American Conservation Experience

Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) is seeking a Direct Hire Authority (DHA) Cultural Resources Assistant interested in dedicating 11 weeks to support Wind Cave National Park in strengthening the relationships between the parks and Native communities as well as help communicate the cultural significance of the land and its resources to the public.

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: May 16, 2022

End Date: July 29, 2022

The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP) is a professional development internship that introduces students, from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the National Parks, to career opportunities within Cultural Resource Management in the NPS. Applicants must be 18-30 (up to 35 for Veterans) and either A) in pursuit of a higher education degree or B) still be within two years of graduation from a degree program. CRDIP participants will have the opportunity to attend several professional development webinars as well as write blogs or create videos about their projects throughout the summer.

A DHA (Direct Hire Authority) Internship targets exceptional upper-level undergraduate or graduate students that are interested in pursuing careers with the NPS. DHA positions will be rigorous internships that develop the participant's technical and creative thinking abilities, leadership skills, and problem-solving capabilities.

DHA applicants will be involved in cultural resource management projects that generate data and/or research that must be analyzed and presented to various stakeholders at the end of the internship. If the position is an education or interpretation project, the participant must research, develop, and pilot a program or materials for use at the host site. After successful completion of the internship, and graduation from their degree program, the intern will receive DHA non-competitive hiring eligibility.

Location: Bison, elk, and other wildlife roam the rolling prairie grasslands and forested hillsides of one of America's oldest national parks. Below the remnant island of intact prairie sits Wind Cave, one of the longest and most complex caves in the world. Named for barometric winds at its entrance, this maze of passages is home to boxwork, a unique formation rarely found elsewhere.

For more information regarding Wind Cave National Park, please visit their NPS website:

Living Allowance: ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $560/week to offset the costs of housing, food, and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: Park housing is provided at no cost.

Position Description: ​​The Black Hills are sacred to many Native Americans and there are 20 Tribes with cultural or historic ties specifically to Wind Cave National Park. For the Lakota Tribes in particular, Wind Cave plays a central role in their history and culture because the cave entrance is their origin site, where they emerged onto this world. The Cultural Resources Assistant will work with Wind Cave and other parks in the Black Hills to develop priorities for:

  • Strengthening the relationships between the parks and Native communities
  • Increasing Native American diversity in the workforce
  • Helping the parks communicate the cultural significance of the land and its resources to the public

Specific products for this project would include: 1) working with the Regional Tribal Liaison and the parks to connect with the Affiliated Tribes, 2) assisting the parks in developing additional in-house and distance programs encompassing Native topics and information, and 3) a recruitment strategy for increasing the diversity of summer seasonals. To accomplish these objectives, the Cultural Resources Assistant will have opportunities for research and would be put in touch with other parks who have successfully implemented Native American recruitments and enhanced programming in their parks.



  • Must be currently enrolled in a post-secondary education program
  • Knowledge of Native American cultures in the Black Hills
  • Skills in time management, attention to detail, and flexibility
  • 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
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request)
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation
  • ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 by the time they start their term or request a medical or religious exemption


  • Background in history or geology
  • Public speaking skills

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. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC Program Manager, Jen Wells at

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.