American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • Other
  • South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ, USA

Internship title: Grand Canyon National Park Forestry Internship - AmeriCorps

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with Grand Canyon National Park is seeking one Forestry Intern for the Hazard Tree Program. The interns will dedicate 16 weeks working directly with the Grand Canyon vegetation staff exploring the field of vegetation management and experiencing the Canyon's varied ecosystems. These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic, beginning professionals with a background in ecology, botany, biology, 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 Grand Canyon's professional staff and amazing biological resources.

Start Date: April 9, 2013

End Date: July 26, 2013

Position Closes: AS SOON AS POSSIBLE


An 16-week (450-hour) commitment is required.


Location: The ACE interns will assist Grand Canyon vegetation staff with early season vegetation management activities on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The emphasis of the work will be in the park's developed areas on the South Rim, North Rim, and Inner Canyon. Work will be primarily in the field. Work and living locations are at high elevation (South Rim 6860 ft., Desert View 7340 ft., and Lees Ferry 3200 ft.) and temperatures will be cold in the early part of the work period with occasional snow and frequent ice.

Project Partner Website: For more information about the Grand Canyon please visit their website at:

Compensation: A $110/week stipend will be provided for food and incidentals. Housing will be provided in Park housing at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. A $1468 AmeriCorps Education award will be provided upon successful completion of 450 hours of service.

Position Description: The Forestry Interns will support the Hazard Tree Coordinator by assisting with surveying the developed areas of the Inner Canyon, South Rim, and North Rim for hazardous trees. The interns will assist with the evaluation of trees in the canyon's developed areas and will document trees that pose a potential threat to human safety and property. They will be removing and pruning trees with chainsaws and hand tools, conducting traffic control, hauling trailers, maintaining and repairing equipment, working with volunteer groups and other park personnel, and collecting field data.

The interns will help with the safe pruning and removal of trees deemed hazardous, and the disposal of tree material. Forestry Interns will be responsible for collecting field data and entering it into the program database. The Forestry Interns will serve as co-leads, with NPS staff and other interns, for volunteer groups involved in hazardous tree management and general vegetation program duties. The Forestry Interns will also gain experience with other components of the park's vegetation program, including invasive plant removal, native habitat restoration, restoration site maintenance, native seed collection, and nursery management. Other tasks may be assigned at the mutual discretion of NPS and ACE.

Project Background and Objectives: The Forestry Intern will assist with the implementation of all components of the park's Hazard Tree Management program, which is located within the Division of Science and Resource Management. The program is designed to provide visitors, residents, employees, and infrastructure reasonable protection from tree failure, and to preserve and sustain healthy trees as a component of the park's natural, functional, and aesthetic resources. The interns will gain experience with other aspects of vegetation management and monitoring throughout the duration of this position. In the past, interns have worked on assisting the park in their effort to control invasive species, including but not limited to, Russian thistle, Himalayan blackberry, Bull thistle, and Scotch thistle.

While the Hazard Tree Management program is just one part of the larger management effort of the park, the work being done by these interns crosses all lines, and affects all aspects of park management from recreation to maintenance, wilderness management to endangered species protection. The position presents a great opportunity to hike throughout the Grand Canyon while conducting canyon wide forestry surveys!

Training Provided: NPS Program Leaders will provide on-site oversight of all activities and maintain safety standards through the field season's activities. NPS will provide instruction and educational orientation as to the ecological and park significance of the project to the Forestry Interns. The Forestry Interns will learn about common native trees in the southwest, and will be able to identify tree pathogens and pests that adversely impact these species. Plant identification skills, GPS use, backcountry hiking and navigation, and other specific skills as they relate to the positions will be developed through the training provided by NPS.

Ranger-led interpretive tours, talks, presentations, or other similar development opportunities will be provided to enhance the experiences of the Forestry Interns. Appropriate educational opportunities pertaining to the Park's natural and cultural history will be identified and provided, so that interns can learn about the ecological significance of the work they are performing. This internship emphasizes providing an enriching, rewarding, and educational experience for the Forestry Interns.

Qualifications: Preferred applicants for the position will have completed a bachelor's degree and/or have experience in environmental science, forestry, botany, biological sciences, natural resource management, park management, or a related discipline. The interns must be resourceful, adaptable, and able to work comfortably alone or in a group. The ACE NPS GRCA Forestry Interns 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.


  • US Citizens and Green Card holders only
  • Between the ages of 18 – 25 applicants over 25 must have recently completed a MA/MS in a relevant discipline
  • Ability to safely utilize hand and power tools, such as a chainsaw
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS
  • Valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation
  • Interns must have personal medical insurance for the duration of their participation with ACE
  • Deep interest in ecology and respect for nature
  • Desire to gain a deeper understanding and relationship with the Southwest and understand what it takes to manage our country's most revered natural places
  • Physically fit for outdoor work in all types of inclement weather
  • Ability to carry and lift up to 50 pounds and to work on steep and rough terrain in the backcountry of the park
  • English proficiency

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Effective communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences
  • Knowledge and understanding of botany and plant taxonomy, including plant identification and use of dichotomous keys
  • Knowledge and ability utilizing GIS/GPS equipment in the field
  • Ability to work alone or in a group
  • Ability to operate a 4-wheel drive vehicle on steep, rough terrain, possibly pulling a trailer
  • Degree or significant coursework in botany, ecology, natural resource management, environmental science, geography, or closely related field as they relate to the positions noted
  • It is highly desirable to have a personal vehicle as it is difficult to secure reliable rides for groceries or other activities that you wish to engage in during off hours

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


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