American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • National Park Service
  • Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA
  • per week
  • Individual Placement
  • NPS Academy

Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Yellowstone National Park, is seeking two YCC NPS Academy members as part of the 2023 National Park Service Academy cohort. During these 14-week positions and additional one week March Experience, the members will learn about Yellowstone's wonders, working with NPS YCC staff members and leading teens, and living in an intentional community while also learning about the National Park Service (NPS) as a career path.

For more information about NPS Academy, please visit:

For more information about ACE, please visit:

About NPS Academy:
National Park Service Academy aims to support the development of a more representative NPS workforce by connecting dynamic, young adults through an experiential program designed around three themes - Connections, Diversity, Legacy. Through participation, members build their conservation ethic, intercultural awareness, and career readiness skills and competencies. NPS Academy introduces participants to the NPS Universal Competencies that are foundational to all NPS career paths within a cohort of like minded peers.

Program Goals:The main goals of NPS Academy are:

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

Start Date: 05/21/2023

End Date: 08/25/2023

*a 14-week minimum commitment and participation in the orientation March 6th-10th is required for the position*

Location: Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is as wondrous as it is complex. Established primarily to protect geothermal areas that contain about half the world's active geysers, the park also forms the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. At 28,000 square miles, it is one of the largest, nearly intact temperate-zone ecosystems on Earth and is the first national park, established in 1872.

The YCC program is a work-based learning, leadership, and outdoor recreation program in Yellowstone National Park. The main goal of the program is to encourage youth, ages 15-18, to work, play, learn, and grow in one of the world's greatest natural landscapes. The YCC program emphasizes work ethics, introduces youth to the spectrum of NPS career opportunities, supports resource education, and promotes recreational activities that encourage youth to build lifelong healthy habits.

The NPS Academy YCC members will have opportunities to explore and learn about Yellowstone National Park resources and the surrounding region; participate and teach resource education lessons; act as a liaison to enrollees and set a positive example for all; lead by actions, attitude, and enthusiasm; and nurture and encourage participants to excel within the boundaries of the program.

For more information about Yellowstone National Park, please visit more information about the Yellowstone YCC program, please visit or see Yellowstone YCC 2022 Blog

Living Allowance:
Members are expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $560/week (less any applicable taxes) to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. NPS Academy allowances are designed to prepare members for similar allowance structure at entry level positions at their service site and some variation exists due to local cost of living differences.

NPS Academy members will be accommodated in provided park service housing at no cost for the duration of the term. Housing varies by park site. Housing is within walking distance from the work site. Accommodations are shared dormitory-style rooms or in tents up to 4 nights a week if serving as a crew leader.

Due to the remoteness of Yellowstone, cell coverage is limited and there is no WiFi at the YCC facility. A personal vehicle can also be helpful but is not required.

Length of service days will typically be 8 hours but might be as long as 12 on some days, with breaks, because of evening programming for youth participants. An average of 40 hours per week will be anticipated. Members will begin at 8 am. The varied schedule will include nights, weekends, and holidays.

Position Description:
This posting is for TWO distinct positions.
Please indicate the position(s) you are interested in in your cover letter.

Logistics and Media Support:This member will assist NPS staff with YCC support needs with the main project to take, collect, and organize photos and create a multimedia presentation for two end of session ceremonies. Serving with the YCC program in Yellowstone requires a good deal of physical exertion while assisting with maintenance work projects and hiking in the backcountry.

Composition of the position is anticipated to be:

25% - take, collect, and organize photos and create multimedia presentations and engage in social networking for the program including regularly posting on the YCC blog

25% - assisting Crew Leaders on NPS-prioritized Yellowstone work projects

25% - assisting weekend staff with recreation, education activities, and career development

25% - other program support, projects, and administrative duties

Crew Leader: This member is responsible for physical and emotional safety of YCC program participants at all times, demonstrating active leadership, supervising safe completion of conservation and facility projects, problem solving, motivating crews, and participating in physically demanding projects. Crew Leaders camp 4 nights a week with the youth crews and help with meals, clean up, Leave No Trace camping skills, drive daily, and help lead night recreation opportunities in the nearby areas.

Project types may include the following: bear box installation, social science (data collection), community science investigations, trail building and maintenance, fence construction, park maintenance, painting, and other projects. Crew Leads are also responsible for leading a variety of field training (~5 hrs/week).

Skills and Experience: An important reminder, all skills needed for this position will be trained on the job. A good attitude, curiosity for learning, and a willingness to work hard contributing to the team are the only prerequisites to finding success.

Essential skills and experience: Ability to get along with others; a desire to work with youth ages 15-18 in a multi-day and night program setting, a willingness to learn and work hard outdoors in sometimes harsh conditions (cold, wet, snowy, hot, dry); demonstrated skills in risk management, strong leadership, and judgment.

Additional skills and experience that are helpful: Willingness to learn and try new experiences, solid work ethic, team building skills, camping, hiking, natural resource management

Skills and experience that members will gain from this position: plant identification, invasive plant species identification and management, experience working with the unique Yellowstone YCC program, Leave No Trace, Bear safety, teambuilding, community living, outdoor recreation experiences, and many more

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:Please use this information to determine personal ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

Physical Demands: The work requires regular physical exertion such as walking or climbing over wet, rough, uneven and/or rocky surfaces; bending, crouching, stooping, or reaching; in some situations the work may require physical exertion to prepare soil for planting and planting activities, and camp overnight in backcountry locations. Heavy items, such as equipment packs weighing up to 50 pounds, must be lifted and carried on a regular basis. May be required to hike several miles in a day.Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus. Strong observation skills due to living in bear country.

Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds. Heavy items, such as equipment packs weighing up to 50 pounds, may be lifted and carried on an occasional basis.

Environmental: The work is performed primarily in the field. The work performed in the field involves regular and recurring exposure to extreme weather conditions and terrain, poisonous plants, biting insects, and wild animals.

Travel: Occasional overnight travel to other areas of the park may occur. Camping, sleeping in tents, making meals in the field should be expected.

Additional Benefits: AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award (~$1718.25) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment steps are required.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects are subject to specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for the PLC, you are still eligible to apply for the NPS Academy position with ACE. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility.

Outdoor Perks: As an ACE EPIC member, you will be eligible to receive pro deals which include deep discounts on outdoor gear providing 30 - 50% off retail prices on 100s of established outdoor gear brands.

ACE Requirements:

  • Members must be US citizen or Permanent Resident, as required to comply with U.S. government contracts
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo a criminal background check.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website here.

To Apply:
Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest in the position and the NPS Academy program, as well as contact information for three references to the online application page for this position here: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time but will close by January 10th at the latest. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC NPS Academy Program Manager, Deidra Goodwin at

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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