American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • Other
  • CA, USA

Internship title: NPS Cuyahoga Valley & Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park Vegetation Management & Botany Interns – AmeriCorps

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with Cuyahoga Valley (CUVA) & Sequoia-Kings NP, is seeking two Exotic Vegetation Management Interns to dedicate a combined 36 weeks in support of the National Park Service, managing native and non-native plants. This is a once in a lifetime chance to engage in vegetation management efforts in the Sierra Nevada of California, and then relocate to Ohio's Cuyahoga River Valley. The variability and difference between these two ecosystems are dramatic, but share one common tie: Invasive species treatment projects focused on stabilizing and protecting the Parks Native vegetative communities.

These opportunities are intended for interns who are capable of learning and engaging in two very different systems and programs enthusiastically. They are geared towards 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 National Park's professional staff and diverse resources.


Start Date: March 11, 2013

End Date: May 17, 2013

Cuyahoga Valley:

Start Date: May 20, 2013

End Date: November 16, 2013


A 36-week commitment is required – Performance review required at SEKI prior to approving transfer to CUVA


Description of project locations:

Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks are situated in the midst of such diverse resources as giant sequoia groves, alpine peaks, foothill blue oak woodlands, deep canyons, wild and scenic rivers, numerous caves and abundant plant and animal life. The Parks are stunningly beautiful and encompass elevations from 1300 feet to the top of Mt. Whitney at 14,496 feet, the highest point in the lower 48 states, and many varied ecozones ranging through foothill hardwood forests and grasslands, montane mixed conifer belt, sub-alpine forests and treeless alpine zones. During this time of the year the ground above 6000 feet elevation is covered in deep snow, but spring is in full swing in the foothills.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park 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 Partner Websites: For more information regarding the Cuyahoga Valley National Park or area visit the park's website at For more information regarding Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks please visit:

Compensation: The ACE intern are expected to work 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $110/week while at SEKI, and if approved, $160/week at CUVA for food and incidental expenses, paid bi-weekly. Dormitory housing is provided by NPS. Pets and family members are not permitted to live in Park housing. There is no travel allowance provided between Park units, however CUVA provides travel compensation for the extensive travel between other regional park units.

Position Descriptions:

Sequoia-Kings National Park interns will provide a wonderful opportunity to explore the field of invasive plant management, ecological restoration, and plant propagation and to experience California's foothills ecosystems while exploring career options in natural resources. The ACE interns will assist Sequoia National Park vegetation staff with early season vegetation management activities in the foothills. Work will be primarily in the field. Although all interns will have opportunities for experience in all of the mentioned programs, interns will work primarily on invasive plant control projects. The Vegetation Management Internship positions are high energy and involve working on difficult terrain.

Interns will usually spend the entire day in the field, driving and/or walking to known infestations utilizing maps and GPS, collecting monitoring data, and conducting control work. Other non-native plant species may be targeted such as Himalayan blackberry, Spanish broom, and periwinkle. Weather and road conditions permitting, there will be a one-week car camping trip Cedar Grove (4500 feet) in Kings Canyon National Park for invasive plant control in corrals, campgrounds, and other developed sites.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park 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. ACE and NPS are committed to providing the most educational, rewarding, and challenging experience possible to best prepare interns for future careers in the stewardship of America's parks and public lands.

Qualifications: Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in botany, plant ecology, biology, natural resource management, 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 Vegetation Management & Botany 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 26-29 and have recently completed a relevant MS/MA Degree Program.

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, an interest and understanding of invasion ecology, and a desire to become a better botanist in service of our nations public lands;

Must be able to able and willing to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, participating in physical labor;

English proficiency is imperative; and

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; and

Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome.

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


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