NPS Academy

SCA’s NPS Academy is an innovative, experiential learning program designed to introduce undergraduate and graduate students, ages 18-35, from under-represented communities to career opportunities with the National Park Service.

SCA’s NPS Academy is an innovative, experiential learning program designed to introduce undergraduate and graduate students, ages 18-35, from under-represented communities to career opportunities with the National Park Service.

“To enhance professional and organizational excellence in the next century, the National Park Service must recruit and retain a workforce that reflects the diversity of the nation.” —A Call to Action, 2013

Interns attend a week-long orientation over spring break and serve in 12-week summer internships tailored to various NPS career tracks. Summer internships are available in a variety of fields, including visitor services, education, resource management – and many more!

“Four months ago I couldn’t even dream of where I’d be right now. I love going to work every day and the people I work with are amazing. The people I’ve met and the work I’ve been doing has made me more confident in the outdoors and more concerned with the conservation aspect of our work. Now I have much more concrete goals in the NPS as well as potential for promotion and training opportunities.”

—Evan Gerry

“I got accepted to NPS Academy in March 2012, and I got flown to the Great Smoky Mountains. I absolutely loved it. It completely changed my life. I got to meet people who were super passionate about their jobs. I think that was the first time in my life that I met someone that was so passionate about what they were doing that I could feel it walking into the room. After that week, I thought to myself, ‘This is exactly what I want to do with my life. I want to put on the uniform, and I want to wear the awesome flat hat.’”

—Millie Jimenez

Benefits include:

  • Weekly Living Allowance
  • Travel Allowance
  • Housing or Housing Allowance
  • Assigned NPS mentor
  • Hands-On Experience
  • Additional Career Preparation and Ongoing Support
  • Week-long orientation in March
  • Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award

The ideal candidate pool includes:

  • Students who self-identify as being from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds
  • US Citizens
  • 18-35 year-olds
  • Current undergraduate & graduate students

The ideal candidate is:

  • Available for one week in March and twelve weeks in the summer
  • Open-minded and has an adventurous spirit
  • Toward the end of a college career, with some significant work experience
  • Not necessarily experienced in conservation or National Parks
  • Eager to act as an ambassador for SCA and the NPS
  • A licensed driver
  • Able to provide references with an application

Download the 2016 flyer (pdf) here

Apply Now


Related Posts & Program Information

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Aurelia Casey’s extensive SCA portfolio includes a Hurricane Sandy recovery crew, an internship with Hudson River Park, and numerous ConSERVE NYC projects. This summer, she was a Junior Ranger intern at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC as part of SCA’s NPS Academy.

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Park Ranger and SCA Alum Millie Jimenez with her colleagues

As summer winds down, take a weekend to explore some of the hidden gems right outside your backyard. No need to travel abroad to get a taste of the true majesty of nature: America’s National Parks offer some of the best landscapes and outdoor adventures in the world.

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Just in time for National Park Week, an inside look at one of the ways we’re working with the National Park Service to build a public lands workforce that’s as diverse as the Americans it serves.

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ABOVE: Ranger Glenn leads SCA NPS Academy members on an ecology hiking featuring the flora and geology of the Great Smokies.

Each spring for the last 5 years, young conservationists of diverse background have come together from colleges and universities all over the country, converging at select national parks to begin a year-long conservation service experience called SCA NPS Academy.

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This week marks the beginning of SCA NPS Academy 2015, as 20 young conservationists hailing from myriad backgrounds gather in Grand Teton National Park for a 7-day look at what it’s like to work for the National Park Service as protectors and promoters of America’s pricelessly wild publics lands.

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Parents Corner

Your child is about to embark on a life-changing experience, where they will have the opportunity to meet new friends, explore potential careers, gain leadership skills, and accomplish hands-on conservation work that will have a lasting impact on the planet.