Next Generation Ranger Corps

Horizontal image showing 23 young adults posing for a group photo. All wearing name tags, and smiling wide. The room is large, with open rafters, and looks to be a event room at a restaurant.
A large group of past and present NextGen rangers attend the first Next Generation Ranger mingling/networking event.

The Friends of Saguaro National Park (FOSNP) and Saguaro National Park joined together in early 2015 to establish a Next Generation Ranger Corps (Next Gen) program -- designed to enable young people interested in a career with the NPS to discover the agency and its different operational divisions, by providing college students an experiential, engaging, and supportive learning and working opportunity at Saguaro National Park.

The FOSNP NextGen internship program seeks to expand Saguaro National Park's outreach to underrepresented young people of southern Arizona; strengthen the Park's connection to local schools; provide targeted training, mentoring, and work experiences for qualified participants; achieve greater levels of engagement with underserved communities; provide competitive hourly wages to participants; achieve Park resource protection objectives; and create an ethic of conservation and resource stewardship.

 

Available Opportunities

 
Vertical Image. Front a center a young adult man turns over his right shoulder to look back at the camera. He has a large smile and is holding up a peace sign as he walks away. He is wearing a green NPS hat, green felt jacket, and dusty green pants.
Next Generation Ranger Raeshaun walking away while working at the Tucson Festival of Books.

NPS

Indigenous Interpretation Next Generation Ranger

Saguaro National Park is seeking Indigenous adults with a passion for learning and teaching about the rich ecosystems and cultural history of the Sonoran Desert.

Dates: Starting spring/summer 2024 with flexible term of service.
Salary: $17.54 - 19.55 per hour
Schedule: 40 hours/week, with some flexibility. May be required to work weekends and holidays.
Benefits: Park housing may be provided. Will receive Public Land Corps preferential hiring authority after service.
Duty Station: Red Hills Visitor Center, Tucson Mountain District (west), Saguaro National Park

For more information and to apply, please email resume and cover letter to: Spencer Burke at spencer_burke@nps.gov

Applications open until filled.

Primary Duties:

  • Next Generation Ranger interns will work as part of Saguaro National Park’s interpretation, education, and outreach team at the Red Hills Visitor Center, providing orientation and information to park visitors.
  • Work closely with park staff and Tribal community members to expand cultural interpretation, help run the park‘s cultural demonstration program, and participate in exhibit design and collaboration meetings.
  • Research, develop, and present guided interpretive programs and hikes
  • Assist with park social media, website, brochures, and exhibits
  • Rove park trails
Requirements:
  • Interest in National Park Service interpretation and working with Indigenous audiences.
  • 18-35 years old
  • Enrolled member of one of Saguaro’s associated tribes
  • Must complete federal background check and have a valid driver’s license.
  • O’odham, Yoeme, or other indigenous language skills preferred.
 
A young intern ranger sits at a desk reading a junior ranger book, with a father and small child standing on the opposite side of the desk.
Next Generation Ranger Lizbeth goes through a junior ranger booklet with a group of visitors.

NPS/JCamp

Interpretation Next Generation Ranger

Dates: Summer 2024 - Summer 2025 (with possibility of extension for a 2nd year)
Salary: $17.54 - 19.55 per hour
Schedule: 40 hours/week, with some flexibility. May be required to work weekends and holidays.
Duty Station: Tucson Mountain District (west), Saguaro National Park

To apply, please email resume and cover letter to: Spencer Burke
For more information, please email: Friends of Saguaro
Applications open until filled.

Saguaro National Park is seeking an enthusiastic person who loves learning and teaching about the wonders of the Sonoran Desert. This paid one-year internship is designed for young people (18-30) from the Tucson area. This position will provide hands-on experience in National Park Service interpretation, opportunities to work with other park operations, and Public Land Corps hiring eligibility.

Primary Duties:
  • Work as part of Saguaro National Park’s interpretation, education, and outreach team
  • Provide information to park visitors
  • Research, develop, and present guided walks and talks
  • Assist with park social media, website, brochures, and exhibits
  • Rove park trails
Requirements:
  • Candidates must be between the ages of 18-30 Familiarity with the Sonoran Desert ecosystem, Saguaro National Park, and Tucson attractions
  • Interest in Public Lands and Nationals Park Service careers
  • Completed at least college-degree seeking program
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Must complete federal background check process
  • Spanish, O’odham, and Yaqui/Yoeme language skill preferred
 
a young person smiles in front of a beautiful desert scene of saguaros that includes a flowering grass plant.  They are wearing blue latex gloves and a bright red backpack for carrying liquids, used to treat invasive plants with herbicides in the desert.
NextGen Ranger helps manage invasive species in the park such as Buffelgrass.

NPS Photo

Natural Resources NextGen - Invasive Species Specialist

Start date: July 1st, 2024
End date: October 31st, 2024

Pay: $17.54/hour, Full-time at 40 hours per week.

Accepting applicants until May 31st (or when position is filled).

