NPS Academy

Since 2011, more than 500 interns have “graduated” from SCA’s NPS Academy, an innovative, experiential learning program designed to introduce undergraduate and graduate students, ages 18-35, to career opportunities with the National Park Service.

This program aligns with the National Park Service’s goal to enhance professional and organizational excellence in the next century by recruiting and retaining 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!

NPS Academy is conducted in partnership with the National Park Service with philanthropic support from the Grand Teton National Park Foundation and additional support from the Teton  Science Schools.

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 NPS Academy Flyer (PDF) for more information or to spread the word.

The application period for the 2018 program is now closed. Please check back in the fall for more information about 2019.

“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

 

Related Posts & Program Information

Session 2 of NPS Academy 2013 commenced on March 10 at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here are some highlights from a week of training and camaraderie amongst a diverse group of conservation-minded young people.”Lance, our facilitator, spoke on the importance of a key element in all relationships, including our own with the NPS: trust.

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On March 4, a culturally and geographically diverse bunch of students gathered with SCA in the Grand Tetons to learn what it takes to run a national park. Here are a few highlights from the week.”On the second day we did a lot.

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WASHINGTON, DC (March 3, 2014) – The Student Conservation Association (SCA) announced today that 122 under-represented students from 28 states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. will attend NPS Academy, a workforce diversity initiative conducted in partnership with the National Park Service that provides participants with key skills valuable to becoming conservation professionals.

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GATLINBURG — Most of them had never before been to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For some, it was their very first hike. The fog and the hemlock forest reminded< Jimena Diaz of her hometown of Seattle, Wash.  A student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Diaz hopes to find a job in conservation biology. Last Tuesday, she witnessed firsthand how biologists at the most visited national park in the country use their training.

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The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a supportive, inclusive community of young adults leading the way to a more sustainable world.

In partnership with the National Park Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies, SCA empowers young Americans from all backgrounds by offering formative conservation internships and proven professional pathways. We also ensure that people of all cultures and identities see themselves in our shared natural heritage by helping federal resource management agencies achieve greater workforce diversity.