Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

Community Engagement Innovator -  Harrison, NE

Position Type: LHIP Internship
Primary Field: Interpretation/Education

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is hoping to enlist the fresh talents and perspectives of an intern to design, develop and implement new ways to engage audiences that have never been connected with before, and who may have utilized the park in the past, but don't feel the need to return. There are two major components of the internship: 1) learning the basics of the park and the responsibilities of the interpretive/education park ranger, so that one can 2) design, develop and implement small- and large-scale programs that engage the public. Examples include developing a citizen science BioBlitz, working with local partner groups to produce and conduct a summer science camp for local children, especially for the Latino communities.

The intern will gain:

a) Interpretive skills
b) Education techniques
c) Project development and management skills
d) Understanding of large organizational systems & how to navigate them.

These will be accomplished mostly at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, with possible opportunities at Scotts Bluff National Monument (Oregon Trail history - concepts include migration) and Ft Lararmie National Historic Site.

Basic components:

  • Visitor services through park orientation and informal interpretation at the visitor center, on hiking trails, park road viewpoints, at off-site venues, eg county fairs, parades
  • Formal interpretive and educational presentations at various park venues and off-site venues; develop and conduct at least two distinct programs (at least one on paleontology, other topics can be natural or cultural resources, invasive species, park management/philosophy, etc); includes preparing all the logistics, marketing, press releases, signage, etc;
  • Monitor and document paleontology resources in parks using GPS technology, etc;
  • Assist with coordinating logistics various special events and programs, eg. paleontology field schools from universities, Artist-in-Residents, teacher writing workshop, park participation in parades and county fairs;

Qualifications:

  • Desire interns who have concentrations in geology, paleontology, natural resources, biology, anthropology, Native American studies, American history, communications, environmental studies, English, graphic design, geography, women’s studies, park/recreation management, education/teaching (including early childhood or adult education specialization)
  • Because of the remoteness of the park, the park needs a mature intern, therefore we prefer someone who has completed at least their sophomore year in college or is a non-traditional student.
  • Maturity and independence: this is a very remote location for most people, therefore someone who is comfortable with relatively few residents in the immediate area is a must.
  • Ability to recognize problems and propose and work towards solutions.
  • Ability to work within a bureaucracy.
  • Curiosity and hunger for learning; ask questions diplomatically.
  • Willingness to try new things and juggle multiple projects.
  • Strategic and critical thinker.
  • Public contact work experience, for example, retail, customer service, hospitality industry, public speaking, teaching.

Work Environment:

  • The visitor center /administrative office building is a modern structure completed in 1995. Very spacious and airy with vaulted ceilings.
  • It can be quite warm during the summer with mild humidity. We share the park with various wildlife, including rattlesnakes and coyotes. Drivers need to be alert for wildlife hazards, like deer, on the roads after dark.
  • Depending upon how the intern and supervisor devise the program, the intern can spend about a half the time indoors, and about a half outdoors and at off-site venues.

Driver's License:

Required due to remote site.