News Release

Great Sand Dunes Begins Recruitment for the 2022 Conservation Internship Program

Three Conservation Legacy Interns from the 2021 season stand in their uniforms on a trail in the forested foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Three Conservation Legacy Interns from the 2021 season stand in their uniforms on a trail in the forested foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

NPS/Kathy Faz

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News Release Date: February 16, 2022

Contact: Kathy Faz, 719-378-6341

Great Sand Dunes is actively recruiting energetic, committed young adults who are interested in a career with a federal land agency for this year’s Conservation Internship Program. The internship program recruits young adults from San Luis Valley communities to work at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve to learn skills, contribute to meaningful park projects, and create experiences that will make them marketable in a career with a public land agency. Since the program was piloted in the summer 2019, the park has hired 15 interns to support resource management projects, work alongside rangers in the visitor center, and complete important facility management projects. The program is administered in partnership with Conservation Legacy, an organization committed to fostering conservation service in support of communities and ecosystems.

This year, the park will offer multiple internship positions working with the Interpretation and Visitor Services Program. The Park will select candidates for the following opportunities:

  1. Two 12-week (3 months) internships, starting mid-May and ending in mid-August receiving a weekly stipend of $520. This internship is ideal for a recent high school graduate or degree seeking college student. Intern(s) will provide customer service at the visitor center, make connections with visitors on park trails, and assist with event planning and social media posts.

  2. One 26-week (~6 months) internship, starting mid-April to mid-October receiving a weekly stipend of $634. This internship is ideal for current college students or college graduates. The intern will provide support to the park’s educational program during on-site field trips or distance learning programs and other youth engagement activities. The intern will also provide customer service at the visitor center, make connection with visitors on park trails, and assist with event planning and social media posts.

Upon completion of the program, interns will receive an educational award, varying in amounts and based on the length of their term. The Park will cover uniform and training costs. The intern completing a term of 18 weeks or more will also qualify for Direct Hire Authority. Direct Hire Authority allows students who excel in their internships and meet any other job-specific education or training requirements to be hired without competition into permanent positions within the National Park Service and other select bureaus of the Department of the Interior for which they are qualified.

Great Sand Dunes staff will train and mentor interns to prepare them for a career in public lands management and offer them professional development to put on their resume. Trainings will cover resume building, federal government job application process, interviewing tips and techniques, and public speaking. Opportunities to learn more about the various jobs at Great Sand Dunes and within other federal agencies in the San Luis Valley will be covered during field trips, job shadowing or presentations. Networking and mentoring opportunities with National Park Service and other public lands management staff will be made available to further inspire a career interest with a federal land agency.

Eligible applicants must meet the requirements outlined in each job description. However, all applicants must:

  1. Be a US citizen, 18 to 30 years of age (or a veteran up to age 35)

  2. Have reliable transportation

  3. Must live within the commuting area and reside in the San Luis Valley

  4. Be willing to complete a state and federal background investigation

To apply for these internship positions, visit: https://jobs.silkroad.com/ConservationLegacy and Search “Great Sand Dunes.”

Applicants must have an updated resume and complete the online application process to qualify. The application period for each internship varies and can be extended to ensure a good sampling of candidates.

For more information, contact Great Sand Dunes Program Manager of Interpretation and Visitor Services, Kathy Faz, by email at Kathy_Faz@nps.gov or by phone at 719-378-6341.



Last updated: February 19, 2022

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Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca , CO 81146

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719 378-6395
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