monitoring.Any additional free time will likely be spent patrolling the developed areas of the park for nuisance black bears and educating visitors about bear conflicts, and conducting peregrine falcon cliff nesting surveys. The interns must have an above average fitness level since most of the projects consist of walking in steep, rugged, wet terrain with packs up to 45 pounds.


Qualifications:  Applicants for the position must hold or be pursuing a bachelor's degree and/orhave relevant experience inecology, biology, wetland sciences, natural resource management or a related discipline.


  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Permanent Residents only
  • 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 be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation; personal vehicle required
  • Deep interest in natural resources, wetland sciences, and strong desire to learn/serve outdoors is critical
  • Must be physically able to walk long distances in mountainous terrain and serve outdoors for much of the day
  • Ability to communicate effectively and serve well in a team setting
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
  • English proficiency

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 reserves 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 NPS Recruitment Specialist Tori Klotz at

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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