National Park Service - Home

Education + Training

Internship Opportunities

Coastal Cultural Landsacpe Vulnerability Assessment Internship

Analyze National Park Service cultural landscapes for vulnerability to climate change impacts, including, flooding, erosion, and storm surge. This internship offers opportunities to develop and apply analytical and creative thinking skills in exploration of new approaches to a challenging real-world problem.


The National Park Service Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation promotes the stewardship of significant landscapes through research, planning, and preservation maintenance. Based in Boston, the Center provides cultural landscape technical assistance to parks and historic properties. The Center accomplishes its mission in collaboration with a network of partners, including national parks, universities, and nonprofit organizations. Participants in this internship experience will use baseline Cultural Landscape Inventory data and coastal vulnerability indices to analyze the vulnerability of park landscapes to adverse weather trends and events. Future Leaders interns will work closely with experienced Olmsted Center staff, park-based partners in natural/cultural resources, and the National Park Service Cultural Resources GIS Program to prepare Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data and develop metrics for analyzing climate change vulnerability. This work involves aggregating complex scientific and cultural datasets, using GIS to conduct analysis, and generating a summary of findings articulating and illustrating landscape patterns and trends over time.


Duty stationed at the Olmsted Center in Boston, yet working on a project with a reaches across the Northeast Region, the successful applicant will gain an insider’s perspective on working with National Park Service resources and staff. The intern will gain experience with day-to-day operations as well as substantive project-oriented assignments. The successful applicant will develop new skills in GIS and a familiarity with the NPS Cultural Landscapes Inventory program. Training opportunities will include a comprehensive mapping and graphics workshop and a Cultural Landscapes Inventory orientation workshop at the start of the summer. This internship experience will provide opportunities to improve skills in creative thinking, meeting facilitation, and problem-solving on a day-to-day throughout the summer.

Internship Tasks:

 Orientation and training
 Translate completed Cultural Landscape Inventory (CLI) mapping data to GIS according to NPS
geospatial data standards
 Identify coastal vulnerability indices, such as FEMA flood maps and NOAA storm surge hazard maps, and integrate with relevant cultural landscape data in GIS
 Develop metrics for assessing coastal vulnerability of cultural landscapes and utilize GIS to analyze cultural landscape vulnerability to adverse environmental conditions
 Contribute resulting metrics to Cultural Landscape Inventory database records through the “impacts to inventory unit” field during the CLI condition reassessment
 Collect findings into a summary report, identifying high, medium, and low vulnerability resources and drawing conclusions about patterns and trends
 Present findings to Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation and affiliated park staff, including leadership teams
 Provide weekly summaries of activities via the “Designing the Parks” blog

Internship Products:

 New cultural landscape GIS data for the Cultural Resources GIS Database
 Enhanced “impacts to inventory unit” data for the Cultural Landscape Inventory Database
 A Summary of Findings Report detailing resource vulnerability and identifying patterns and trends


The successful candidate will be:

 Currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program or have graduated between December 2017 and August 2018
 In good academic standing, studying natural resources management, engineering, landscape architecture, or a related field
 A U.S. citizen/national/permanent resident
 Able to pass a Federal background check
 (Note) A driver's license is not required.

The successful candidate will also demonstrate:

 An interest in learning or improving skills in graphic mapping and cultural landscape management
 Proficiency with Microsoft Excel and ArcGIS, including mapping complex datasets
 Ability to communicate and write effectively
 Ability to work independently and on multiple complex tasks
 Experience or willingness to work in a multicultural environment where diversity is an institutional value


Leadership skills will be developed with the expectation that the successful applicant will learn or apply organizational and time management skills toward meeting deadlines for project deliverables. Interns are expected to contribute to constructive office dialogue and to actively contribute their viewpoints, and to pose thoughtful questions during staff meetings. There will be multiple opportunities during the experience for the participant to cultivate a network of professional contacts across multiple disciplines. At the conclusion of the internship experience, participants are expected to present an oral summary of the project scope and findings, and to provide articulate responses to questions posed to them at the conclusion of their presentation.


This internship experience it tentatively scheduled to begin the week of May 29, 2018. This date is our preference, however the actual date flexible within a two week time frame, depending on the prior commitments and schedule of the most qualified applicant.


This initiative supports one student at $16/hour for 12 weeks, or 480 hours.


Housing is not available through the Olmsted Center. Shared apartment sublets are generally available as college students leave the greater Boston area for the summer. A housing subsidy may be available to the intern for rental housing.


The Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation is based in a historic office building in the financial district of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. The workplace is not unlike that of a design office, with approximately 10-20 percent fieldwork and 80-90 percent office work. The Future Park Leaders intern will be provided desk space and computer/phone in the Olmsted Center’s office, working alongside program staff. During fieldwork, s/he will always be accompanied by Olmsted Center staff. Boston is a major metropolitan city, with public transit, a vibrant academic culture, shopping, and the arts. Throughout the summer, the intern will have opportunities to visit numerous parks that are local to Boston and spend at least one week at a more distant park conducting fieldwork with National Park Service staff and other interns. Non-office based work is expected to amount to 10-20 percent of work time.


Please submit an application and supporting materials through the Future Park Leaders of Emerging Change website. Online instructons are availble here. Apply for the position through January 26 by clicking here.

Please check back for additional internshipopportunities in the coming months.



(Photo) Olmsted Center staff in the forest of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont