Communication & Public Affairs Intern (DHA)

Website Mount Rushmore National Monument

Start Date: May 15, 2023

End Date: August 4th, 2023

**To qualify for a DHA position, applicants must be between the ages of 18-30 and be enrolled in a 4-year institution of higher education in the semester FOLLOWING the internship (Fall 2023).

Compensation: $720/week paid biweekly. Travel costs to the site and back home are covered by the program.

Application Due: February 6th, 2023

The Latino Heritage Internship Program seeks to engage ethnically and racially diverse young professionals in natural resource careers.

Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.

All interns must be fully vaccinated for covid-19 prior to the start of their internship.

Please Apply HERE

Project Description:

Mount Rushmore National Memorial seeks an intern to develop and implement new approaches to digital engagement in the context of an iconic park with complex visitation challenges. Mount Rushmore is a world-recognized icon that attracts nearly three-million visitors a year. It has also from inception been a source of controversy owing to its construction on land considered sacred and culturally significant to the nearly two-dozen Indigenous nations associated with the site. The park continues to build its relationship with these nations to strengthen the accuracy of its interpretive programming and to model the principles of co-stewardship in the caretaking of the park.

This internship proposal carries this forward by investing in the early formation of a digital media and public affairs team headed by the park Public Information Officer and Visual Information Specialist. The intern will take a leading role in developing a new proactive media strategy for the park’s cultural demonstrations, Indigenous-focused exhibits throughout the park, and build a framework for Native American Heritage Month digital media content production and distribution.

The intern will take advantage of growing momentum towards the diversity and inclusion initiatives connected to America at 250 celebrations in 2026 and the emphasis on Indigenous histories and narratives. The park has already begun early planning stages for this, and the intern will play a critical role in shaping the direction of the park’s emergent media engagement approach. Critical to this new approach will be to expand beyond the ideas of traditional media relationships and begin engaging with visitors where they are rather than where they used to be. This means applying visitor use data in how visitor experiences are constructed and implemented. For example, studies conducted by IMPACTS shows that in the digital space what other people say about a park is almost thirteen times more important than what the park says about themselves. The challenge for parks is to identify the most effective way to generate interest in visitors creating content about parks rather than parks investing all their resources into creating content on their own. They will have a great deal of autonomy to decide on the direction of their project, but they will never be operating without guidance and mentorship from NPS professionals in Public Affairs, Tribal Consultation, Digital Interpretation, and Partnerships. They will have a great deal of autonomy to decide on the direction of their project, but they will never be operating without guidance and mentorship from NPS professionals in Public Affairs, Tribal Consultation, Digital Interpretation, and Partnerships.

Through the support of this team, the intern will develop several key products for immediate use by Mount Rushmore and neighboring parks. The intern will present these products to Servicewide Communications and Digital Interpretation Teams, as well as in a presentation to Black Hills area parks: Badlands National Park, Devils Tower National Monument, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Wind Cave National Park. These presentations will provide opportunities for other parks to workshop and provide feedback on the engagement strategy and potentially inspire parks to implement their own localized approaches.

Intern Qualifications: 

Interns selected for the NPSCF Program should possess:

  • Public Affairs
  • Communication
  • Technical Expertise Relating to Digital Platforms (social media, web site management)

Physical/Natural Environment: Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located three miles west of Keystone, South Dakota, in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota. Housing for purchase or rent, schools, medical and dental facilities, churches of most faiths, and shopping are available in Rapid City, 25 miles northeast of Park Headquarters, and in nearby Hill City and Custer.

Work Environment:  The work will mostly be in an office environment with a dedicated workspace. The office will be shared with the park Visual Information Specialist. There are no special hazards associated with the location, although the intern will occasionally need to visit the park facilities (Visitor Center, Amphitheater) to participate in Indigenous-themed activities and events.

To apply for this job email your details to

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