Topic ID #39359 - posted 4/3/2018 3:05 PM

ACE/NPS: Shenandoah Visitor Use and Curatorial Assistant Internship - AmeriCorps


Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with Shenandoah National Park, is seeking ONE Visitor Use/Curatorial Assistant Intern to assist with interpretation, security, grounds maintenance, integrated pest management, and preservation maintenance at Rapidan Camp, and preservation of the museum exhibit spaces. ACE is seeking an intern interested in dedicating 8 weeks in support of the National Park Service to maximize visitor access to this historic house museum within the Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah National Park.

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


Start Date: June 11, 2018 (may be flexible by one week)

End Date: August 6, 2018 (or 8 weeks from start date)

*An 8-week commitment is required*


Location:  Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park contains 196,000 forested acres along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia. The Park's backcountry of steep rugged terrain contains 500 miles of trails, including 95 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and nearly 80,000 acres of federally designated wilderness. Skyline Drive, the famous scenic tour road through the Park, follows the ridge crest for 105 miles and connects to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nearly two million people visit the Park each year to enjoy views from the Skyline Drive, hike trails, rock climb, enjoy nature study, camp, or stay overnight in one of the Park's rustic lodges or backcountry cabins. The Park supports approximately 1400 vascular plant species, numerous state-rare plant species, and a variety of forest community types. The mountain streams are inhabited by 39 species of fishes, over 230 species of aquatic invertebrates and provide some of the best protected strongholds for native eastern brook trout south of Maine.


Project Website:  For more information regarding Shenandoah National Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: For more information on American Conservation Experience and the Internship Program, please visit:


Compensation: The ACE Interns will receive 8 weeks of a $150/week living allowance to cover the cost of food and incidental expenses, paid bi-weekly. ACE interns will be accommodated in park housing at no cost for the duration of the internship. Also, a $500 travel allowance will be distributed evenly throughout the internship to aid in any cost of relocation and commuting to the duty station.


AmeriCorps: This internship may be eligible for a 300-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1,230.69) upon successful completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required.


SchedulingOff days for the intern will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Weekend service is expected throughout the internship. ~8 hour days will be anticipated.


Housing: Housing consists of a historic cabin (Creel Cabin, Rapidan Camp), located on-site.  The closet town is the town of Stanley ~45 minutes away, Luray, Front Royal, and Harrisonburg are about an hour to an hour and a half away. Laundry facilities are available at the Big Meadows Campground.

There is no cell phone reception or internet at Rapidan Camp.  A calling card is recommended for outgoing phone calls.  Incoming calls can be made to Creel Cabin.  A personal vehicle is required due to the remote location. A government vehicle will be available for work related travel and for transportation between their personal vehicle and the camp.


Position Description:  

Interpretive Duties: The intern will assist interpretive staff with formal park programs. For visitors on foot, the intern will develop their own thematic program related to Herbert and Lou Hoover and Rapidan Camp. They will provide their interpretive program to interested park visitors and hikers. This position is critical for maximizing visitor access to this historic house museum. Without this position, visitors only have access to this historic house museum four times a week through the interpretive staff program.

Museum Preservation Duties: Routine cleaning of the structure and preservation cleaning of the historic house museum artifacts. Cleaning will be done under the guidance of the museum specialist using appropriate gloves, handling techniques, and other museum quality materials. Using appropriate museum materials, they will put quilts out daily for visitors and pack them away at night. Other museum responsibilities such as labeling museum objects may be assigned based on intern interest and time available.

Environmental Monitoring Duties: They will monitor the environment in the structure for temperature and humidity using fans and opening and closing windows as appropriate to help control the internal environment, minimizing the damage these can cause. Assist with seasonal visible and ultra-violet light readings used to develop a more protected environment for museum objects. 

Physical Demands: Ability to lift furniture, and equipment (50 lbs); use weed trimming and leaf blowing equipment for landscape maintenance; ability to bend, stoop and crawl; work in variable temperatures both outside and inside (hot, cool, and humid). May entail some hiking over rough terrain (level to extremely steep and rocky); willingness to be exposed to hazards of the field environment (inclement weather, ticks, stinging insects, bears). Intern may see black bears, serve in venomous snake habitat, be exposed to bugs, ticks, and poison ivy, and get bruises/scratches.


Educational and Training Opportunities:  The staff at Shenandoah National Park will coordinate with the intern to set up educational cross-training days as interest and opportunities allow. Topics may include plant restoration, invasive plant control, vegetative monitoring/sampling, fisheries, wildlife, trail work, historic structures, archeological location searching, GIS/use of GPS equipment, interpretation, or student education. 


Qualifications:  Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in environmental science, natural resource management, park management, cultural/historic preservation, education or a related discipline. 


  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Permanent Residents only
  • Must be 18-35 years of age (Interns must be 21-35 to apply for any ACE position that requires or anticipates operation of agency or ACE vehicles for duties.)
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS
  • Must have excellent communication and organization skills in respect to interpretation and museum preservation
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation; personal vehicle required
  • Deep interest in interpretation, history, and respect for nature is critical
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
  • Knowledge of, or willing to research and learn about the natural and cultural history of the Southern Appalachians
  • English proficiency


  • Ability to serve alone and in a group
  • Excellent public speaking skills with diverse audiences
  • Grounds maintenance experience 
  • Integrated pest management experience
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome

The ACE 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. 


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.  If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact ACE EPIC NPS Recruitment Specialist Zoe Moskwa at


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