Volunteer: Internships: Interdisciplinary Youth Internship

John DiGregoria (Range Ecologist): Range Management Program & Native Plant Seed Collection Program
Ellen Hamingson (Restoration Biologist): Habitat Restoration Program
John Golda (Interpretation Supervisor): Division of Interpretation and Resource Education
Location: Point Reyes National Seashore Project
Duration: Approximately May–August
Time commitment: 2–3 months, 40 hours/week
Age: 18–25 years

Goals/Outcome of Position:
This internship is an opportunity for youth aged 18–25 to get exposure to and experience working in multiple disciplines and divisions within the National Park Service. This internship will have a focus on natural resources, but also include an interpretive component. Specifically, the intern will work with the Range Management Program and the Habitat Restoration Program of the Natural Resources Division, and within Visitor Services of the Division of Interpretation. Because of the range of programs that the intern will work in, this internship will provide a broad view of different aspects of the National Park Service and will be especially beneficial to youth considering different job opportunities within NPS.

The intern will work 2 days/week each with the Range Management Program and the Habitat Restoration Program, and 1 day/week with the Division of Interpretation for a total of 5 days/week, Sunday through Thursday. This internship is based at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Range Management Program: The Range Management program is responsible for managing the pastoral zone in Point Reyes National Seashore (approximately one-third of the Seashore's land) in a manner that will provide environmental protection and restoration of those lands while permitting ranchers to continue their traditional agricultural operations. The intern will assist with the Native Plant Seed Collection Program, collecting seed from target species to grow or use directly in the revegetation components of range improvement projects. The intern will also assist with various projects taking place on park rangelands, which may include mapping (using GPS), repair and/or removal of range resources, such as fence lines. Additionally, the intern will assist with the monitoring of vegetation plots established on park rangelands. The natural resources intern is expected to work 16 hours per week for a period of up to three months for the Range Management Program.

Habitat Restoration Program: The restoration program works to control high-priority invasive plant species to protect and restore important plant communities and habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered plant and wildlife species. Point Reyes National Seashore is home to over 900 vascular plant species (16% of California's flora), 49 of them rare (four of which are federally listed) and three of which are found only at Point Reyes. Many rare plants are directly impacted by the invasive plants that can dominate or alter parts of our landscape. The intern will assist the Habitat Restoration program with invasive plant removal and mapping. The natural resources intern is expected to work 16 hours per week for a period up to three months for the Habitat Restoration Program.

Division of Interpretation, Visitor Services: The intern will help to strengthen the connection with and foster stewardship of Point Reyes National Seashore among park visitors by staffing the visitor center desks at the Bear Valley Visitor Center and Lighthouse Visitor Center and by roving throughout the park making contact with park visitors.

Description of Duties

Natural Resources

  • Assist park staff in mapping, monitoring, and manually removing invasive non-native plant species
  • Assist park staff in completing work performed data sheets
  • Identify target native plant species, determine stage of growth, and collect seed according to protocols
  • Utilize GPS unit to collect geospatial data
  • Assist park staff with vegetation monitoring
  • Maintain field gear including tools and other field equipment used while monitoring

Visitor Services

  • Staff the visitor center desk alongside park rangers, cooperating association staff, and volunteers, at the Bear Valley Visitor Center and/or Lighthouse Visitor Center (may be required to wear name badge or some type of park assistant uniform)
  • Address visitor needs and facilitate positive visitor experiences by 1) orienting visitors to Point Reyes National Seashore and the surrounding area;2) assisting visitors in identifying appropriate recreational opportunities; 3) providing information about the park and the surrounding area; and 4) conveying the significance of the park's natural, historical, and cultural resources
  • Respond to and answers visitor questions in-person and over the phone
  • Provide services to visitors in an efficient and professional manner
  • Rove park areas to contact visitors
  • Keep current on park conditions, closures, issues, etc.
  • Perform retail sales

Tools and Equipment to be Used in the Performance of Duties

  • Personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, waders, rubber boots)
  • Various monitoring equipment, including, but not limited to measuring tapes, sampling quadrats, GPS unit, digital camera, binoculars, compass, weighing scales, plant identification manuals, and hand lens
  • Hand tools such as hand picks, pulaskis, handsaws, shovels, rakes, loppers, and weed wrenches
  • Fence construction/removal tools such as barbed wire, t-posts, fence pliers, digging bars, hammer, posthole digger and post pounder
  • NPS two-way radio
  • Government-owned vehicle

Training Provided and/or Required
Training provided on the job.

Knowledge/Skills/Experience Desired

  • Interest in plant, restoration, and/or conservation biology
  • Interest in native plants, ability (with training) to identify target native and non-native plant species
  • Ability to use hand tools safely and effectively
  • Ability to work long field days in difficult terrain (sometimes including cattle and vegetation with a poison oak component) in adverse weather conditions (windy, hot, cold)
  • Ability to use technical measuring devices
  • Ability to learn use of compass and GPS units
  • Interest in and ability to work effectively with diverse volunteers
  • Interest and desire to serve others
  • Possess very good listening and oral communication skills
  • Have the ability to interact with a variety of people and handle stressful situations
  • Be able to work as part of a team as well as independently.
  • Customer service and/or retail sales experience, public speaking experience, knowledge of the park and area, and teaching and hiking experience are helpful.

Special Requirements of the Position

  • The intern must complete the "Valid DL Self-Certification Statement" to drive government vehicles.
  • The intern must complete the "California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System Statement Form" regarding access to confidential information.
  • The intern must provide personal hiking gear, sunscreen, and water bottles.

Benefits to the Intern

  • The intern will learn natural resources data collection methods.
  • The intern will learn native plant/grass identification and restoration techniques.
  • The intern will learn invasive plant species ecology and management.
  • The intern will be provided with an overview of rangeland restoration techniques and practices
  • The intern will get opportunities for formal and informal training about the park's resources
  • The intern will gain personal enrichment and experience working in a National Park setting.
  • The intern will enjoy the satisfaction in serving and educating a variety of park visitors while representing the National Park Service and in helping to protect sensitive cultural, historical and natural resources of national significance.
  • Interns may also have the opportunity to certify in CPR and first aid.

Interns will be compensated at a rate of $1500–1600/month, or $75–80/day, depending on education and experience.
No housing will be provided. Interns are expected to arrange their own housing and transportation to and from Point Reyes National Seashore headquarters every day. The address of Point Reyes National Seashore is: 1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956.

Contact Information and How to Apply
Please send a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information for two references via email to to Dylan Voeller. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis, but must be received no later than May 1 April 22, 2011.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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