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9 Sep 2021

Internship Natural Resource Member- Cumberland Gap NHP

Deanna Stark/ American Conservation Experience – Posted by Middlesboro, Kentucky, United States

Job Description

ACE: Natural Resource Member – Cumberland Gap NHP – AmeriCorps


Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service is seeking ONE Natural Resource Management Member to contribute to a variety of ongoing projects conducted at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The majority of fieldwork will be Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) control.


For more information on ACE, please visit:


Start Date: October 4, 2021 (flexibility is available for the right candidate)

End Date:  March 21, 2022 (or 24 weeks after start date)

*A 24-week commitment is required*


Location:  Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (CUGA), which is located at the corners of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.  


The Park contains 24,000 acres of which 14,000 acres are proposed wilderness. The natural beauty of Appalachian mountain country, lush with vegetation, supports a diverse flora and fauna.  CUGA has 70 miles of hiking trails, mountains, streams, and caves. Middlesboro, Kentucky is the nearest town and is large enough to accommodate three grocery stores, fast food, and several restaurants.  Knoxville, Tennessee is approximately 1.5 hours away and has many amenities of a large city.


Project Partner Website:  For more information regarding Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, or the National Park Service, please visit:


Living Allowance: ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $250/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. The member will be provided with a one-time equipment reimbursement of $200 for the purchase of field boots.


Housing: IF there is room in the NPS dormitory it will be available to the member and an allowance equivalent to its rent will be provided. The member may opt out of NPS housing in favor of their own rental location and a housing allowance of $700/month ($175/week) will be provided for a total living allowance of $425/week.

NOTE: It can be rather difficult to secure rental accommodations in the Middlesboro area. In addition, cell service and internet is also challenging to access in the area.


AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 900 hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($3,097.500) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment and volunteer service is required.

Position Description:  The ACE member will assist the Park’s Resource Management staff in accomplishing a variety of tasks.  The member will spend the majority of their time in the field performing physically demanding tasks as assigned. Approximately 75 – 80% of the fieldwork will be Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) control; duties will also include exotic plant management and other invasive species work.


This project is very physically demanding. In order to perform Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) control, the ACE member must be very comfortable navigating off trail in the backcountry using GPS. Backcountry camping in a team of two will be required.  This treatment is performed off-trail and requires bushwhacking through rhododendron, mountain laurel, and greenbriar up-and-down steep slopes, crossing streams, carrying 2.5 gallon jugs of insecticide, measuring trees, applying chemical at the base of the tree, marking treated trees, and moving onto the next tree. The Member must be able to hike up to 8 miles a day carrying up to 40 lbs of gear in all weather conditions and in steep terrain.


Another duty would be exotic plant control. Exotic plant control at CUGA is almost always accomplished by spraying herbicides. There are two primary methods of exotic plant control performed at CUGA. The first method involves foliar treatment with a backpack sprayer that carries two-three gallons of herbicide. Foliar spraying large areas of exotic plants requires members to carry this heavy load of herbicide, often in full sun, on slopes in difficult terrain. The second method requires cutting down shrubs and small trees with hand tools and then spraying the stumps with concentrated herbicide solution.


The member will spend the remainder of their time performing other relevant tasks as assigned. Examples of other duties include bat monitoring, wildlife surveys, and ginseng surveys.

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. The staff at CUGA is dedicated to providing members with diverse field experiences, while also providing guidance to develop professionalism and a solid understanding of the complexities of managing the resources of a National Historic Park.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours and utilize their certificate before the age of 30. 




  • 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 18-30 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).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
    • The Member will be required to hike 5-10 miles per day while carrying up to 40 lbs of gear on uneven and steep terrain, on and off trail, bushwhacking in some cases through rhododendron, mountain laurel, and greenbriar.
  • Must be willing and able to perform the above fieldwork, including backcountry camping.
  • Must be able and comfortable with navigating off trail by maps and GPS units in the mountains.
  • Must be willing and able to serve in all weather conditions, from 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 90% humidity in full sun to freezing temps in winter.
  • Must be willing to use herbicides and insecticides and pass the Kentucky pesticide certification test to apply pesticides in forestry situations.



  • Competitive applicants may have a degree in a natural resource based curriculum or other related disciplines. A combination of relevant education and appropriate experience is also acceptable.
  • Ability to communicate clearly with peer professionals, volunteers, and NPS staff.
  • Ability to identify plants on sight or by using a dichotomous key.
  • Ability to serve independently in remote areas.
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field as a Natural Resources professional.

How to Apply

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:  Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC Western Program Manager, Deanna Stark at

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Internship.

Job expires in 35 days.

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