Great Sand Dunes begins recruitment for the 2022 Conservation Internship Program 


GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK — Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is actively recruiting young adults interested in a career with a federal land agency for this year’s Conservation Internship Program.

The internship program seeks young adults from San Luis Valley communities to work at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve to learn skills, contribute to meaningful park projects, and create experiences that will make them marketable in a career with a public land agency.

Since the program was piloted in the summer of 2019, the park has hired 15 interns to support resource management projects, work alongside rangers in the visitor center, and complete important facility management projects. The program is administered in partnership with Conservation Legacy, an organization committed to fostering conservation service in support of communities and ecosystems.

This year, the park will offer multiple internship positions working with the Interpretation and Visitor Services Program.

The Park will select candidates for the following opportunities:

  • Two 12-week (3 months) internships, starting mid-May and ending in mid-August receiving a weekly stipend of $520. This internship is ideal for a recent high school graduate or degree-seeking college student. Interns will provide customer service at the visitor center, make connections with visitors on park trails, and assist with event planning and social media posts.
  • One 26-week (6 months) internship, starting mid-April to mid-October receiving a weekly stipend of $634. This internship is ideal for current college students or college graduates. The intern will provide support to the park’s educational program during on-site field trips or distance learning programs and other youth engagement activities. The intern will also provide customer service at the visitor center, make a connection with visitors on park trails, and assist with event planning and social media posts.

Upon completion of the program, interns will receive an educational award, varying in amounts and based on the length of their term. The Park will cover uniform and training costs. 

The intern completing a term of 18 weeks or more will also qualify for Direct Hire Authority. Direct Hire Authority allows students who excel in their internships and meet any other job-specific education or training requirements to be hired without competition into permanent positions within the National Park Service and other select bureaus of the Department of the Interior for which they are qualified.

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