About the Program

The Latino Heritage Intern Program is a component of an overarching service-wide strategy to address and correct the lack of Latino employment opportunities in the National Park Service. The National Park Service is committed to engaging the next generation through the strategic use of student internships with partner organizations under Cooperative and Task Agreements. These agreements allow the NPS to invest in cost efficient strategies geared towards recruiting entry level talent, predicting future performance, and building a more diverse workforce. Preparing and integrating this generation into the NPS workforce is critical for the future of the Service.

BACKGROUND:

A 2014 research briefing by Latino Decisions and the Hispanic Access Foundation analyzed nine major public opinion polls from the last three years and found that Latinos overwhelmingly support greater environmental protections, such as preserving parks and public lands. Additionally, this briefing found that 1) Latinos viewed natural and cultural resource conservation as essential to a better quality of life and that 2) Latinos believe individuals and government have important roles in protecting natural resources and promoting healthy, clean communities.

The NPS has a number of national internship programs that focus on increasing opportunities for diverse populations and ethnic groups. These programs include: The NPS Student Conservation Association (SCA) Academy, the Cultural Resources Diversity Intern Program, Mosaics in Science, the Ancestral Lands program, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Intern Program. None of these programs specifically target the fastest growing population group in the United States of America and the most underrepresented group in the NPS workforce. This program hopes to address this challenge.

PROGRAM GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:

  • Advance employment opportunities in the NPS with an emphasis on cultural resource stewardship and interpretation issues. Outreach projects and natural resource stewardship opportunities, especially those in the professional career series, may be considered.
  • Develop mission critical internship projects that will support NPS goals and objectives.
  • Target undergraduate Latinos attending Hispanic Serving Institutions.
  • Create strong and viable mentor and protégé relationships for the participants.
  • Utilize this program through Latino owned and operated partner organizations to expand NPS outreach into the Latino communities nationally and develop deep and sustainable relationships.
  • Establish a pipeline for converting talented Latino students into career conditional positions in the NPS.

INTERESTED IN SIMILAR INTERNSHIPS WITH THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE?

The Mosaics in Science Internship Program provides youth that are under-represented in natural resource science career fields with on-the-ground, science-based, work experience with the National Park Service. Established in 2013, this multidisciplinary program provides interns with opportunities to work on inventorying and monitoring, research, GIS and other technologies, and interpretation and education projects. The program is administered by the NPS Geologic Resources Division, in collaboration with other NPS Natural Resource Stewardship and Science offices, the NPS Youth Programs Division, and in partnership with Environment for the Americas and Greening Youth Foundation. For more information and to apply, visit www.mosaicsinscience.org. Applications must be submitted by February 6, 2017.