Natural Resource Management Intern (Cave Management / Exotic Plants) (PO-00735211)

Spend the summer gaining valuable on-the-job experience as a natural resource intern at Jewel Cave National Monument. 

Natural Resource Management Interns should expect the following primary duties:

  • Field work (75%) – Intern will primarily identify, map, and treat infestations of invasive plants at Jewel Cave National Monument.  Exotic plant treatment methods will be both mechanical (hand-pulling / cutting) and chemical (application of herbicide with backpack sprayer).    
  • Cave work (15%) – The intern will also assist with cave management work in Jewel Cave approximately half a day per week.  Cave management work includes water sampling, documentation of cave impacts, and removing accumulations of debris from the cave tour routes.
  • Office work (10%) – Completing records, reports, and online training. 

Field work involves hiking long distances over uneven terrain, in a wide variety of weather conditions, carrying heavy loads.  Cave management requires frequent stooping and bending in a cave environment (dark, with narrow passages).  

There may also be opportunities for the intern to assist with other natural resource projects, depending on their skills and interest.

Compensation Details:
$300/week* Living Allowance
$650* round-trip Travel Allowance, paid once with first paycheck
Housing on site
– Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award of $1,718.45 upon sucessful completion of position 
– Eligible for Public Land Corps (PLC) hiring authority (640hrs must be met)

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes.

It is SCA's policy that all AmeriCorps-required background checks must return cleared results prior to the position's start; this includes being fingerprinted for the FBI check. Otherwise, the AmeriCorps award will be removed or the position's start date will be delayed due to non-compliance. 

*For SCA's COVID-19 guidance, please refer to  ​​​​​​​


Position ID: PO-00735211

Expected Dates: June 5, 2023 - August 18, 2023

11149 US Highway 16
Custer, SD 57730

Training Provided: The intern will be sent to pesticide applicator testing, and will become a licensed commercial Pesticide Applicator. They will also receive on-the-job training in GPS, exotic plant treatment, and cave restoration techniques.

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: The Black Hills area offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including world-class rock climbing, caving, hiking, and fishing. The intern will have several opportunities to get involved in caving during the course of their internship.

Handicap Accessible?: No

Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Recommended

Intern may wish to have a car, to make it easier to get to town for groceries and to travel / see sights on weekends. Rides are often available from other employees.

Housing or Stipend Provided?
A. Partner will provide suitable housing for the member

Housing will be provided in a shared apartment with other staff members or volunteers.  Apartments are furnished, and have full kitchens. Intern will need to provide cookware and dishes, bed sheets, towels, etc.   Utilities are included (electricity, water, trash / recycling service, and wireless internet).

Indoor/Outdoor: Outside

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association