ACE: Visitor Use/Curatorial Assistant - Shenandoah National Park (Rapidan) - AmeriCorps Eligible

  • American Conservation Experience
  • Luray, VA, USA
  • Apr 14, 2021
Internship- Paid Cultural Resources Environmental Education - Interpretation

Job Description

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Shenandoah National Park, is seeking ONE Visitor Use/Curatorial Assistant to assist with interpretation, security, grounds maintenance, integrated pest management, and preservation maintenance at Rapidan Camp. The ACE Member will maximize visitor access to this historic house museum within the Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah National Park.

Start Date: June 21, 2021

End Date: August 14, 2021

*An 8-week commitment is required*

Location: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park contains 196,000 forested acres along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia. The Park's backcountry of steep rugged terrain contains 500 miles of trails, including 95 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and nearly 80,000 acres of federally designated wilderness. Skyline Drive, the famous scenic tour road through the Park, follows the ridge crest for 105 miles and connects to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nearly two million people visit the Park each year to enjoy views from the Skyline Drive, hike trails, rock climb, enjoy nature study, camp, or stay overnight in one of the Park's rustic lodges or backcountry cabins. The Park supports approximately 1400 vascular plant species, numerous state-rare plant species, and a variety of forest community types. The mountain streams are inhabited by 39 species of fishes, over 230 species of aquatic invertebrates and provide some of the best protected strongholds for native eastern brook trout south of Maine.

Project Website: For more information regarding Shenandoah National Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm. For information about Rapidan Camp https://www.nps.gov/shen/learn/historyculture/rapidancamp.htm

For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.

Living Allowance: ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $190/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.They will also receive a $600 travel allowance that will be distributed evenly throughout the term to aid in the costs of relocation.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided park housing at no cost for the duration of the term. Housing consists of a historic cabin (Creel Cabin, Rapidan Camp), at the work location. The closest town is the town of Stanley about 45 minutes away. Luray, Front Royal, and Harrisonburg are about an hour to an hour and a half away. Laundry facilities are available at the Big Meadows Campground.

There is no cell phone reception or internet at Rapidan Camp. A calling card is recommended for outgoing phone calls. Incoming calls can be made to Creel Cabin. A personal vehicle is required due to the remote location. A government vehicle will be available for work related travel and for transportation between a personal vehicle and the camp.

The member must be comfortable living independently in a remote area with a high density of snakes.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 300-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1,311.11) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment and volunteer service is required.

Scheduling: Off days for the member will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Weekend service is expected throughout the membership. ~8 hour days will be anticipated.

Position Description:

Interpretive Duties: The member will assist interpretive staff with formal park programs. For visitors on foot, the member will develop their own thematic program related to Herbert and Lou Hoover and Rapidan Camp. They will provide their interpretive program to interested park visitors and hikers.

Museum Preservation Duties: Routine cleaning of the structure and preservation cleaning of the historic house museum artifacts. Cleaning will be done under the guidance of the museum specialist using appropriate gloves, handling techniques, and other museum quality materials. They will monitor the environment in the structure for temperature and humidity using fans and opening and closing windows as appropriate to help control the internal environment, minimizing the damage these can cause. Using appropriate museum materials, they will put quilts out daily for visitors and pack them away at night.

Environmental Monitoring Duties: Assist with seasonal visible and ultra-violet light readings used to develop a more protected environment for museum objects. This position is critical for maximizing visitor access to this historic house museum. Without this position, visitors only have access to this historic house museum four times a week through the interpretive staff program. Other museum responsibilities such as labeling museum objects may be assigned based on member interest and time available.

Physical Demands: Ability to lift furniture, and equipment (50 lbs); use weed trimming and leaf blowing equipment for landscape maintenance; ability to bend, stoop and crawl; work in variable temperatures both outside and inside (hot, cool, and humid). May entail some hiking over rough terrain (level to extremely steep and rocky); willingness to be exposed to hazards of the field environment (inclement weather, ticks, stinging insects, bears). The Member may see black bears, serve in venomous snake habitat, be exposed to bugs, ticks, and poison ivy, and get bruises/scratches.

Note: Due to currently operating under Covid-19 restrictions, interaction with the public may be reduced. There will still be an opportunity to develop and present an interpretive program and normal operation and interaction with the public may return during the season.

Educational and Training Opportunities: This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups. The staff at Shenandoah National Park will coordinate with the member to set up educational cross-training days as interest and opportunities allow. Topics may include plant restoration, invasive plant control, vegetative monitoring/sampling, fisheries, wildlife, trail work, historic structures, archeological location searching, GIS/use of GPS equipment, interpretation, or student education.

Qualifications:

Required:

  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • This position is funded through the Public Land Corps Act which has specific program requirements.
    • Must be 21-30 years of age to apply (members must be 21+ to apply for an ACE position that requires or anticipates operation of agency or ACE vehicles for duties).
    • Military Veterans up to 35 are encouraged to apply.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • A personal vehicle is required for transportation related to personal needs.
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Must have excellent communication and organization skills in respect to interpretation and museum preservation
  • Knowledge of, or willing to research and learn about the natural and cultural history of the Southern Appalachians
  • Must be comfortable living independently in a remote area with a high density of snakes.

Preferred:

  • Excellent public speaking skills with diverse audiences
  • Grounds maintenance experience
  • Integrated pest management experience
  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as environmental science, natural resource management, park management, cultural/historic preservation, education or a related discipline.

Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties or while on federal property, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.

To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. 

EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.

Job Level

Entry-level

Salary

$190/week

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