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

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with Shenandoah National Park, is seeking ONE Resource Management Intern interested in dedicating 12 weeks in support of the National Park Service and Shenandoah National Park. The ACE intern will assist with forest pest management and human-wildlife interactions management. 

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 natural resource management, wildlife sciences, forestry, botany, biology or a related discipline.


Start Date: May 27, 2019 (can be flexible 1 week)

End Date: August 16, 2019 (or 12 weeks from start date)

*A 12-week commitment is required*


Location:  Shenandoah National Park Headquarters, Luray, Virginia


Shenandoah National Park contains nearly 197,000 forested acres along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia. The Park's backcountry of steep rugged terrain contains over 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 1.5 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 a variety of species of fishes and provide some of the best protected strongholds for native eastern brook trout.


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 ($1,566.14) 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 will be provided for transportation to and from the site.  Luray, VA is 5 miles from Park Headquarters and has all of the standard amenities (grocery stores, movie theatre, shops, restaurants, library etc.). Laundry facilities are also available at park housing locations.

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


Position Description:  The internship will focus onforest pest management and human-wildlife interactions management. The forest pest management portion will consist of assisting with the suppression of the invasive emerald ash borer using chemical treatments in order to protect a portion of the white ash in the park. It will also include some suppression of the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid using chemical treatments in order to protect eastern hemlock.

The human-wildlife interactions portion will consist of assisting Bear Technicians with human-bear/wildlife conflict management. This will involve assisting with securing food/coolers in campgrounds, basic aversive conditioning/hazing of black bear, public education, dealing with roadside "bear jams", and occasionally assisting with nuisance bear trapping/capture operations. It will be important that the intern can communicate well with the public to educate the public on these projects. The intern will also educate visitors about LNT practices, proper food storage, approaching wildlife too closely, etc.


Training Opportunities: CPR, First Aid, Forest Pest Management OJT, Black Bear Aversive Conditioning OJT, Human-Wildlife Management OJT, and possibly Leave No Trace Training credentials.


Qualifications:  Applicants for the position will hold a bachelor's degree or at least three years towards a bachelor's degree and/or experience in natural resource management, wildlife sciences, forestry, botany, biology 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, NPS staff and visitors (some visitor conversations may include potentially controversial topics such as NPS aversive conditioning practices on black bears).
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation; personal vehicle required
  • Deep interest in invasive species management, human-wildlife conflict management, ecology, and strong desire to learn/serve outdoors is critical
  • GPS/orienteering/compass skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively and participate well in a team setting
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
  • English proficiency
  • Weekend service is required


  • Experience with wildlife (deer/bear) in a professional setting 
  • Invasive species chemical applications
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply

The ACE NPS 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 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 the ACE EPIC NPS Recruitment Specialist Tori Klotz at

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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