American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • National Park Service
  • Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Individual Placement
  • NPS Academy

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is seeking up to 10 participants to contribute to projects alongside NPS Staff as part of the 2021 National Park Service Academy cohort. 

Ideal participants will be open-minded and have an adventurous spirit. No previous conservation or National Parks experience is necessary. The "West" cohort will consist of participants living in Mountain, Pacific, or Hawaii time zones. If you are in Eastern or Central time, please apply on the "East" posting here.

For more information about NPS Academy, please visit: more information about ACE, please visit:


Start Date: March 3rd, 2021

End Date: March 31st, 2021

*a 5-week (part-time) minimum commitment is required *

Location: Virtual, Remotely


Scheduling: NPS Academy is a 30 hour commitment that consists of five 2-hour virtual group sessions and some additional self-driven time. These sessions will take place once a week on Wednesdays in March at a time to be determined by the selected cohort. Additionally, if health and safety standards allow, an individual field trip to a national park site local to the participant is optional, but encouraged. Field trip travel will be reimbursed.


About NPS Academy:  The NPS Academy is an innovative and immersive program designed to introduce a diversity of participants, ages 18 to 30 from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the National Parks, to career opportunities with the NPS. The Academy is an approximately 10-hour experience that prepares participants to qualify for internships and careers in conservation. Academy will take place once a week throughout the month of March. Because of the uncertainties of COVID 19, acceptance into the Academy orientation does not guarantee placement in a summer position.  

Participants come away equipped with knowledge about the NPS mission and the NPS Universal Competencies that are considered the foundation of all careers in the NPS and are critical to all park service employees. The NPS Academy maximizes career opportunities with NPS through training and hands on experiences. 

Goals of the Academy are to:

  • Connect a diverse group of young adults sharing a passion and curiosity for careers within the NPS
  • Foster NPS mentor relationships deepening participants' knowledge of and personal network within the NPS
  • Develop a network of emerging conservation and park leaders by building ambassadorship, storytelling, and leadership skills
  • Create a more inclusive future for public lands


Allowance: ACE NPS Academy Member is expected to contribute ~20-30 hours to complete the program over the course of five weeks and will receive a one-time allowance of $450 for participation in the full orientation program.


After Academy:NPS Academy participants will be prepared to compete for paid positions in the national parks and may be selected for summer internships with park service sites that have demonstrated a commitment to mentorship and support of emerging professionals' development.

Benefits typically associated with the summer internships are:

  • $400/week living allowance to offset the cost of the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly
  • Housing is provided at no cost to members
  • Relocation expenses can be reimbursed up to $700
  • Positions may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award (~$1600)
  • Hours served during these internships counts towards the 640 hours necessary to earn the Public Land Corps (PLC) Hiring Authority

Positions vary each year and have been hosted at over 100 National Park Service sites since the program began in 2011. Previous sites have included: Grand Teton National Park, Acadia National Park, Lowell National Historical Park, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Blue Ridge Parkway and Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Each individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups. 

The position categories offered in 2021 and their ideal candidate interests/experiences are:

  • Cultural Resources Management: museum studies, history, archeology, archives, specimen identification and documentation, or cultural/historic preservation
  • Geospatial Sciences: GIS, IT or administrative responsibilities
  • Interpretation, Education & Visitor Services: public speaking, working with children and young adults, developing and giving guided programs, customer service, or community engagement
  • Natural Resources Management: biological sciences, fuel reduction/fire ecology, invasive species management, wildlife or data collection
  • Trails & Maintenance: field work and outdoor recreation

Duties will vary by site and position. More detailed information on specific positions will be available in Spring 2021.


Required Qualifications: 

  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the National Park Service in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. 
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • This position is funded through the Public Land Corps Act which has specific program requirements:
  • Must be 18-30 years of age to apply; Military Veterans up to 35 are also encouraged to apply.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
  • Access to a computer and internet to take part in virtual programming (technology assistance available)


Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties or while on federal property, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.


To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest in National Park Service Academy and its vision and goals, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position will close on January 31st, but may close sooner. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC Member Coordinator, Deidra Goodwin at or


EEO: 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.

American Conservation Experience - EPIC
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