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 ONE Vegetation Monitoring Programs Volunteer Coordinator Intern to work with the Vegetation Monitoring Program Volunteer Coordinator to plan, run, and support long and short-term volunteer projects related to meadow, rock outcrop, and forest vegetation management and protection throughout the Park.

This excellent opportunity is ideal for enthusiastic young professionals who are deeply committed to the preservation of our national parks, and are interested in dedicating 22 weeks in support of the National Park Service and Shenandoah National Park. Applicants must have a strong interest in a career in biology, botany, volunteer coordination, natural resource management, ecology, forestry, or a related discipline.


Start Date: May 13, 2019  

End Date: October 12, 2019

*At least a 22-week commitment is required*


Location:  Shenandoah National Park, 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 1,400 vascular plant species, numerous state-rare plant species, and a variety of forest community types. The mountain streams are inhabited by 39 species of fishes, over 230 species 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 675-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($2,255.24) 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 work 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 and personal vehicle required due to the site being remote and there is no reliable public transportation. The Intern will have use of a government vehicle for work related travel.


Position Description:  The intern will work as a team with the Vegetation Projects Volunteer Coordinator to manage multiple long and short-term vegetation management and protection volunteer projects in meadow, forest, and rock outcrop areas of the Park. Field event preparation, management and participation (60%); citizen science program data summarization (15%); planning, supply and equipment, and volunteer management (10%); assist with other ongoing vegetation monitoring projects (5%); receive training for plant identification, sampling methods, and field safety (5%); and cross-train with other natural resource management operations (5%).


Physical Demands: Excellent level of physical fitness with the ability to carry a heavy 30-lb pack on and off trails, and to hike and serve outside away from developed areas for 10 hours at a time under conditions of variable temperature (cool to hot and humid) and terrain (level to extremely steep and rocky);ability to bend, stoop and crawl for extended periods of time; willingness to be exposed to hazards of the field environment (inclement weather, ticks, stinging insects, bears). Intern will likely see black bears, serve in venomous snake habitat, be exposed to bugs and ticks (may not be safe for someone with insect sting allergies as ground nesting hornets are abundant in summer). Substantial time will also be spent completing necessary office tasks in support of volunteer projects. It is essential that the intern also possess the mental and physical ability to tolerate extended periods of sitting and working at a computer work station.


Educational and Training Opportunities:  The staff at Shenandoah National Park will coordinate with the intern to set up at least four educational cross-training days. Topics may include plant restoration, invasive plant control, wildlife, trail work, interpretation, or student education. Training opportunities include plant identification; use of GPS equipment; off-trail field navigation; photo documentation; vegetation sampling methods; field safety, first aid / CPR.


Qualifications:  Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in biology, botany, forestry, natural resource management, environmental science or a related discipline. The ACE NPSVegetation Monitoring Programs Volunteer CoordinatorIntern 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.


  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Permanent Residents only
  • Intern must be 18 to 35 years old
  • 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 botany, biology, volunteering, and strong desire to learn and serve outdoors is critical
  • Must be able to withstand repetitive tasks such as counting and measuring plants
  • Must be willing to use chemical tick bite protection measures (Permanone)
  • Excellent physical fitness and ability to carry 30lb backpack in rugged terrain off-trail.
  • 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


  • Backpacking experience (competent with supervision)
  • Field research experience
  • Orienteering/compass skills
  • Photography skills
  • Plant identification skills

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 (385) 522-3171 or

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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