Interpretive Outreach & Junior Ranger Program Intern

Expected Dates
August 21, 2017 to December 2, 2017
Big Thicket National Preserve
Position ID
Big Thicket National Preserve in southeast Texas, is seeking organized and motivated individual(s) to assist with multiple projects. Building on the success of programs constructed around the NPS Centennial, these interns will engage in community outreach, facilitating volunteer service projects and developing interpretive media.

Individual(s) will assist with community based outreach programs and field trip presentations. Working side-by-side with NPS staff, interns will assist in facilitating field trip experiences for local students in the preserve and may have the opportunity to assist NPS staff present public interpretive programs. Interns will set-up and staff a traveling display at local fairs, festivals, parades, and other community based events, designed to engage and inform visitors about the recreational opportunities at the preserve. Interns will assist with special events in the preserve, including an annual paddling event/rally and annual Big Thicket Day event. (Approx. 50% of duties)

Individual(s) will research, develop, test, modify and finalize a new Junior Ranger Activity Booklet for the preserve. This booklet will be designed to engage young visitors and those young-at-heart, and help them explore the preserve in a fun way. As part of an agency wide effort the Junior Ranger program is something that visitor from around the country seek out and complete with the goal of collecting Junior Ranger Badges and certificates from all the parks they visit. Topics that could be included in the Junior Ranger Activity Booklet might include; ecosystems in the preserve, vegetation, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, endangered and threatened species, fire management, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, the Big Thicket preservation movement, the east Texas timber industry, the legacy of hunting and trapping in east Texas and much more. These individuals will work independently to gather information from government documents, primary source material, agency reports, current park staff and independent/university researchers work in the preserve. This information will need to be refined into clear and well written interpretive text. (Approx. 45% of duties)

Individual(s) will, on occasion, assist in the daily operations of the preserve visitor center. Staffing an information desk, greeting visitors, providing orientation, issuing camping and hunting permits, and providing basic resource information to visitors. (Approx. 5% of duties)

This position will require work in both indoor and outdoor environments, in all weather. Ability to effectively communicate in written form and verbally to both groups and individuals, is vital to this position. 
  • Big Thicket National Preserve is in southeast Texas just north of Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 113,000 acres scattered across a 3,500-square-mile area. The Big Thicket, often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” is a transition zone between four distinct vegetation types – the moist eastern hardwood forest, the southwestern desert, the southeastern swamp, and the central prairies. Species from all of these different vegetation types come together in the thicket, exhibiting a variety of vegetation and wildlife that has received national interest.
  • Many training opportunities will be available including, working side-by-side with NPS staff, on-line training courses, and one-on-one mentoring sessions.
  • Plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities exist in the area. Hiking, biking, paddling, back-country camping, hunting, etc.

    The preserve is approximately a one hour drive from the Texas gulf coast, for swimming, beach going, fishing, etc.

  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Social Media
competent with supervision
Community Engagement
competent with supervision
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
competent with supervision
Working with Children
competent with supervision