Internships and Research

Climate Change Youth Leadership Opportunities in the National Park Service

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The application window for Summer 2020 has now closed. Thank you for your interest!

The implications of climate change are challenging and far-reaching, particularly for land managers tasked with protecting the resources of national parks and other protected areas. To meet this challenge, managers need to encourage and make use of the creative and innovative thinking of the next generation of youth scientists and leaders.

The Future Park Leaders of Emerging Change (FPL) program builds a pathway for exemplary students in higher education to apply cutting-edge climate change knowledge to park management. Through summer-long national park internships, undergraduate and graduate students will gain valuable work experience, explore career options, and develop leadership skills under the mentorship and guidance of the National Park Service (NPS). Parks and programs will increase their capacity to understand and respond to emerging environmental changes.

National parks and NPS programs develop and oversee structured projects in one or more of the following interdisciplinary areas: climate change science and monitoring; resource conservation and adaptation; policy development; sustainable park operations; facilities adaptation; and communication/interpretation/education. During the internship, students apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to climate change challenges and communicate with diverse stakeholders. Interns who successfully complete the FPL, an approved Direct Hire Authority Internship program, will be eligible to be hired non-competitively into subsequent federal jobs once they complete their degree program. These jobs would be in the Department of Interior (DOI), NPS, or one of the other bureaus within the DOI. An intern must qualify for the job in order to be hired non-competitively.

Quick Facts and Deadlines
  • FPL is managed cooperatively with the University of Washington
  • Internship opportunities and application forms are posted on
  • Internships are 12 weeks (40 hours/week) during the summer
  • Interns are paid $16/hour
  • View past climate change internships offered through this program.

Past Intern Experiences

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    Tags: fpl

    Last updated: January 29, 2020

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