[NPS Arrowhead]
U.S. Dept. of Interior National Park Service Archeology Program Quick Menu Features * Sitemap * Home

NPS Archeology Guide > Archeology Outreach > 4. Volunteers, Youth, and Students

Volunteers, Youth, and Students

Programs for volunteers, youth, and students are an important component of archeology outreach. For the public, these opportunities provide experiences to learn more about a field of interest. For archeologists, volunteers, youth and students can support responsible resource management in a variety of ways, from fieldwork to collections management to site monitoring and protection. Seasonal employees may qualify as youth or students, but are not the focus of this guidance.

Volunteers, youth, and students have workplace rights, including protection from harassment. Share the link for the NPS Employee Center on InsideNPS, which includes information about workplace policy, appropriate codes of conduct, and processes to resolve issues.

Defining Volunteers, Youth, and Students

Volunteers are not paid. The public finds volunteer opportunities through the NPS Volunteer with Us website. The NPS Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) program is administered through the NPS Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers (IEV) directorate. For the most up-to-date information on policy and administration, refer to IEV guidance on InsideNPS and check with your Volunteer Coordinator.

Youth are individuals age 15-34. Youth may be unpaid volunteers, or be paid a wage or be otherwise compensated through participation in a federal youth employment program or a partner working on NPS land. The public finds youth opportunities through the NPS Youth Programs website. For the most up-to-date information on policy and administration, refer to Youth Programs guidance on InsideNPS and Youth Master Youth Agreements.

Students are enrolled in a school, college, or university and seek a degree. They may be unpaid volunteers, or be paid a wage or receive an educational stipend. There is no age restriction. The public finds student opportunities through the NPS Jobs and Internships website. For the most up-to-date information on policy and administration, refer to Youth Programs guidance on InsideNPS and Master Youth Agreements.

Best Practices for Volunteer, Youth, and Student Programs

When creating or managing a volunteer, youth, or student program, consider the following best practices:

Parks should not undertake volunteer, youth, or student programs if a professional archeologist is unavailable to give the time, attention, and supervision necessary. When weighing whether or not to host a program, consider that volunteers, youth, and students:

TSM/MJB