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 Students
NPS Academy Students
NPS Academy Students
NPS Academy Students
NPS Academy Students
NPS Academy Students

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 (or Military Veterans up to 35) 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

 Applications for Academy typically open in late fall and close Mid-January, if you are checking the page outside of this window, please check back at that time.


Questions? Please contact Deidra Goodwin at dgoodwin@usaconservation.org

Program Goals
  • The major goals of the NPS Academy are to: 

    • Connect a diverse group of young adults sharing a passion and curiosity for careers within the NPS
    • Deepen participants’ knowledge of and personal network within the NPS by fostering an NPS mentorship relationship
    • Develop a network of emerging conservation and park leaders by building ambassadorship, storytelling, and leadership skills
    • Create a more inclusive future for public lands
History and Vision

NPS Academy was launched in 2011 by the National Park Service and partners. Since 2011 more than 500 interns have successfully completed the NPS Academy. ACE facilitated the program in 2019 for the first time.

The vision of NPS Academy is to develop a more representative workforce by connecting talented, 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.

Ideal Candidate
  • Individuals who self-identify as being from any background historically underrepresented in the NPS
  • Not required to have experience with conservation or National Parks
  • Committed to creating a more inclusive future for public lands
  • Available for the March Academy experience (March 21st-25th) and a summer position (lengths vary by position, specified in individual postings)
  • 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
  • Able to provide references with an application
  • $480/week living allowance stipend
  • Housing provided
  • Eligibility for AmeriCorps Education Award of ~$1,600
  • Travel reimbursement for approved expenses
  • Opportunity to participate in an expense paid week long orientation in March
  • Experiential career development and exploration opportunities
  • Additional career preparation and ongoing support
  • Connecting with a network of 400+ fellow NPS Academy alumni to find and share professional resources and opportunities
Project Locations

2022 locations are planned to include Acadia National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP)

The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP) is a professional development internship that introduces undergraduate and graduate students, from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the National Parks, to career opportunities within Cultural Resource Management in the National Park Service. 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. Host sites 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.



Applications for CRDIP typically open in late February and close mid-April.

Questions? Please contact Jen Wells at jwells@usaconservation.org

Program Purpose
  • Provide youth from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the National Park Service 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.
  • Competitive living allowance, dispersed biweekly
  • Housing is either provided at no cost by host site or monthly reimbursements are offered to help offset the cost of housing
  • Interactive professional development presentations and webinars
  • Invaluable connections with non-profit and federal employees as well as with your fellow CRDIP cohort (usually about 20 participants per year)
  • Some positions offer an AmeriCorps Education Award after successfully completing a 300-hour term (around $1,300 which can be used to pay off student loans or aid in going back to school!)
  • Chance to create unique blog posts, videos, or other content about your CRDIP experiences to be shared broadly on ACE social media and website
    TTAP Apprentice
    TTAP Apprentice
    TTAP Apprentice
    TTAP Apprentice
    TTAP Apprentice
    TTAP Apprentice

    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.


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


    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
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