American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • San Simeon, CA, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management's California Coastal National Monument, is seeking TWO Interpretive Interns who will dedicate 12 Weeks to assisting BLM staff in the management and operations activities at Piedras Blancas Light Station, a BLM Outstanding Natural Area, unit of the CA Coastal National Monument, and component of the National Conservation Lands (NCL).

This is an exciting and historic opportunity to restore a piece of California's maritime history.  Completed in 1875, Piedras Blancas Light Station is home to more than 60 species of California native plants, including a thriving population of a variety of thistle listed as threatened in CA.  This healthy population is up from just a single plant in 2001, a result of BLM heavily investing in the eradication of non-native plants at the site. With the eradication of roughly 2/3 of the non-native and exotic species once found at the site, the environs surrounding the Station have also seen the rebound of a diversity of animal life, including bobcat, raccoon, skunk, deer, gray fox, rabbit, coyote, squirrels, and a variety of birds and reptiles.  The near shore marine environments have been minimally impacted by human activity and support healthy populations of southern sea otters, abalone, mussels, and anemones, while the Outer Islet is a significant haul-out point for California sea lions.  The largest mainland U.S. rookery for the northern elephant seal stretches for miles to the north and south of Piedras Blancas. 

The Bureau's mission is to "manage and restore the Piedras Blancas Light Station to a period in history when the site played a significant role in the protection of central California maritime activities. In addition, preserve and protect the natural, historical and cultural resources of the site while providing opportunities for compatible scientific, cultural, social and interpretive activities for the benefit of present and future generations." 

Start Date: June 2019 (flexible)

End Date: 12 Weeks from Start.

* A 12-week commitment is required *

Possibility of extension as funding permits. 

Location: The position is stationed at the Bureau of Land Management Piedras Blancas Light Station, located near the southern end of Big Sur and the community of old San Simeon, in San Luis Obispo County, CA.  Other local interests include the towns of Morro Bay and Cambria, Big Sur, the Santa Lucia Mountains, and Hearst Castle.

Project Partner Website: For more information regarding the BLM Piedras Blancas Light Station visit: and  For more info regarding the American Conservation Experience, please visit

Compensation: ACE interns will receive a living allowance of $250/week for food and incidental expenses, paid out bi-weekly. Housing is provided on site by the BLM.

Project Background and Objectives: The BLM National Conservation Lands (NCL) program endeavors to protect parcels of land with exceptional natural and/or cultural significance.  The stated mission of the BLM NCL is "to conserve, protect, and restore nationally significant landscapes recognized for their outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values." Educating communities and individuals is an integral part of land management and is critical to ensuring sustained, long-term resource conservation.  An engaged, educated, and connected public will generally hold a greater understanding and appreciation for natural and cultural resources, thus supporting and participating in a higher level of resource stewardship.  Central to preserving Piedras Blancas' outstanding characteristics is the restoration and preservation of the natural landscape surrounding the site's historic structures.

Position Description: This ACE internship is multi-faceted, adaptable, and geared at supporting the management and restoration of the Piedras Blancas Light Station and its surrounding landscape. Work for this internship will take place primarily at the Light Station and support management activities including, but not limited to, education and interpretation, fee collection, ecological and cultural restoration, and maintenance.  This position is ideal for an enthusiastic, resourceful young professional interested in a career in public land management.  The ideal candidate will have demonstrated interest and/or education in both natural and cultural resource management, though all qualified applicants will receive careful consideration.

The Intern will serve the Bureau's missions by enthusiastically working to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Support with Education and Interpretation of historic and natural features of the area.
  • Assist with and Lead public tours, support/provide field trips with youth, and public outreach, as well as organizing and leading volunteer groups on projects.
  • Support in small to large maintenance projects including, but limited to, painting, repairing windows, trail maintenance, sign repair, etc.
  • Regularly assist with buildings and grounds maintenance/cleaning.
  • Assist BLM staff with administrative operations (i.e. filing, communication with the public via phone, email, and face to face, writing reports, and outreach material).
  • Utilize hand tools to remove invasive species.

Training Provided: The intern will receive training in requisite interpretation, treatment, field survey/monitoring technique, report writing, safety training, and other skills related to the position. Intern will also be required to complete a federal background check as well as complete various BLM/DOI trainings, including Defensive Driver Training.  ACE and the BLM are committed to providing the most educational, rewarding, and challenging experience possible to best prepare interns for future careers in the stewardship of America's public lands.  

Qualifications:  Applicants for the position will hold, or be pursuing, a degree in biological sciences, historical archaeology, environmental policy, natural resource management, recreation & park management, or related discipline.  The intern will be resourceful, adaptable, and able to work comfortably alone or in a group.


  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Permanent Residents only. 
  • Interns must be 21 to 35 years old.
  • A valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide such documentation; Driving Record check will be completed during on-boarding process. (Interns must be 21+ to drive agency vehicles);
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check;
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within BLM.
  • Must have effective communication skills with diverse audiences; ability to work alone or in a group;
  • Deep interest in ecology, history, and respect for nature. 
  • Must be able to able and willing to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, participating in physical labor; be able to lift 40 lbs., as well as hike up to 3 miles.
  • Must be able to take initiative and work independently, as well as participate effectively in collaborative efforts.
  • English proficiency is imperative.


  • Undergraduate degree in natural resource management, recreation & park management, historical archaeology, restoration ecology, biological sciences, environmental policy, or other related fields. 
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome.
  • Knowledge & skills in the principles of education and interpretation.  Experience working in an environmental or cultural education setting.
  • 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.
  • Knowledge of California's public lands, cultural and historic resources, and natural environments is strongly desired. Specifically having knowledge of CA Central Coast native plants and common invasive species preferred.
  • Knowledge of, or familiarity with, the local area is also helpful.

 The interns must be willing to represent ACE and the BLM in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.  Drug users (including recreational smokers of marijuana) 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:

EOE: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received.  This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding ACE, please feel free to contact the ACE EPIC Recruitment Specialist, Josh Haussler at

If you have any questions regarding job duties, housing, or anything specifically about the internship at Piedras Blancas Light Station, please email Jodie Robb Nelson, BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner, at

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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