Haleakalā Interpretation and Environmental Stewardship Intern

Website Haleakalā National Park Interpretation

Start Date: May 15th, 2023

End Date: August 4th, 2023

Compensation: $640 a week paid every two weeks. Travel costs to the site and back home are covered by the program. 

Car is required

Application Due: February 6th, 2023

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

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

Please Apply HERE

Position Description:

This internship will support interpretation and visitor services operations for the Summit District of Haleakalā while spending time within the coastal Kīpahulu District during the summer season. The intern will work 40 hours per week. Two of the 11 weeks will consist of training to learn about interpretation, specific resource information, teamwork, indigenous environmental stewardship, and the mission of the NPS. The main duties of the internship will be to present formal interpretation through birding hikes, develop and facilitate audience-centered “pop-up” programs around the topics of birds and fish, roving trails to provide informal interpretation, spread key resource messaging, and to assist at visitor centers throughout the week. The intern will have shadowing opportunities to learn from other divisions that specialize in forest birds and aquatic ecology. The intern will also work with external park conservation partners to support outreach events and collaborations in-park.  

The intern’s primary project responsibility will be enhancing interpretation opportunities featuring Hawaiʻi’s endemic birds, including critically endangered forest birds and nocturnal seabirds. These interpretive products will provide a much-needed consistency for local visitors seeking to engage with the park’s recreational opportunities. Using provided outlines and resources, the intern will have a chance to craft a formal 1-hour nature walk focusing on the history, significance, and preservation of forest birds. The intern will also create two activity-based informal pop-up programs focusing on nocturnal seabirds and sustainable Native Hawaiian fishing stewardship practices. Both pop-up programs will provide the intern the opportunity to interpret park resources in unique settings, including during sunset/night sky shifts and on day trips to the coastal district of the park. All three programs will also address climate change and share the park’s responses to climate change impacts as well as the role visitors can play in environmental stewardship. The intern will lead nature walks 1-2 times per week and facilitate the pop-ups 2 times per week. The intern will also contribute to digital media through social media and help to write copy for web pages featuring these park resources. Throughout their term, the intern will work on a daily basis with a diverse team of park guides, leads, and supervisors who will provide mentorship and support for this project. At least once during their season, the intern will also get to interact with Maui bird conservation partners, either by representing the park at an outreach event, or by collaborating with these partners to provide a special event in-park. 

This project will support one of Haleakalā’s top priorities, which is to prevent the imminent extinction of forest bird species in the park, and to help save other rare and threatened birds often killed in motor vehicle collisions. They will learn to communicate the importance of preserving the ʻāina (land) connection of mauka (mountain) to makai (ocean side). While communicating with visitors from across the world, the intern will greatly improve Haleakalā’s stewardship efforts to build awareness for endemic species, climate change challenges, and the need for action. The interpretive products created will remain in the menu of programming for the Interpretation Division after the internship ends, making a lasting contribution to the park’s materials for communicating these topics. The internship will also support Haleakalā’s relevance to both local communities and out-of-state visitors. With a more diverse workforce, the park improves its ability to connect with historically underserved communities, and it gains more ideas and perspectives for how to best share, protect, and engage with Haleakalā’s rare and sacred resources.

Intern Qualifications:

Interns selected for the NPSCF Program should possess:

  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience
  • Strategic thinking ability
  • The ability to self-start/work independently
  • Flexibility/resourcefulness
  • The ability to adapt new skills and ideas to the public sector

Education requirements: Upper level college student or graduates with an educational background (or have taken courses) in the areas of ecology, biology, environmental studies, zoology, geology, resource management, park and recreational management, social sciences, public speaking, communication, teaching or interpretation.

Physical/Natural Environment: Working and living will take place in high elevation between 7,000-10,000 feet above sea level. Weather condition patterns change frequently and rapidly throughout the year with extreme weather possible during any season. Temperatures vary from 30° to 75°F. Relative humidity varies from 20% in upland areas to more than 90% near the ocean. The road to the summit is paved but very winding through open range (free ranging cattle) and may be foggy and wet. The nearest towns to the summit headquarters office are Kula, Pukalani, and Makawao with approximately a 30 – 45 minute drive to the park entrance. Pukalani has a grocery store, gas stations, restaurants, a small medical clinic, etc. The city of Kahului is located 35 miles away (1-hour drive) and is the major center of commerce on Maui. Maui is a 20- minute airplane ride from Honolulu, on Oʻahu, and a 5.5 hour flight from Los Angeles. 

Hawaiʻi is a diverse state which brings together a number of indigenous and immigrant histories; Haleakalā employs staff from the mainland as well as the local community, which celebrates unique intersections between Spanish, Portuguese, and Native Hawaiian heritage.

Work Environment: This internship would involve mostly office and indoor work the two visitor centers of the Summit District. Shifts can sometimes involve standing for long periods of time at an information desk, at elevations as high as 10,000 feet. Other routine duties include light field work, such as walking short trails with visitors, roving a few miles on trails, and assisting visitors outside in cold, windy, and wet weather. Shifts also require driving the winding, narrow park road between the visitor centers. Conditions can be foggy and windy.  

Other divisions in the park routinely have summer and year-long interns, many of whom live in housing.

To apply for this job email your details to internships@environmentamericas.org

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