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Great Smoky National Park Interpretation Intern

Job Description

Summary: Greening Youth Foundation, in partnership with the National Park Service, Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) is seeking ONE Interpretation Intern interested in dedicating 16 weeks in support of the National Park Service in implementing and delivering interpretive programming to park visitors. This excellent opportunity is ideal for an enthusiastic young professional who is deeply committed to the preservation of our national parks. Applicants must have strong interest in a career in natural resource management, history and education.

Start Date: September 18, 2022 (may be flexible by a week for the right candidate)

End Date: January 7, 2023 (or 16 weeks from the internship start date)
* A 16-week minimum commitment is required *

Location : Great Smoky Mountains National Park, based out of Sugarlands Visitor Center, located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is unique among America's National Parks; located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is renowned for its rich diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of the ancient mountains and forests, and its preservation of the Southern Appalachian mountain culture.

Project Website: For more information regarding the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: For more information regarding the Greening Youth Foundation, please visit

Compensation: The Greening Youth Foundation intern will contribute 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance to cover the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. The intern will be accommodated in shared park housing at no cost for the duration of the term. Cell phone reception is not always reliable, and a personal vehicle is required due to the site being remote and no reliable public transportation. The intern may use of a government vehicle while working in the park. Shared housing will be provided by NPS.

Position Description:
In support of the mission of the National Park Service, the fundamental service performed by Interpretation Intern is to:

Resource Education- Educate visitors about the significance and uniqueness of park resources, conservation, and ecologically sound practices and the laws, rules, and regulations developed to protect park resources and provide for their safe and non-consumptive use.

Resource Protection- Preserving the natural and cultural resources of the park by preventing degradation of ecosystems, historical structures and artifacts and by preventing the loss and theft of objects, flora, and fauna through information and education.

This will be achieved through the delivery of interpretation programs. Through place-based learning, visitors make real-world connections with science and history as they explore our National Parks!

Interpretation intern participates closely with National Park rangers to design, deliver and evaluate programs in the park. Projects include developing new materials and programs, maintaining program statistics, and creating visual aids.

The Intern will serve the NPS Great Smoky Mountains' mission by enthusiastically working to fulfill the following responsibilities:
  • Provide and deliver interpretation programs (40%)
  • Provide visitor information, inform visitors of park facilities and resources (40%)
  • Developing and researching program elements (presentation revision, material development) (10%)
  • Working within and assisting other park divisions and projects (10%)
Conduct basic research of topics for the purpose of developing and presenting interpretative programs, both orally and/or in writing. Present a variety of formal and informal programs including orientation talks, environmental education programs, conducted walks, demonstrations, and evening programs.

Inform visitors about park facilities and resources. Duties are performed on or off-site at locations designated by the park, including visitor centers, campgrounds, historical sites, etc. Learn park resources by reviewed published maps, park research materials, and other documents previously prepared by park rangers and other professionals and by talking with park staff. Provide assistance with one-time or annual celebrations related to programs and themes of the park and assists with special events. Other collateral duties may be assigned including the research and development of social media posts, virtual programs, educational videoclips, interpretive signage, displays, and website design, etc.

Training Provided: The intern will receive training in park resource knowledge, delivery of audience-centered/curriculum-based programs, report writing, and other position related skills, as well as safety training and oversight. Greening Youth Foundation and NPS are committed to providing the most educational, rewarding, and challenging experience possible to best prepare interns for future careers in the stewardship of America's parks and public lands.

Qualifications: Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in environmental education, interpretation, biological sciences, natural resource management, education, park management, or a related discipline. The intern will be resourceful, adaptable, and able to serve comfortably independently or as part of a team. The Greening Youth NPS GRSM Interpretation Intern must be willing and able to represent Greening Youth Foundation and the NPS in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.

  • Must be a US Citizens or Permanent Resident.
  • Must be 18 to 35 years old.
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within the National Park Service.
  • Must have effective communication skills with diverse audiences; ability to work alone and as part of a team.
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation; personal vehicle required.
  • Deep interest in ecology, education, and natural and cultural history.
  • Enthusiastic about working with visitors of all ages, including students, youth, and adults.
  • Knowledge of, or willing to research and learn about the natural and cultural history of the Southern Appalachians.
  • Must be able and willing to participate outdoors, in varying weather conditions, and capable of participating in physical labor.
  • English proficiency is imperative.
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required.
  • Must be fully vaccinated
  • Knowledge and skills in the principles of education and interpretation.
  • Familiarity with the National Park Service.
  • A strong demonstrated interest and/or education in the field of natural and cultural resources.
  • Excellent writing, research, and organizational skills.
  • Excellent public speaking skills.
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome.

To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with 3 professional references to Greening Youth Foundation at . There will be list of current open positions. This position job number is with the location of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact Greening Youth Foundation Project Manager, Tami Cousin, at