American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • National Park Service
  • Brecksville, OH, USA


Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CUVA), is seeking two Exotic Vegetation Management Interns to dedicate 26 weeks in support of the National Park Service, managing native and non-native plants.

These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic, beginning professionals with a background in ecology, botany, biology, wildlife, fisheries, entomology, natural resource management, or a closely related field, who possess a deep interest in advancing their career goals through hard work and commitment to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's professional staff and diverse resources.

Start Date: As soon as possible

End Date: 26 weeks from the start date

A 26-week (6 months)  commitment is required


Location: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley NP protects 33,000 acres surrounding the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron in northeast Ohio. The park's mission is to preserve and protect the historic, scenic, natural, and recreational values of the Cuyahoga River Valley for public use and enjoyment and to maintain open space in an urbanized environment. The park is dominated by deciduous forest but also supports meadows, wetlands, and farming. More than 53% of the park is considered functional riparian area. Summers are moderately warm with average temperatures in the 70's and 80's but with occasional warm spells in the 90's. Winters are moderately cold with average temperatures in the 20's and 30's; heavy snowfall is not unusual.

Project Website: For more information regarding the Cuyahoga Valley National Park or area visit the park's website at For more information regarding the ACE Internship Program, please visit: 

Compensation: The ACE intern will work 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $160/week for food and incidental expenses, paid bi-weekly.

This ACE internship opportunity is also eligible for a 900 hour ($2,775) AmeriCorps Education Award, awarded upon successful completion of service hours. 

Dormitory housing is provided by NPS. Pets and family members are not permitted to live in Park housing. A travel allowance will be provided to cover expenses for the extensive travel to other Park Units in the region.

Position Description: Interns typically work with park staff and volunteers on a variety of projects to manage vegetation at the park. Exotic-plant management, including use of mechanical and chemical control, is a high priority, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park supports similar programs at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park ( in southern Ohio and Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial ( in southern Indiana. Accordingly, interns likely will travel with park staff on at least three trips to other parks and will be supported on federal per diem while in travel status.

Interns also will assist with habitat restoration at the park, including collecting native seeds and cuttings; propagating native plants at the park's nursery; preparing sites for planting; and planting native plants at restoration sites. Many projects, including exotic-plant control and reforestation, will be completed in coordination with large groups of volunteers. Other projects occasionally may require independent, solitary work. Interns also will travel to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plant Material Center in upstate New York to clean seeds collected throughout the year. Depending on personal interest, interns also will have opportunities to assist on other park projects, such as coyote surveys, deer surveys, butterfly surveys, vegetation monitoring, and wetland monitoring.

Project Background and Objectives: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) is a member of the Heartland Inventory &Monitoring Network, fifteen parks in the Midwest sharing resources and professional expertise to inventory and monitor natural resources. Inventory and monitoring builds a strong scientific foundation for the management and protection of natural resources in National Parks.

The Inventory provides a snapshot of the natural resources in a park. Monitoring tracks the health of the natural resources across time. Effective monitoring programs alert park managers about changes'both positive and negative'in a timely way so that they can make informed decisions to protect the resources.

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: Interns will travel with park staff to two other national parks, including Hopewell Culture National Historical Park established to preserve remnants of ancient, mound-building civilizations and Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial established to preserve the site of Abraham Lincoln's childhood home.

In addition, excellent recreational and educational opportunities are available near Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including hiking and biking trails, numerous restaurants and theaters, nearby shopping, easy access to Lake Erie and multiple universities and colleges.

Training Provided: The park will provide training to interns in (1) plant identification; (2) understanding methods and managing exotic plants with potential to become a state-certified applicator, if interested; (3) using GIS and GPS technology; (4) propagating native plants; and (5) safely using chainsaws and other tools to manage exotic plants.

Qualifications: Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in botany, ecology, biology, wildlife, fisheries, entomology, or related discipline. The intern will be resourceful, adaptable, and able to work comfortably alone or in a group. The ACE NPS CVNP Vegetation 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.

Required Skills:

  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Green Card holders only
  • Interns must be 18 to 25 years old and/or 26 to 29 years old and have recently completed a relevant MA/MS degree
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS
  • Must have effective communication skills with diverse audiences
  • Must be able to work alone and in a group
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation
  • Personal vehicles are required
  • Interns must have personal medical insurance for the duration of their participation with ACE
  • Must have a deep interest in field work and a respect for nature
  • Must be able to able and willing to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, participating in physical labor
  • English proficiency is imperative
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required

Additional Qualifications:

  • Experience working in an environmental or cultural education setting
  • A strong demonstrated interest and/or education in the field of natural and cultural resources
  • Experience identifying and managing native and non-native plants
  • Experience using GPS and GIS software
  • Excellent writing, research, and organizational skills
  • Excellent public speaking skills
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome


This position has been closed and is no longer available.
American Conservation Experience - EPIC


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