Description:
We are seeking candidates who love to work outside, under the desert sun! The interns would be part of our crew that protects saguaros by treating buffelgrass and other invasive plants with herbicides using backpack sprayers. You would work 4 10-hour days from July 1 through October 31. No previous specific skills needed, but should have an interest in plants, be a good team player, and have outdoor experience of working in the desert heat. During breaks from buffelgrass you will have a chance to work on plant monitoring and other resource projects.

To apply or request more information, send your resume or questions to us at SAGU_Invasive@nps.gov

 
In an open desert scene, with a flowering barrel cactus in the foreground and saguaro-covered mountains in the background, a young person holds an antenna with microphones that is used to track desert tortoises outfitted with a radio receiver.
NextGen Ranger assists with SAGU's Tortoise Monitoring program.

NPS Photo

Natural Resources NextGen - Desert Tortoise Monitoring

Start date: July 1st, 2024
End date: October 31st, 2024

Pay: $17.54/hour, Full-time at 40 hours per week.

Accepting applicants until May 31st (or when position is filled).

Description:

We are seeking a passionate and dedicated individual to join our team as a Desert Tortoise Tech at Saguaro National Park. You will play a crucial role in studying and conserving the iconic desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) within the park’s unique Sonoran Desert ecosystem. Responsibilities include:

  • Conduct fieldwork focused on desert tortoise research, including population surveys, habitat assessments, and monitoring.
  • Collaborate with biologists, ecologists, and other researchers to collect data on tortoise behavior, distribution, and health.
  • Track tortoise movements, nesting sites, and burrows.
  • Hike off-trail in the desert environment while carrying equipment (up to 20 lbs) on a regular basis.
  • Endure extreme conditions during the summer season, including high temperatures and arid environments.

Qualifications:

  • Experience in field research, especially with reptiles or desert ecosystems.
  • Physical fitness and ability to hike in rugged terrain.
  • Strong observational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Passion for conservation and a desire to contribute to the protection of desert wildlife.
  • Familiarity with tortoise behavior and ecology is a plus.

To apply or request more information, please submit resume, cover letter, and references to: e-mail us Please include “Desert Tortoise Technician” in the subject line.

 

Filled Positions

Do any of these positions look interesting? Keep an eye on this page for future opportunities!

 
A trail crew member is up on the mountain swinging a tool.
Trail crew working to make the trails a better experience for everyone.

NPS Photo

Crew Leader of Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) - POSITION IS FILLED

Start date: mid May 2024
End date: August 2024

Pay: $21.25 per hour, 40 hours per week
Accepting applications from January until the first week of March, and final selections will be made within the last weeks of March and the first week of April.

Description:
Saguaro National Park is looking for two Next Generation Rangers (18-30 years old) to work with the Trails Youth Conservation Corps summer program. The YCC is an 8-week, co-ed youth employment program hosted in June and July. Program participants range from 16 to 18 years old, and there will be a total of 10 crew members. The YCC program focuses on conservation work, environmental education and outdoor recreation.

A commitment of 640 hours is mandatory. Work weeks require camping Monday-Friday. When working in the backcountry, you will have ten consecutive 8-hour days. Due to remote, rugged conditions and environmental expectations, you will need to be capable of carrying around 40lbs of supplies and sustenance in your pack. Three weeks of training will be provided upon hiring.

Primary Duties:

  • Trail maintenance such as clearing drains, brushing, and reworking trail tread

  • Working with Resource Management and Maintenance teams

  • Camping throughout the week, including in the backcountry

  • Providing logistical and safety support for day-to-day operations

  • Facilitating daily environmental education lessons to the crew


Critical Skills, Experience and Education:

  • Past experience in trails / conservation work

  • Camping and backpacking experience

  • Management skills

  • Ability to work well in a team environment

  • Ability to be communicative, adaptable / flexible

  • Experience educating and mentoring the youth, specifically with knowledge of the Sonoran Desert landscape


If interested in this position and have a resume to send, or if you have any inquiries, please contact Nik Bines

 
next gen ranger working on trails

NPS Photo

Trails Intern - POSITION IS FILLED

Applications will remain open until the position is filled. Interested applicants should email their resume and any inquiries to Saguaro's Trail Supervisor at jeff_gnann@nps.gov

Start date: December 2023
End date: TBD

Pay: $21.25/hr (WG-05 equivalent); 80 hrs/week

Description:
We are looking to hire a Next Generation Ranger intern onto one of our winter seasonal trail crews. This position requires strenuous effort in moving heavy materials to and around the jobsite. Candidate must be able to hike steep trails in all weather conditions transporting tools and personal gear in difficult terrain. Depending on the project, job tasks may include:

  • Assisting with rehabilitating and maintaining trail-related structures such as log cribbing, steps, water bars, culverts, stone retaining walls and other tread structures
  • Tread improvement, outsloping, berm busting, and rock removal
  • Brushing back overgrown vegetation and cleaning drains
  • Using a variety of hand tools such as shovels, picks, rock bars, and various digging tools
 
maintenance nextgens

NPS Photo

Facilities Management Assistant Intern - POSITION IS FILLED

Applications due December 15, 2023. Interested applicants should email their resume to paul_dudus@nps.gov

We are looking to fill two positions with our maintenance team. One intern will work in the Tucson Mountain District (west), and the other will work in the Rincon Mountain District (east). These interns will get a hands-on overview of all areas of modern Facilities Management & Maintenance in the National Park Service.

