EPIC National Park Service (NPS)

Program Overview

The EPIC NPS Division works alongside the National Park Service across the United States, from Alaska to Puerto Rico, to support the NPS in its mission to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations” while providing career promoting individual placement opportunities for emerging professionals at a wide range of skill levels; fellowship graduate-level positions to entry-level placements. These positions operate year-round. Check out details below to learn more about specific annual programs such as NPS Academy, CRDIP, and TTAP.

What We Do

The EPIC NPS team partners with the National Park Service to provide work experience opportunities to emerging professionals work in areas such as: cultural resource management, wildlife monitoring, environmental education historic preservation, physical sciences, GIS, and many more. For a full list and your own exploration of NPS sites (parks, seashores, battlefields, monuments, etc), please visit the NPS “About Us” page.

Where We Work

EPIC NPS has ongoing partnerships with every NPS region and has had projects in 50+ states and US territories. Participants can expect to work closely with a host-park mentor; these are the resource professionals themselves offering direct support and instruction.

NPS Academy

The National Park Service (NPS) Academy is an innovative and immersive program designed to introduce a diversity of participants, ages 18 to 30 from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the National Parks, to career opportunities with the NPS. Participants come away equipped with knowledge about the NPS mission and the NPS Universal Competencies that are considered the foundation of all careers in the NPS and are critical to all park service employees. The NPS Academy maximizes career opportunities with NPS through training and hands on experiences. This program is generously funded by Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

NPS Academy Logo
2021 Project Locations

In 2021, we anticipate funded partnerships in these signature programs and many additional openings ac

  • CRDIP.org
  • NPSacademy.org
  • TTAP
  • WASO Fellowships
History and Vision

The NPS Academy was launched in 2011 by the National Park Service (NPS) and partners. ACE facilitated the program in 2019 for the first time, and since 2011 more than 500 interns have successfully completed the NPS Academy. The vision of NPS Academy is to enhance workforce diversity by connecting qualified, dynamic young adults and offering an experiential, transformative program designed around three themes – Connections, Diversity, Legacy – that builds a conservation ethic, cultural awareness, and career readiness. Through career exploration, students are introduced to the NPS Universal Competencies that are a foundation for all National Park Service career paths.

Program Goals
  • The NPS Academy was launched in 2011 by the National Park Service (NPS) and partners. ACE facilitated the program in 2019 for the first time, and since 2011 more than 500 interns have successfully completed the NPS Academy.
  • Vision: To enhance workforce diversity by connecting qualified, dynamic young adults and offering an experiential, transformative program designed around three themes – Connections, Diversity, Legacy – that builds a conservation ethic, cultural awareness, and career readiness. Through career exploration, students are introduced to the NPS Universal Competencies that are a foundation for all National Park Service career paths
Benefits
  • $400/week living allowance
  • Housing provided
  • Eligibility for AmeriCorps Education Award of ~$1,600
  • Travel reimbursement for allowable expenses
  • Opportunity to participate in an free-of-cost orientation, in March
  • Hands-on experience
  • Additional career preparation and ongoing support
  • A network of other NPS Academy alumni sharing  professional resources and opportunities
Ideal Candidate
  • Not required to have experience with conservation or National Parks
  • Committed to creating a more inclusive future for public lands
  • Individuals who self-identify as being from any background historically underrepresented in the NPS
  • Available for the March Academy experience and twelve weeks in the summer (required)
    2021: The Academy experience will take place virtually, with 2 hour sessions weekly during the month of March. 
  • Eager to act as an ambassador for ACE and the NPS
  • 18-30 years of age to apply, Military Veterans up to 35 are encouraged to apply
  • US Citizens or Permanent Residents (required)
  • Able to provide references with an application
NPS Academy Students
NPS Academy Students
NPS Academy Students
NPS Academy Students
NPS Academy Students
NPS Academy Students

Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP)

The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP) provides career exploration opportunities for diverse undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates ages 18-35 in historic preservation/cultural resources work. The program places interns with National Park Service units and administrative offices, other federal agencies, state historic preservation offices, local governments, and non-profit organizations. Intern sponsors provide work experiences that assist interns with building their resumes in this field.  Typical experience is 11 weeks in duration during the summer months to allow for school end/start dates.

CRDIP Logo
Program Purpose
  • Provide diverse and underrepresented youth a professional experience and exposure to the historic preservation and cultural resource management fields.
  • National Park Service and partner organizations have the opportunity to meet promising young people who might choose to work in the field.
Benefits

Besides the opportunity of a lifetime to serve your community and live within a National Park Unit (many opportunities offer on-site housing) benefits of CRDIP include:

  • Interactive professional development presentations and webinars
  • Invaluable connections with non-profit and federal employees as well as peer participants 
  • Competitive Living allowance
  • AmeriCorps Education Award (~$1300)

Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program (TTAP)

The Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program (TTAP) provides hands-on, historic preservation trade skills training during an intensive five-month learning-while-working experience. TTAP allows the important work of preserving the cultural resources and crucial infrastructure of national park sites to be passed onto the next generation in a time when many employment fields are becoming obsolete through mechanization. Traditional trades in their modern form require much of the same materials, tools, ingenuity, skills, and hard work that have been required for generations and can never be replaced.

TTAP Logo
2021 Locations

TTAP 2021 programming will be held at Pinnacles National Park, Point Reyes National Seashore, and San Juan National Historic Site.  Additional funding will hopefully include Mount Rainier National Park, Channel Islands National Park, and Santa Monica National Recreation Area with later start dates.

FAQs

Please see NPS answered frequently-asked-questions here midway down their page.

Benefits

In addition to the amazing opportunity to serve your community, live within a National Park Unit (most opportunities offer on-site housing), and learn new skills while restoring important historical resources:

  • Interactive skills development courses and professional certifications are offered
  • Invaluable connections are made with trades craftsman and preservationists as well as peer TTAP participants 
  • Living allowance provided
  • AmeriCorps Education Award (~$2400)
Ideal Candidate
  • No prior experience required
  • Five-month commitment (20 weeks)
  • Requires at least two consecutive weeks of traveling for training
  • You will be getting dirty and working hard, in both indoor and outdoor environments.  Some days the work will be physically demanding.
  • Requires a full commitment to meet all program requirements
TTAP Apprentice
TTAP Apprentice
TTAP Apprentice
TTAP Apprentice
TTAP Apprentice
TTAP Apprentice
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