Position Title: Education Assistant
Park Unit: Olympic National Park
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 20 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 12/09/2024
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $565.00
Relocation Allowance: $400.00

CURRENT NUMBER OF APPLICANTS: Under 75 (This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first.)

The education assistant will work with the park's outreach and education specialist and other education staff to develop and deliver a diverse set of education programming, curriculum development, and teacher professional development opportunities. Education programs support Next Generation Science Standards and are offered virtually, in classroom settings, and outdoors in the national park. A major focus of the assistant's time will be the park's Snow Science education program. Snow Science brings 7th grade students from the local area to Hurricane Ridge in the winter to learn about the importance of the winter snowpack to park ecosystems and to local water supplies and uses. It also explores climate change the threats posed by a warming climate and diminished snowpack. Snow Science takes place outside in winter at over 5,000 ft. Weather conditions can be extreme, and the education assistant will be responsible for the safety and well-being of the students entrusted to their care. It will require the ability to ski and snowshoe over a variety of terrain often through deep snow.

The education assistant will also work with the park's physical scientist on a variety of weather, climate, and air quality monitoring projects. Chief among these would be monthly trips to remote snow courses in the Olympic Mountains to measure winter snowpack. These trips are physically demanding and require the ability to cover several miles on skis and snowshoes in winter conditions. The data collected during the monthly snow surveys is reported to the USDA National Resources Conservation Service and is used by federal, state, and local water managers. Other possible duties with the park's physical scientist include maintenance of NPS weather/climate stations, upkeep and data collection from air quality monitoring equipment, and coastal (inter-tidal) ocean acidification sites.

Finally, the education assistant will work on a science communication project for the North Coast and Cascades Inventory and Monitoring Program. The project will be identified once the applicant is selected based on how the interests, skills, and abilities of the applicant intersect with the needs of the inventory and monitoring program. Possible projects could include written resource briefs, GIS story maps, social media posts, and/or short video productions.

The education assistant will participate in the education of students and park visitors on issues related to mountain snowpack and climate change. They will also assist the park's physical scientist in the collection of data related to snow water/snow depth, climate/weather monitoring, air quality monitoring, and possibly intertidal-monitoring. Finally, the education assistant will work with the North Coast and Cascades Inventory and Monitoring Network to develop a science communication project about one of the inventory and monitoring protocols.


Upon completion of the internship the education assistant will develop and present education programs for K-12 students. Specifically it is anticipated that the education assistant will be a key player in delivering a series of Snow Science Field Trips to the Hurricane Ridge area of the park for 250-300 7th grade students. They will also have the opportunity to develop education curriculum and activity materials focuses on climate change to support the Snow Science Program.

The education assistant will also have the opportunity to participate monthly in snow survey work with the park's physical scientist which involves skiing and snowshoeing to remote snow courses in the mountains and assisting with the collection of snow water equivalent data for the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. The intern will also assist weekly with the upkeep, maintenance and data collection of the park's air quality monitoring station. Travel to the station involves driving a pickup truck on gravel dirt roads to access the park's air quality monitoring station.

The intern will also contribute to a science communication project for the North Coast and Cascades Inventory and Monitoring Network the will be determined on the intern's interests, skills and abilities and the needs of the I&M program.


Applicants should be advanced undergraduates, graduate students, or recent graduates whose educational background and career goals are in the fields of environmental education, curriculum development, and/or science communication. Experience working with K-12 students in informal or formal education settings is preferred. Must have an interest in working with students in both informal or formal education settings. Ideal candidates would have course work in both science related subjects (ecology, biology, geology, physical sciences) and in education/interpretation. Duties will be performed both indoors and outdoors. The ability to travel several miles over snow in mountainous terrain is required. The park can provide some gear (snowshoes, outerwear) and will provide training, but previous experience with winter backcountry travel will be useful.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident (“Green Card holder”). Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required. The applicant must be available to participate for 20 Weeks in order to be considered and participate.

Olympic National Park, located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, is nearly one million acres. Over 95% of the park is designated wilderness. Elevation ranges from sea level along the Pacific Coast to 7980 ft. at the summit of Mount Olympus. The park is home to the glacier-capped mountains of the Olympic Range, old growth rainforests, and the diverse Pacific coastline. The park experiences relatively dry summers and wet winters. Snow is common in the mountains during the winter. At lower elevations, winter weather can be rainy and cold and daylight hours are short. Our summers are glorious with long days and pleasant temperatures.

The position is located in Port Angeles, WA. Port Angeles is the seat of Clallam County and has a population of approximately 20,000. The county is considered rural. Medical and dental facilities, and grocery stores are available in town approximately 10 minutes form the park housing area. A full range of outdoor recreational opportunities are available. Victoria, British Columbia is a 90-minute ferry ride away. Seattle, WA is about a 2 hour and 30-minute drive from Port Angeles.


  • Applicant must have a valid driver's license to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is recommended for this position.

Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant. SIP interns stay in apartments located near the park's Headquarters area in Port Angeles, WA. Housing is a short drive from the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. Apartments are furnished and include kitchen and bathroom, but linens and dishware are not provided. Note there are local thrift stores to purchase kitchen supplies. Most apartments are shared, one-bedroom apartments. Interns can check into housing up to 48-hours prior to their start date. There is no mail delivery at park housing, contact Port Angeles Post Office to set up a box: 360-417-7528. There is no internet or wi-fi provided at the housing area. The local branch of the North Olympic Library is nearby and provides computers with internet access and complimentary wi-fi. There is adequate cell service in the headquarters housing area.

science communication, snow science, air quality, Next Gen Science education, social media communications

This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications, or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first. Once you begin applying for a position, the application must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save and return later to complete it. Applicants can apply for up to five Scientists in Parks Intern positions per winter. You need to complete a separate application for each position in order to be considered. You should receive a confirmation email after successfully submitting an application. Sometimes institutional email filters/settings can redirect or block emails related to the application. We recommend watching spam, junk, and promotional email folders in case your service delivers messages there. Please visit How to Apply for additional resources and information about applying (i.e., learn what materials to have ready for applying, find a worksheet that previews application questions, etc.)