Start date: January 2024
Pay: $17.54/hour, 40 hours/week


Description of Duties:

The selected NextGen interns will gain knowledge and experience in trade skills such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry, asset inventory and management, performing and documenting condition assessments on roads, buildings, and trails. Interns will also assist with contract surveillance, asset management, labor tracking database and software. They will also be given opportunities for additional cross-training and professional training opportunities in all areas of park managment.

 
young adult in green uniform polo in visitor center

Digital Interpretation - POSITION IS FILLED

Applications due August 19, 2022, email resume or inquiry to Perri Spreiser

Start Date: August 29, 2022
End Date: August 25, 2023

Salary: $16.13+ per hour
Schedule: 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., 40 hours per week. The days of the week worked are flexible and we can accommodate schedule variations as they arise.
Duty Station: Saguaro National Park East - Rincon Mountain Visitor Center


Primary Duties:

  • Lead park efforts to establish an enriching digital presence for Saguaro National Park to include:
    • The park website (nps.gov/sagu)
    • NPS Mobile App
    • Social media
  • Perform digital asset management on extensive collection of images, audio, and video files
  • Produce interpretive digital products that support operational needs in interpretation, outreach, and education
  • Join interpretive teammates in shared activities such as visitor center operations, outreach events, and public programming


Critical Skills, Experience, and Education:

  • Have completed at least two years of a college degree seeking program
  • Ability to safely drive a wide range of vehicles; a valid driver’s license is required
  • Ability to manage own tasks and duties independently
  • Must complete federal background check process
  • Must be 18-30 years old
  • Spanish, O’odham, or Yoeme language skills a plus
 
sunny the saguaro
Work with Sunny the Saguaro at special events and community festivals.

Community Outreach Intern - POSITION IS FILLED

Work Dates: ongoing
pay: $16.13 / hr, 20+ hours per week

The Community Engagment and Outreach Intern will work to strengthen the Park's connection to the Tucson community through our associations with federal, tribal, state, and local agencies, non-profit organizations, schools and other stakeholders.

Description of Duties:
Duties include assisting in implementing strategic communication plans, including the use of social media, attending community festivals, planning family program events in the park and special events, caretaking of Sunny the Saguaro, and supporting internal communication for park staff and volunteers.

Spanish language, both written and verbal, is preferred.

 
children sitting on the edge of shallow stream environment, ranger pointing
NextGen Ranger Intern leading a hiking club

Environmental Education and Youth Programs POSITION IS FILLED

Applications due November 10, 2023. Email resume or send an inquiry to SAGU_Education@nps.gov

Start Date: January 2, 2024
End Date: May 17, 2025

Salary: $17.54-19.55 per hour
Schedule: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (with some flexibility!)
Duty Station: Both districts of Saguaro National Park


Primary Duties:

  • Prepare and facilitate curriculum-based programs in the park, in classroom, and virtually to diverse audiences
  • Design and create original interpretive activities, props, visual aids, games, and promotional materials. May include digital graphic design work as well as crafting 3-dimensional objects.
  • Prepare and facilitate non-curriculum-based events and activities such as camps, hiking club family picnics and camp outs, Cactus Ranger outtings, family-friendly interpretive programs, evening programs, offsite outreach events
  • Assist in strengthening the park’s relationship with local communities and developing a mutually beneficial relationship
  • Join interpretive teammates in shared activities such as visitor center operations, outreach events, and public programming

Critical Skills, Experience, and Education:

  • Demonstrated ability working with youth of all ages
  • Experience in and/or willingness to hike on/off trail in rugged terrain in a variety of weather conditions
  • Ability to provide friendly customer service and public communication
  • Have completed at least two years of a college degree seeking program; preferably in education, communication, sciences, recreation or related fields
  • Ability to safely drive a wide range of vehicles; a valid driver’s license is required
  • Ability to manage own tasks and duties independently
  • Must complete federal background check process
  • Must be 18-30 years old
  • Spanish language skills a plus
  • O’odham or Yoeme language skills a plus

Benefits:

  • Diverse work experience in interpretation
  • Professional development and training opportunities (e.g. Wilderness First Aid, curriculum-development, professional conferences, etc.)
  • Cross-training with all park divisions including resource management, trails, law enforcement, etc.
  • Public Lands Corps hiring authority eligible once 640 hour minimum has been met

Last updated: May 14, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730

Phone:

520 733-5153
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