American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • Other
  • CA, USA

Internship title: NPS Sequoia-Kings Canyon & Capitol Reef National Park Vegetation Management & Horticultural Internship

Summary: Yes, you read it correctly, American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with the National Park Service Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI), and Capitol Reef National Park (CARE), is seeking one Vegetation Management/Orchard Management Intern to work in BOTH Park units. The ACE intern will assist Sequoia National Park vegetation staff with early season vegetation management, then travel to Capitol Reef National Park to work with maintenance staff in caring for the Park's orchards which are designated as a Rural Historic Landscape within the Fruita region of the park. ACE is seeking interns interested in dedicating 17 weeks in support of the National Park Service in implementing vegetation/orchard management techniques in two national parks.

If you find it difficult to decide what skills and opportunities you wish to immerse yourself in, you may want to consider working in two very different National Parks this spring/summer. If you are botanically inclined and deeply committed to the preservation of our national parks, you should consider working to protect Sequoia-Kings' native vegetation through invasive plant removal. Once spring sprouts, the Historic Orchards of Capitol Reef will need a horticultural caretaker to prune, weed, prepare, harvest, and generally maintain them. Applicants must have a strong interest in a career in natural resource management, invasive plant control, and orchard management. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of the San Joaquin Valley in the state California. The landscape testifies to nature's size, beauty, and diversity - huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world's largest trees. Capitol Reef is located in southern Utah and has amazing historic, cultural and natural resources.

Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks Vegetation Management Internship

Start Date: March 12, 2013

End Date: May 17, 2013

Capitol Reef National Park - Orchard Management Internship

Start Date: May 20, 2013

End Date: July 5, 2013


A 17-week commitment is required


Location SEKI: This is an opportunity to work and live in two premier National Parks with 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.

Location CARE: Capitol Reef National Park is located in southern Utah. Housing is located within the park. Nearest shopping center is located 25 miles away.

Project Partner Websites: For more information regarding Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, or the National Park Service, please visit: or

For more information about the Capitol Reef and its rich culture, please visit the website at: or

Compensation: The ACE interns selected for this opportunity will receive Park housing at or near the assigned Park unit and will be provided $110/week for the duration of the internship. There is no funding available for transportation between park units. Included is a description of the Park housing:

SEKI: ACE interns will be accommodated in park housing in Ash Mountain Headquarters, just outside the community of Three Rivers, California. Housing is shared with up to three interns.

CARE: Housing is in a five-bedroom dormitory. Intern will have private room with a shared bath. Shared kitchen and common areas as well as all appliances, including coin-operated washer and dryer are provided as are basic kitchen pots, pans and dishes. Heat, electricity, water are included. There is local phone service at the dormitory (long distance calls can be made with a calling card) and cell reception in the park is very spotty. Internet service is provided (however, this should not be a deciding factor in applying, as Capitol Reef is still a remote location with few amenities).

SEKI Position Description: The internships 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.

CARE Position Description: The ACE intern will assist Capitol Reef's maintenance staff with pruning and care of the historic orchard managed by the park south of Fruita. Intern work will be supervised primarily by the Orchard Manager with oversight from the Maintenance Supervisor. The intern will also work with backcountry fence crews, GIS leads, and other maintenance personnel. Specific duties are described below, but are not limited to the following:

Working within the Orchard (80%):

  • Pruning fruit trees using chainsaw, hand pruning saws, loppers, orchard lift and ladders
  • Assisting in irrigation operations
  • Assisting in fruit harvest
  • Bucking pruned limbs into small pieces and operation of wood chipper and wood splitter
  • Hauling limbs to wood pile and campground
  • Assisting in dead tree/stump removal
  • Assisting orchard manager with tasks related to orchard pruning'repair of tools and equipment
  • Using hand tools to clear and maintain historic irrigation ditches
  • Assisting in the repair of irrigation ditches
  • Preparing orchards for spring planting
  • Assisting GIS professional with orchard infrastructure and data mapping
  • Assisting in the repair of orchard fence and gates
  • Assisting in the installation of valve boxes
  • Assisting in troubleshooting irrigation lines

Fence work (10%):

  • Assisting in back country fencing operations'fence post pounding, wire stretching (may involve pack animal riding)
  • Assist in backcountry fencing condition assessments

Other duties (10%):

  • Assist with minor maintenance operations (occasional custodial and maintenance assistant duties)
  • Attendance at monthly staff meetings
  • Attendance at weekly safety meetings
  • Assist natural resource personnel with re-vegetation projects, spotted owl surveys, invasive removals and possible botanical surveys

Training Provided CARE: Orchard care and identification, GPS/GIS use, some backcountry hiking and navigation, and other specific skills as they relate to the position offered (ie. Chipper/splitter, fencing tools, etc). Defensive Drivers Training will be necessary to drive government vehicles.

Project Background and Objectives SEKI: The Invasive Plant Intern will work on a field crew to survey the highway for weeds from the entrance station to Amphitheater Point and control as necessary, survey/control the Amphitheater Point to Deer Ridge highway construction project for weeds, and treat adjacent areas below the project for Italian thistle. Control techniques will include hand-pulling and herbicide application with backpack sprayers.

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.

Project Background and Objectives CARE: Today, the orchards are preserved and protected as a Rural Historic Landscape. The orchards hold approximately 2,700 trees and are composed of cherry, apricot, peach, pear, and apple, as well as, a few plum, mulberry, almond, and walnut trees. The National Park Service now owns and maintains the orchards with an orchard crew that is kept busy year round with pruning, irrigation, and orchard management.

Training Provided: All interns will be given thorough safety orientations to known hazards of the worksites and all proper personal protective equipment that will be required during work. Training will be given in herbicide application before any herbicide work commences. 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 environmental science, botany, horticulture, biological sciences, natural resource management, park management, forestry, or a related discipline. The interns must be resourceful, adaptable, and able to work comfortably alone or in a group. The CURE-SEKI Vegetation Management 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.
  • Must be able to identify native and non-native plants, and be able to use a dichotomous key to identify them to species.
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS.
  • Must be physically fit and comfortable working away from roads and on steep hillsides.
  • Must be able to walk long distances (up to two miles) on hilly terrain in varied weather conditions.
  • Must be comfortable applying herbicides and able to carry backpack sprayer weighing 35-40 pounds.
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation; personal vehicle required.
  • Interns must have personal medical insurance for the duration of their participation with ACE.
  • Deep interest in ecology, history, and respect for nature is critical.
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required.
  • English proficiency is imperative.

Additional Qualifications:

  • Knowledge and skills in the principles of invasive weed control.
  • Plant identification skills are a plus.
  • A strong demonstrated interest and/or education in the field of natural resources.
  • Excellent writing, research, and organizational skills.
  • Effective communication skills with diverse audiences.
  • Ability to work alone and in a group.
  • 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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