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

Summary:  American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with New River Gorge (NERI) National River in West Virginia is seeking ONE Recreation Stewardship Intern to serve full time for 12 weeks. This position will work directly with the National Park Service to develop and implement a climbing stewardship program.

This position will develop a plan to collect observational data related to climbing that can be used to better inform future management actions and work to develop a volunteer climbing stewardship program.  This internship opportunity is intended for enthusiastic, energetic students with a background and/or interest in parks and recreation management, social science, climbing management, environmental education, or other relevant field of study.


Start Date: May 13/20, 2019

End Date: August 5/12, 2019

* 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 hosts 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 serve 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $250/week. 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. Park housing has free wifi and limited cell service. Absolutely no pets are permitted in government housing. This position may earn hours eligible for Public Land Corps non-competitive hiring authority.


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


Position Description: The Recreation Stewardship Intern will develop and implement a climbing stewardship program. This position will develop a plan to collect observational data related to climbing.  The intern will develop a methodology to collect information on number of users, parking area capacity, timing, and concurrent recreational uses in climbing areas (hammocks, radio use, etc.).  This will involve research into climbing and bouldering areas and activities in the New River Gorge National River and Gauley River National Recreation Areas.  The intern will also actively collect data based on the methodology developed and adopted. The intern will also work on developing a volunteer climbing stewardship program similar to the existing "Adopt-A-Trail" program in place in the park. A background in rock climbing is not necessary for the position, but it would be helpful.

This position will devote 10% of time to professional development opportunities including cross training, online coursework, and shadowing National Park Service professionals. 

Training: The intern will be trained in safety procedures and attend park-wide safety days. Cross-training opportunities are encouraged and can include: amphibian surveys, bird netting, mine portal surveys for bats, invasive species management, vegetation management, and interpretive programs/education.

Physical Demands:  Duties consist of a mix of indoor sedentary work and physical outdoor work. Work may be conducted over rough, un-even terrain during adverse weather conditions. Light lifting, bending, and driving are required.

Schedule: weekend activity will be required; every two weeks weekend is "off."  Can be flexible on this arrangement, but weekend data collection in the park is required.


Qualifications:  Applicants for the position must hold or be pursuing a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in parks and recreation management, social science, environmental education, or related disciplines.


  • Must be a US Citizen and Permanent Resident
  • Between the ages of 21 and 35 (driving NPS vehicles will be required)
  • Must have a valid driver's license; clean driving record and the ability to provide documentation, personal vehicle is required
  • Experience and/or willingness to learn trailer pulling is required
  • Ability to engage the public and work independently is required
  • English proficiency required
  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to:
    • Safely follow procedures used in the field
    • Complete tasks well with others and individually
    • And willingness to learn and apply new concepts
    • Willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
    • Willingness to follow a non-traditional work schedule including evenings, weekends, and holidays
    • Collaborate with others from diverse backgrounds


  • Knowledge of the area and familiarity with climbing will be beneficial, but is not essential. This can be learned and acquired during the internship.


This intern 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: Submit a 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, Tori Klotz at (385) 522-3171 or

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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