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

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service, Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) is seeking Four Education and Outreach Interns interested in dedicating 18 weeks in support of the National Park Service in delivering inquiry-based programs in environmental education and stewardship to students grades K-8, as well as interacting and engaging park visitors in the resources of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park out of the Cades Cove Visitor Center.

This excellent opportunity is ideal for an enthusiastic young professional who is deeply committed to the preservation of our national parks. Applicants must have strong interest in a career in natural resource management, history and education.

Great Smoky Mountains is unique among America's National Parks. Located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is renowned for its rich diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of the ancient mountains and forests, and its preservation of the Southern Appalachian mountain culture.


Start Date: June 23rd, 2019

End Date: November 24th, 2019


* A 22-week commitment is required *


Location: This position will be based out of Cade Cove, Tennessee. 


Project Website: For more information regarding Cades Cove and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: and For more information regarding the ACE Internship Program, please visit:


Compensation: The ACE intern will serve 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $165/week, dispersed bi-weekly, for food and incidentals. Shared housing will be provided by NPS. Cell phone reception is not always reliable and personal vehicle required due to the site being remote with no reliable public transportation. The Intern will have use of a government vehicle for project-related travel.


AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 675-hour ($2,215.24) AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required.


Position Description: Great Smoky Mountains NP has a long-standing curriculum-based education program. The Parks as Classrooms (PAC) program offers nationally recognized K-12 inquiry- based education programs for students to help them achieve academically and to inspire in them a sense of stewardship in national parks and their communities.

Cades Cove is one of the most popular sites to visit in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Here, visitors are able to learn hands on about both the rich cultural and natural history of the area by exploring the on-site historic buildings scenic mountain views, outstanding wildlife viewing and numerous interactive and backcountry trails.

In support of the mission of the National Park Service, the fundamental duties performed by Education and Outreach Intern are:

Resource Education and Visitor Services  Educating area children, teachers and parents about the significance and uniqueness of park resources, conservation, and ecologically sound practices and the laws, rules, and regulations developed to protect park resources and provide for their safe and non-consumptive use. This will be through interpretive programs, Parks as Classroom programs and visitor outreach and engagement at the Cades Cove Visitor Center.

Resource Protection  Preserving the natural and cultural resources of the park by preventing degradation of ecosystems, historical structures and artifacts and by preventing the loss and theft of objects, flora, and fauna through information and education. Use wildlife management techniques to ensure safe visitor/wildlife interactions

This will be achieved through the implementation of curriculum-based education programs. The park programs enhance classroom learning by using the cultural and natural resources as teaching tools. Through place-based learning, students make real-world connections with science and history as they explore our National Parks!


Scope of Work: This internship position is 40 hours/week. Education interns serve closely with National Park rangers to deliver and evaluate programs in the park and in the classroom, as well as interact with park visitors and perform public outreach in the Cades Cove Visitor Center.

Projects include developing/designing new educational and interpretive programs, maintaining program statistics, and creating interpretive visual media, as well as roving the Cable Mill Visitor Center area providing information to park visitors. 

Lessons are guided by Tennessee state and national standards and emphasize science and cultural and history education. Lessons and field trips are provided at no cost to schools or teachers. The NPS also provides coaching throughout the internship, allowing interns the chance for continuous improvement.

The Intern will serve the NPS Great Smoky Mountains' mission by enthusiastically serving to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Provide and deliver outreach education programs to K to middle school aged students (70%)
  • Provide public outreach and interact with park visitors at the Visitor Center (20%)
  • Developing and researching program elements (lesson revision, lesson development) (10%)


Training Provided: The intern will receive training in park resource knowledge, delivery of curriculum- based programs, report writing, and other position related skills, as well as safety training and oversight. ACE and NPS 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 parks and public lands.


Qualifications: Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in environmental education, interpretation, biological sciences, natural resource management, ecology, history, education, cultural resources, park management, or a related discipline.


  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Must be 18 to 35 years old
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS
  • Must have effective communication skills with diverse audiences; ability to serve alone and in a group
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation; personal vehicle required
  • Enthusiastic about serving with students in grades K-8
  • Knowledge of, or willing to research and learn more about the natural and cultural history of the Southern Appalachians
  • Must be able and willing to serve outdoors, in varying weather conditions, and capable of participating in physical labor
  • English proficiency
  • Candidate is anticipated to have recurring access to vulnerable populations during this position
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required


  • Knowledge and skills in the principles of education and interpretation
  • Familiarity with the National Park Service
  • Excellent public speaking skills
  • Bilingual applicants are strongly encouraged and welcome

The 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.


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.


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; this position may close at any time.  If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact NPS Recruitment Specialist Dave Hecker, or (801) 386-1629.


American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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