Interpretive Intern

Expected Dates
October 5, 2020 to January 24, 2021
Jewel Cave National Monument
Position ID
Join a small, yet dedicated team of interpreters, and engage visitors during the off-season with the stories behind the scenery. At over 200 miles in length, Jewel Cave is the third longest cave in the world.  It exposes visitors to a beautiful and strange underground environment, which is still being mapped and surveyed by volunteer cavers.  Its surface features are strikingly beautiful during the winter months, and outdoor recreation continues to grow each year with hiking, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, and star gazing.  This sense of exploration and discovery captures visitor attention and causes most visitors to understand the importance of preserving and protecting this special resource in western South Dakota.

Due to COVID-19, guided cave tours and formal programming are suspended until further notice. Because of this, the position responsibilities include: staffing a visitor center desk, answering common questions, and responding to written, telephone, and online requests; assisting in the sale of park store merchandise; assisting with special projects, such as the development of a Jewel Cave Historic Area program and site bulletin / publication; and taking part in various professional development opportunities related to interpretation and website development.

This position is also considered multi-faceted and may be be exposed to some resource management activities throughout the winter season.  These activities and responsibilities may include assisting with caving projects, such as water sampling, mapping, and surveying. 

This position provides:
- $100 weekly Living Allowance
- $650 one-time round-trip Travel Allowance
- Housing on-site

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

Please note this position is not eligible for AmeriCorps. 

  • Jewel Cave National Monument is located in the beautiful Black Hills of western South Dakota. Climate extremes range from sub-zero temperatures during the winter season to nearly 100 degrees in the summer. Medical, dental, educational, shopping, religious, fuel, and basic visitor amenities are available in Custer, SD (13 miles east) or Newcastle, WY (22 miles west). Extended services can be found in Rapid City, SD (55 miles northeast). The local natural habitat includes a ponderosa pine forest, intermingled with open grassy meadows and rocky outcrops.
  • Online Courses - (Interpretive Talk and Interpretive Writing)
  • Online Courses - (Interpretive Talk and Interpretive Writing); cave orientation tours; hiking; nearby public land agencies also include rock climbing, ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and backcountry hiking and camping.
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Visitor Services and Site Operations
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Recreation Management
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
Customer Service
competent without supervision
Social Media
competent without supervision
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
competent with supervision
Web Site Design
competent with supervision