Position Title: Education Assistant
Park Unit: Shenandoah National Park
Location: Luray, Virginia
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 36 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 11/04/2024
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $665.00
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 participant will join our seasonal and permanent staff in providing curriculum-based environmental education programming through virtual distance learning, visits to classrooms, going to community events, and some in-park programming. Typically, our education program provides distance learning and in-classroom visits in the winter, on-site classroom fieldtrips to the park in spring and community events throughout the year. Using already-established outlines and curriculum, this intern will assist current education staff by conducting independently-delivered distance learning programs on a variety of natural science topics including ecosystems, habitats, and climate change in our state-of-the-art distance learning studio. In a team of staff including a Lead Park Ranger, this intern will also conduct late Spring/early summer experiential hands-on environmental education experiences to students during on-site classroom fieldtrips to the park. The intern will coordinate with classroom teachers and community members to set up special events, test calls, distance learning scheduling, and answer fieldtrip questions in order to align learning objectives with teacher curriculum, classroom preparedness, and special needs and requests. The intern will assist with program structure and outreach, connecting students to current, ongoing conservation efforts and changes in the ecosystem, including invasives, fire ecology, and forest health. This programming will focus on real-world scientific data collection as well as habitat-restoration service projects to support the park and help students understand the impacts of recent ecological changes and how a protected, diverse ecosystem can withstand the inevitable them. All programs will follow National and/or Virginia state standards for school curriculum as well as focus on STEM-focused activities and learning objectives to enhance the school’s curriculum while providing valuable and fun experiences for school children to provoke learning, inspire stewardship, and contribute to an active lifestyle of children ages PreK through high school.

This position will contribute towards the conservation, stewardship, and interpretation of the natural resources that define Shenandoah National Park. As a relatively wild, natural place in the east near many urban areas, we have the opportunity to provide our diverse visitors with engaging educational programs and informal interactions in the field on the topic of natural resources and public land stewardship and how our visitors’ experiences and values relate to and effect the park’s mission.


The goal of this internship is to support the park’s ongoing educational programming and to expand the number of students, schools, and community members reached in this effort. One additional staff person (this intern) will allow our small education staff to provide dozens of additional distance learning programs to schools across the Nation while also allowing for more and earlier Spring fieldtrip scheduling. We currently have greater demand than we can meet. Additionally, by enhancing and expanding ecosystem-health programming, the education office will be able to be relevant and pivotal in the communities surrounding the Park, especially in light of recent large forest fires and invasive species spread.


• Upper-level college coursework in elementary or high school education, environmental education, and/or natural resources related subject matter such as ecology, geology, wildlife biology, botany, climate change, earth science, and environmental studies. • Good public speaking skill is crucial, as is a desire to work with children ages 5-18. • Proficiency with computers and basic office equipment is essential. • A valid driver’s license with a good driving record and submit to a standard background investigation as per National Park Service regulations.

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 36 Weeks in order to be considered and participate.

Shenandoah National Park lies along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in north central Virginia. The park consists of more than 197,000 acres of mountains, forests, meadows, and streams including 79,579 acres of designated wilderness. The park includes the famously scenic Skyline Drive, more than 500 miles of hiking trails, and numerous historical sites. Weather is variable throughout the season. Nearby towns are small, but the park is within 45 minutes of small cities and within 1.5 hours of D.C. Temperatures are usually 8-10 degrees cooler on the mountain than they are in the surrounding lowland areas. The intern will conduct virtual education programs, in-class programs that are offsite, afterschool programs, and occasional programming on the mountain, weather dependent. Outreach opportunities may also arise. Due to the variability of work duties, a sturdy pair of hiking boots is necessary. A government vehicle will be provided for commuting on work time from their duty station to programs and events. Typically, work is Monday-Friday with occasional weekend and evening work required. The park is home to approximately 500 black bears, 2 species of venomous snakes, and a variety of other wildlife. The intern will be trained in how to safely share bear-habitat. The park enjoys the full four seasons and the intern’s work will be conducted indoors and outdoors during occasional inclement weather and during very warm or cool/cold days.


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

Park housing is NOT available. The intern will be responsible for finding housing in the nearby area. If Park housing becomes available, housing will be in a single or double bedroom in a shared house at one of the following locations within the park. Rent can vary in nearby towns, but many furnished vacation rentals exist. Prices average $1000/month. Nearby towns are small, but the park is within 45 minutes of small cities and within 1.5 hours of D.C.

education, park, students, teach, classroom

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.)