Fish & Feathers Intern

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Please apply HERE

Start Date: May 16, 2022 – August 5th, 2022 (Approximate)

Compensation: $500 per week + support for lodging and transportation

Application Due: February 20th, 2022

The Fish and Feathers 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.

Location:  Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Cherokee, NC

Project Description and Work Products:

Fish and Feathers is a new program funded by the National Park Service (NPS) and administered by Environment for the Americas.  Our goal is to provide our national park partners with talented interns who are eager to learn and to engage with local communities.  The intern will focus on supporting, implementing, and possibly leading community outreach programs that focus on fishing and birding activities.  The overall goal is to increase diverse community engagement with NPS partners during the program and in years to come.


  • Reach out to local communities to increase engagement in fishing and birdwatching
  • Understand regulations regarding fishing and ethical birding and communicate this information to program participants
  • Lead and/or support the implementation of fishing and birding programs
  • Manage and maintain program equipment
  • Meet deadlines for Environment for the Americas program requirements

Natural and Physical Work Environment:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in the states of North Carolina and Tennessee and encompasses 800 square miles (514,000 acres) of which 95 percent are forested. The headquarters is located near the city of Gatlinburg, TN. There are 16 peaks over 6,000′ in elevation and up to 90″ of rainfall spread throughout the year. The Park has 10 campgrounds, 900 miles of horse and hiking trails, 350 miles of road, and 750 miles of fishable streams. The Smokies is within one day’s drive for about 1/3 of the U.S. population and thus attracts over 13 million visitors annually, making it the most visited national park in the system.

Climate is moderate with average lows in the summer in the 60’s and highs in the 80’s and 90’s and average lows in winter between 20 and 30 with highs in the 50’s. Snowfall averages range from 5″ in Gatlinburg, TN, to 11″ in Bryson City, NC.

Work is primarily performed outdoors and occurs in all types of weather from snow, wind, and rain to sun and heat, and may require standing for long periods of time or walking over rough and uneven terrain

Abilities and Skills:

  • Ability to hike long distances and conduct field operations as part of a team and/or independently in an outdoor setting
  • Experience giving presentations and ability to learn new skills and transfer the knowledge to participants
  • Ability and enthusiasm for learning fishing regulations and bird identification for program development and implementation
  • Ability to learn methods employed in fish and wildlife management.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, listening, and written communication skills
  • Interest in learning new skills such as water safety, rafting, canoeing, and kayaking.

Education and Qualifications:

Successful candidates will have a background and/or coursework in the following areas or a strong interest in the outdoors with experience fishing and/or birdwatching.

  • Biology
  • Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Aquaculture
  • Communications/Marketing
  • Environmental Science
  • Recreation
  • Interpretation/Education
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