Geoscientists-in-the-Parks Legacy

group activity at White Sands


The Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) internship program was developed by the NPS Geologic Resources Division in 1996 and ran for 25 years until 2020. The GIP program has been replaced by the Scientists in Parks program which will include a broader range of natural resource internships.

NOTE: This page contains information about accomplishments made under the GIP program. If you are looking for information about current NPS internship and volunteer opportunities, please see the article below:

Current Programs

Loading results...

    Geoscientists-in-the-Parks Program Legacy

    person with hand lens examining a rock
    2010 GIP intern Zoe Vulgaropulos at Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland.

    NPS photo.

    The year 2020 marked the twenty-fourth, and final, anniversary of the Geoscientists-in-the-Parks internship program. The GIP Program was created over two decades ago in 1996 by the Geologic Resources Division (GRD). The GIP Program was initially administered by Vera Smith, but shortly after was taken over by Judy Geniac. At the time, the program was called Geologists in the Parks and was created to facilitate the temporary placement of geoscience professionals in parks in order to meet geologic resource management and interpretive/education needs of the Service. GIP participants were undergraduate and graduate geology students, geoscience teachers, college professors on sabbatical leave, professionals, and retired geologists. During the inaugural year, the program placed 6 geologists through a partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA). In 1997, GRD began a public-private partnership with the Geological Society of America to assist with the program. In 1999, the program changed its name to GeoScientists-in-the-Parks Program and expanded to other natural resource fields such as
    hydrology, water quality, air quality, and integrated ecological positions.

    In 2004, the Geological Society of America created an online recruitment system for candidates to apply. Under the leadership of Lisa Norby, and in collaboration with partners, the internship program grew from 50 positions in 2010 to 180 positions in 2018. The year 2010 also marked the beginning of a diversity component to increase the hiring and recruitment of diverse interns. GIP reached a big milestone in 2014, when the program hired the 1,000th intern. In 2016, the program started collaborating with Stewards Individual Placement Program, a program of Conservation Legacy, which granted interns the eligibility to receive an AmeriCorps education award. Direct Hire Authority for Resource Assistants was granted to selective interns in 2017.

    Honor Roll—GIP Interns and Guest Scientists

    The GIP program was tremendously successful in assisting parks with their varied natural resource science needs and placed close to 2,000 Interns and Guest Scientists across the Service.

    GIP participant records
    YearParkNameGIPFirstNameGIPLastNamePosition TitleDisciplinePositionType

    Photos and Multimedia

    tiny thumbnail of person standing near the rim of the grand canyon

    Geoscientists-in-the-Parks Photo Galleries

    Nine galleries of photos covering the work of GIP participants conducting research, mapping, GIS analysis, site evaluations, inventories and monitoring, impact mitigation, developing brochures and media presentations, and educating park staff and park visitors.

    Featured Articles

    Loading results...


      Annual Reports

      [Site Under Development]

      • Soto, Limaris, Cathleen Yung, and Chelsea Bitting, 2020. Geoscientists-in-the-Parks Annual Program Report—Fiscal Year 2020. National Park Service, Geologic Resources Division. Denver, Colorado.


      Related Links

      • Science Internship, Volunteer, and Career Opportunities
        Program information and employment tips for people seeking science jobs with the NPS and other public lands agencies.
      • National Park Service Geologic Resources Division
        The NPS Geologic Resources Division (GRD) within the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate provides Service-wide leadership in the understanding and management of geologic resources, processes, and energy and mineral development activities. GRD created the Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) and Mosaics in Science Internship Programs.
      • NPS Youth Programs Division
        The Youth Programs Division engages youth in various National Park Service programs to develop a life-long commitment to support our national parks, and protect our natural environment and cultural heritage.
      • Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship Program
        The Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship Program is administered by the National Park Service, in partnership with Environment for the Americas, to encourage diversity among those seeking a career in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields within the National Park System.
      • The National Parks | America's Best Idea
        A six-episode series presented by PBS that tells the story of people from every background, who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.

      Stay Connected!

      Last updated: August 8, 2023


      • Site Index