Internships play a critical role in developing the talent pool of diverse, enthusiastic, motivated, and highly skilled young people who are next in line to take care of the more than 400 national parks that make up the National Park System. The National Park Foundation (NPF) supports internship placements with the National Park Service (NPS) to ensure that as many young people as possible – between the ages of 18 and 30, and veterans up to 35 years-old – can build valuable professional experiences while also developing an affinity for our public lands.
NPF’s work in empowering internships supports a range of internships across disciplines. Participants work closely with national park staff on priority projects to deliver and enhance the NPS mission, receiving guidance and mentorship along the way. Interns are exposed to many different aspects of park operations during their time, from maintenance to law enforcement to partnership development, providing a window into the many career opportunities available within the NPS family.
Highlights & Projects
HBCUI and internX
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship (HBCUI) and internX programs are designed to motivate interns to get involved in protecting the natural and cultural resources in their communities and beyond. The internships also enhance participants’ understanding of and appreciation for African Americans’ important contributions.
Mosaics in Science
Providing college students and recent graduates that come from communities under-represented in STEM career fields with on-the-ground natural resource and science-based work experience with national parks, Mosaics in Science internships focus on career exploration and building fundamental natural resource science skills.
Urban Archeology Corps
Participants of the Urban Archeology Corps conduct a range of archeological tasks to learn about urban parks and their surrounding communities, the diverse histories and resources that make these places special, and public service and NPS employment. Team projects include everything from historical research and interpretation to excavation and public outreach.
Women in Parks
As part of our Women in Parks initiative, Women in Parks interns provide parks with the resources to empower them to search out the untold stories of women and share them with visitors in ways that captivate and inspire. Interns help conduct research at parks and craft interpretative programs to bring these stories to life.
National Park Business Plan Interns
A highly selective summer program for top graduate students studying business, public policy, environmental management, and related fields, National Parks Business Plan interns work in various parks and regional offices nationwide. Participants lead strategic projects that impact the long-term health of parks and benefit from mentoring with seasoned project managers.