Interdisciplinary Community Planner (DHA) – ONSITE – Death Valley National Park/Division of Maintenance/Project Management Branch

Start/End Dates: May 13th, 2024 – August 9th, 2024 (12 weeks)

Compensation: $720 per week + on-site housing provided

Application Due: February 5, 2024

The Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP) seeks to engage Latino undergraduates and recent graduates ages 18 – 30, and up to 35 for veterans, for this unmatched leadership training program that is focused in the cultural and natural resource management. You must be (additional requirement):

  • a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
  • To qualify for a DHA-RAI position, applicants must be enrolled in a 4-year institution of higher education in the semester FOLLOWING the internship

(Fall 2024)

* YES, a personal vehicle is required for this position. Note: The intern will live an hour from the nearest grocery store and a car will allow the participant to escape the heat during their weekends without having to rely on others.

Please Apply Here 

Position Description: 

The incumbent will join the Death Valley National Park Division of Maintenance – Project Management Branch as a Community Planner working in project generation by leading the research and creation of a project to construct a microgrid at Cow Creek. A microgrid at Cow Creek will help reduce electrical costs to the Government, decarbonize energy sources consistent with Executive Order 14057, and support the mission of the NPS by allowing the Agency to preserve and protect resources during storm events. The project aligns with the Park’s long-term planning documents and helps the Park achieve its strategic goals.

At the completion of the internship, the incumbent will deliver an executive summary of their findings, make a presentation to the Park’s Senior Management Team, and draft initial concept drawings, a detailed project description, documents to initiate the compliance process, a completed project package in the Project Management Information System, and a project cost estimate. The deliverables will be used by the Park to gain funding, develop construction documents, and construct the project.

Expectations for the deliverables will be adjusted based on the skillset of the incumbent. For example, initial concept drawings prepared by an electrical engineer might include single-line diagrams, while an historic landscape architect could provide exterior elevations and site layouts for new equipment in the historic viewshed.

Cow Creek is the location of most NPS housing and operations, a CalTrans maintenance yard, Park partner headquarters, and a branch of the Inyo County public library. An ongoing project will install photovoltaic electric systems in the residences and re-energize a photovoltaic system at Maintenance. These solar projects will have limited improvements in resiliency because the areas lack a microgrid to isolate the mains and control power generation, storage, and distribution during power outages. This project will include increasing generating capacity, constructing storage, analyzing cost and operational benefit of peak shifting, improve resiliency, and advance the Park towards the carbon-reduction goals of Executive Order 14057.

By the end of the internship, the incumbent will become an expert in the project. The skills gained by completing this project will be directly transportable to other NPS units, government agencies, and the private sector. Upon entry on duty, the incumbent will undertake park immersion with members of the Project Management Branch and other Park divisions to better understand the NPS Mission and Park operations. Upon completing their initial training and onboarding, 1 week, the incumbent will learn about the goals of their project, be introduced to the project site, and, with the help of their mentor, develop a schedule to ensure their project is completed on time, 1 week. The incumbent will spend 3 weeks conducting research, interviewing stakeholders, and developing proposed solutions in close collaboration with their mentor. The incumbent will prepare their deliverables, 4 weeks, with regular review and support from their mentor and the Project Management Branch. The incumbent will present their results to the Administration, Compliance, and Engineering (ACE) project review committee and make any revisions, 1 week. The incumbent will present their work to Park stakeholders and the Senior Management Team, 1 week. Finally, the incumbent will return to the Program’s final conference and presentation, 1 week. In total, the internship will last 12 weeks.

The deliverables will inform the Park and the Park’s Senior Management Team of viability of the project.


  • Conduct research, interview stakeholders, and develop proposed solutions 
  • Present results to Administration, Compliance, and Engineering (ACE) project review committee and the Senior Management Team (SMT)


The incumbent will have a degree in engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, community planning, or a related field. They must be a strong communicator, with the ability to convey complex, sensitive, and controversial information to lay and technical audiences. Proficiency with the computer programs consistent with their skillset is essential.

Incumbents who have not finished their degree may be considered if they have completed advanced courses in their field of study. While some expectations regarding deliverables would be relaxed or the scope of the project diminished (e.g., fewer buildings included in the design), these individuals would still be expected to produce a fundable project.

Direct Hire Authority (DHA)
Direct Hire Authority (DHA) at the successful conclusion of their internship. DHA status enables an agency to hire, after public notice is given, any qualified applicant. A DHA expedites hiring by eliminating competitive rating and ranking, veterans’ preference, and “rule of three” procedures. For more information, please click HERE.

EEO Statement

Environment for the Americas provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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