Park Planning Fellow (DHA)

Website Intermountain Region Mountain

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: The Park Planning Fellow will be one fellow in a cohort of interns that supports the national Park Planning and Special Studies (PPSS) Program and regional park planning programs. This opportunity affords the Fellow in-depth involvement in the National Park Service’s work to design and plan the future of national park units. In addition to being in a cohort with peers, the fellow will be supporting and collaborating with a professional community of NPS planners. The Park Planning Fellow will learn and contribute to how the NPS is addressing important issues facing the NPS and take a deep dive into the newly established guidance on general management planning. 

The Park Planning Fellow will support the Park Planning and Environmental Quality Division of the Intermountain Regional Office with one or more priority planning projects for reconnaissance surveys, recently-established park units, park portfolio evaluations and planning, and may also assist with smaller efforts and projects as appropriate. Primary projects could include: 

  • Reconnaissance Surveys: The Intermountain Region will be conducting two reconnaissance surveys during 2023 that the fellow will assist with: one will evaluate the possibility of the January 8th Memorial to become an affiliated area of the NPS; the other will evaluate the Dearfield Homestead to become a unit of the NPS. The surveys will evaluate the National Significance, Suitability, Feasibility, and Need for NPS Management of each site. 
  • Amache National Historic Site Strategic Planning:  Designated as a new unit of the national park system in 2022, Amache was one of ten incarceration camps established by the US Government during World War II to illegally detain Japanese Americans under Executive Order 9066. As the historic site transitions to NPS management, a strategic planning effort will help to define, prioritize, and direct tasks for various program areas over the next 3-5 years. Assistance with this effort will include pulling from civic engagement outcomes conducted under a recent study and ongoing foundation document process to inform the strategic plan and working with regional and park staff/partners to identify common goals.
  • White Sands National Park Foundation Update: White Sands National Park was established in 2019 after new legislation changed the unit designation from a National Monument to a National Park and resulted in a modification to the boundaries of the unit. Because of the new designation and additional resources within the park, an update to the Foundation Document is required to provide the fundamental basis of all ongoing and future park planning. 
  • Preliminary Project Planning: There will be up to four preliminary project planning efforts in IMR for the fellow’s participation.
  • General Management Plan for Valles Caldera National Preserve (established in 2014): The General Management Plan for Valles Caldera will establish comprehensive management guidance for the new park unit and incorporate key planning components such as access/circulation, frontcountry development concepts, wilderness stewardship and measures to protect the park’s unique high-elevation ecosystems, geologic and landscape features.  Assistance with this effort could include helping evaluate civic engagement outcomes, prepare for visitor use and management alternatives workshops, and/or contributing to wild and scenic river and wilderness eligibility assessments. 
  • Portfolio Planning: The fellow will assist the IMR Planning Portfolio Manager with Part 1 of assembling planning portfolio documents for at least three parks in the Intermountain Region. In addition, in conjunction with updating the park’s foundation document, the fellow’s time will be spent supporting the planning portfolio manager in conversations with White Sands National Park staff about inadequacies of their current planning portfolio and strategies to address the gaps.

Responsibilities associated with priority planning efforts will depend on the phase the project is in during the Fellow’s term. Responsibilities are anticipated to include:  

Background reading and research in order to better understand each unit’s unique history, characteristics, and planning needs;  Preparation for, and participation in planning team meetings; Participating in and helping the planning team prepare for scoping calls and/or working sessions, civic engagement efforts and workshops; Contributing to discussions on how to enhance public outreach/civic engagement, particularly in underrepresented and tribal communities; Helping to prepare public communications materials; Joining regional discussions to debrief on projects, including determining where additional support may be needed or identify any areas of concern;  General project support such as notetaking, moderating, writing up outcomes of discussions and summaries of public input. Fellows should feel empowered to ask questions and bring their unique experiences and perspectives into projects.

Intern Qualifications: 

The types of educational majors, degrees, and certificates include, but are not limited to:

  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Environmental Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Historic Preservation
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Public Administration

Minimum Qualifications.

  • Age under 30 y.o. as of January 2021 (up to 35 for veterans) 
  • Candidates with bachelors or graduate degrees in a relevant field such as planning, resource management, recreation management, or landscape architecture are preferred. 
  • US citizenship or permanent residency. Interns must undergo a government background check if selected.
  • Available to work full-time (40 hours per week)
  • Reliable access to wi-fi and ability to work remotely 

Physical/Natural Environment: If working in person, the fellow will be located in the Denver, CO area. When the fellow travels to a park unit, the fellow will stay in park housing or in a nearby town/city where there will be access to a grocery store and other facilities. The fellow will be traveling in the summer and elevation and weather can range from sea level to high, alpine environments with constantly changing weather. The fellow will likely take one trip during their fellowship.

Work Environment: The bulk of the work would be office based, with travel to the park(s) for site visits and possible workshops, meetings, civic engagement

To apply for this job email your details to

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