National Park Service Seeks Interns for Summer 2016

George Mason University, in conjunction with the National Park Service, is offering paid summer internships for university students to promote a greater understanding of climate change in local national parks.

Past interns with National Park Service staff. Image Credit: George Mason University

Past interns with National Park Service staff. Image Credit: George Mason University

George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) and the National Park Service (NPS) are offering up to eight paid student positions for summer 2016, open to rising juniors and seniors or graduate students enrolled at accredited U.S. universities. Prospective interns can apply for interdisciplinary, graphic design, or videography positions, all of which will meet in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

The internship providers are looking primarily for students with interdisciplinary backgrounds and interests in a combination of biology, environmental science, sustainability, natural resources, sociology, communication, psychology, and other disciplines.

Throughout the course of the project, interns will work to provide communication materials to help visitors learn how global climate change is affecting parks in the Washington, D.C., area. Interns also will create social media content for the parks to post on Facebook and Twitter.

Past projects have included mini-campaigns aimed at increasing staff participation in recycling programs, guidebooks for park rangers about communicating climate change information to visitors, and webpages about climate change’s influence on cultural resources in those parks.

The positions pay $250 to $350 per week, depending on an intern’s level of experience, for a 40-hour (full-time) position during the course of either 10 or 12 weeks depending on which internship a student accepts. All work during the period will occur at GMU Arlington Campus and at National Capital Region Parks (near Washington D.C.).

According to Lindsey Beall at 4C, the internship highlights a different way of thinking about climate change and its already-evident effects.

“I think it’s important to note when people think of climate change, oftentimes they think of the polar bears floating on an ice cap,” Beall said.

“Although that is extremely important, it’s not our main focus. We want to focus on our backyard. I grew up in certain national parks around D.C., and I can see how climate change can negatively affect those resources. If we want more people to get on board with climate change mitigation, we need to show them that it’s happening now and it’s happening here.”

Beall noted that through different forms of media (whether an infographic, video, webpage, or social media) program interns will provide visitors with information that encourages visitors to start a discussion about climate change.

Applications are due by Jan. 29, and application requirements and documents are available at the 4C/NPS internship site. Send any questions regarding the internships to Lindsey Beall at lbeall3@gmu.edu.