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NPS Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance - GIS Specialist and Natural Resource Fellowship


Individual Placement/Internships

Job Location

26611 US Highway 385 Hot Springs, South Dakota

Tracking Code


Position Type


Title: NPS Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance - GIS Specialist and Natural Resource Fellowship

Stipend: $600.00 Weekly Living Stipend

Dates:   05/30/2022 - 04/21/2023

Term: 47 weeks, full time

Reports To:  National Park Service - Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. Intern has the option to complete park field work at Wind Cave National Park and/or Pipestone National Monument.

Location: Can work remote within Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Eastern Wyoming or Eastern Montana. Must have sufficient internet to be able to support GIS.

Status:  1700 hour AmeriCorps term

Benefits:  AmeriCorps Education Award of $6,495.00 and will eligible for Public Land Corps Hiring Authority upon completion of service requirements.



Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps’ Mission 

It is the mission of the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps to lead our nations back to cultural and ecological well being. The Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps is specifically designed to engage Native American youth and young adults with offices in Acoma, Albuquerque, Gallup, Zuni, and Hopi.  *Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps serves local tribal communities in the regions we operate and across the Unites States.  Native American applicants are preferred.



National Park Service Mission:

Our Mission The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.  The NPS cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.



NPS - Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program Overview:

The NPS operates programs in communities throughout the nation to connect people across the country to their parks, trails, rivers, and other special places. This fellowship position is within the NPS- Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program, which helps community groups, nonprofits, state and local governments, and tribes plan parks and trails, conserve and improve access to rivers and natural areas, and create recreation opportunities through locally led partnerships.


Wind Cave National Park is located in the Black Hills of Western South Dakota.  The park encompasses an extensive cave network underground, and, a extensive above ground natural resources, including: a bison herd, along with several other wildlife species and Black Hills ecosystems. 


Pipestone National Monument is located in Southwest, Minnesota.  The park unit consists of active quarry pits and tall grass prairie.  The Ancestral people of Pipestone MN and other Indigenous Tribes have come to the site for over 3,000 years to quarry a soft stone used to make pipes.



NPS Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance - GIS Specialist and Natural Resource Fellowship Overview:

The two (2) Fellows will be expected to produce GIS maps of proposed conservation and recreation projects. The Fellows will also provide ecological and biological support to National Park Service teams. Fellows will assist NPS staff at the park level to manage natural and cultural resources. This will involve field work and remote work related to GIS mapping. Fellows will support NPS Planners and Landscape Architects to create new Tribal Park areas in the Midwest Region. Fellows will then create maps and written recommendations to NPS Partners.


Essential functions and responsibilities:


1) Natural Resource work at Wind Cave National Park

  • Work with Natural Resource supervisor to select and map testing sites that will provide a
    wide/inclusive sample size area. Create needed GIS base layers.
  • Locate testing sites, take photos test sites, and create appropriate GIS maps.
  • Keep records of sites tested, record and enter data from test samples into appropriate NPS databases.
  • Support the Bison management team and conduct needed field work.


2) Mapping and Park Planning with the NPS RTCA Program

  • Work with Landscape architects, Community Planners and Recreation Specialist to create GIS base layers for NPS projects. 
  • Work includes traveling to communities outside of the NPS in urban and rural areas.
  • Communicates with communities across the Midwest region (indigenous and non-indigenous communities).



3) Natural and Cultural Resource work at Pipestone National Monument

  • Creates GIS maps to assist with planning, resource management, and Tribal consultation.
  • Undertakes hands-on field work to control invasive species.
  • Assists with park-wide priorities, such as special events and educational partnerships.

Required Skills

  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Ability to work effectively with a variety of people
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Strong oral and written communications skills
  • Possession of a current valid driver’s license
  • Must be 21 years or older
  • Must be a US Citizen, National, or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien of the United States. Fellows must undergo a government background check if selected.

Required Experience

  • A bachelor's degree in Ecology, Geography (GIS), Biology, Environmental Studies, Planning, Anthropology or Landscape Architecture.  
  • An Associates degree in GIS, or related field.
  • A high School degree with substantial work experience/knowledge in GIS, or related field.


It is not expected that prospective candidates have experience in all of these areas. An interest in developing these skills and some experience through work and/or education in at least one of these areas is required.


**Conservation Legacy requires all its staff and participants to provide proof of vaccination from Covid-19 or negative test results when working on Federal lands and projects.

This position is located at 26611 US Highway 385, Hot Springs, SD. View the Google Map in full screen.