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

Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit conservation corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is seeking ONE Water Quality Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Intern to monitor and protect significant natural resources in National Parks as part of the NPS Appalachian Highlands Inventory and Monitoring Network (APHN). This excellent opportunity is ideal for an enthusiastic young professional who is deeply committed to conservation in our National Parks! Applicants should have a strong interest in hydrology, aquatic ecology, and natural resource management. 


Start Date: September 16, 2019

End Date:  September 12, 2020 (or 52 weeks after start date)

*A 52-week commitment is required*


Location: Stationed at Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, NC.

Fieldwork will be in three National Park Service units in four southeastern states (KY, NC, TN and VA). These are large natural resource parks protecting some of the most significant ecosystems in the Southern Appalachians, including cliff-lined river gorges (Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Obed Wild and Scenic River), and montane forests (Blue Ridge Parkway).


Project Partner Website:  For more information regarding the Blue Ridge Parkway please visit the NPS website at: For more information on the ACE Internship Program, please visit:


Compensation: The ACE member will serve approximately 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $300/week for food, housing, and incidentals paid out biweekly. While traveling for projects, accommodations will include motels and park housing; reimbursable travel expenses are covered by the ACE.


AmeriCorps: This opportunity may be eligible for a 900-hour ($2,865) AmeriCorps Education Award Upon Successful Completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required.


Position Description:  This is a twelve-month position with the NPS Appalachian Highlands Inventory and Monitoring Network (APHN) where the ACE Intern will serve as a member of a team that conducts field-oriented natural resources monitoring. Duties are mainly assisting with field data collection, data management and related laboratory testing for the Network's water quality monitoring program. Other duties may include assisting with freshwater mussel and vegetation monitoring.

Assist APHN staff with a variety of field-oriented projects, including:

  • Water quality monitoring. Duties may include assisting with operation and maintenance of data sondes used to collect continuous water quality data, as well as assisting with collection of discrete water quality samples;
  • Operation and maintenance of water quality meters, and laboratory instruments and equipment;
  • Entering and quality-checking continuous and discrete water quality monitoring data using Microsoft Access and Excel, and other proprietary database software;
  • Occasionally providing field and data management assistance for other long-term monitoring projects, including freshwater mussel and vegetation monitoring;
  • Entering data and species occurrence information (from legacy reports and collection records) in databases and spreadsheets, using Microsoft Access and Excel, and other proprietary database software;
  • Field operation and basic management of Global Positioning System (esp. Garmin) instruments and data;
  • Creating basic Geographic Information System maps (with ESRI's ArcGIS software) for natural resources inventory and monitoring projects;
  • Organizing and carrying out field logistics to support monitoring teams of two or more people.


Training: APHN will provide field training and experience using a variety of water quality monitoring instruments and techniques, as well as techniques for vegetation and freshwater mussel monitoring. Training and skills will be provided in data manipulation using Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, ESRI ArcGIS software, as well as other proprietary software, including Aquatic Informatics' Aquarius software, Garmin GPS software, and National Park Service natural resources inventory and monitoring databases. Training will be provided in Wilderness First Aid and Operational Leadership (a safety awareness course).


Qualifications: Applicants for the position must have previous course work or relevant experience in aquatic ecology, hydrology, environmental science, natural resource management or related disciplines.


  • Must be a US Citizen and Permanent Resident
  • Must be 18 to 35 years old (interns must be 21 years of age or older to apply for any ACE position that requires operation of agency or ACE vehicles)
  • A valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation
  • Able to work well with colleagues in a group setting, as well as independently, with minimal supervision
  • Able and willing to serve outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in sustained physical labor
  • Interest and knowledge of hydrology
  • Knowledge, interest and/or experience conducting aquatic field projects
  • Experience in various field data collection methods using standard protocols
  • Experience in backcountry hiking and navigation in steep terrain
  • Interest and ability to serve in remote field areas
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Access, Garmin GPS units, and/or ESRI's ArcGIS
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check

The interns 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.


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 ACE EPIC NPS Recruitment Specialist, (828) 329-4793 Madison Douthitt

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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