Previous Job
Interpretation Intern
Ref No.: 19-00141
Location: Skagway, Alaska
Position Type:Internship
Start Date: 05/25/2020
Pay Rate : $ 10.00 /Hour
The need for preserving all of our nation’s history has never been greater, and we’re counting on you! HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship) is a 10-week summer experience brought to you by Greening Youth Foundation in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service. As a part of HBCUI, students from schools around the country are putting their unique skills and talents to work in preserving the contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history and culture. Participants gain real-world, on-the-job experience as they explore federal careers in the U.S. National Park Service.
Position Title Interpreter of Buffalo Soldiers Intern
NPS Unit Name Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park – Skagway, AK
Position Dates May 25th – July 31st
Position Description The internship is with the park interpretation & education division. The intern will help tell “untold” stories of the Klondike Gold Rush by working alongside park staff to learn operations and assist visitors. The primary duties of the intern are: Interpretive programs: Research, develop, and lead walking tours and auditorium programs. At least one of which must be focused on the African-American "Buffalo Soldiers" of Company L, 24th Infantry, U.S. Army. This all-black army unit was sent to Skagway at the end of the Klondike Gold Rush to keep the peace in a wild boomtown and enforce federal authority along a then disputed US-Canada international border. This previously untold Alaskan story recently became a park focus. Using a substantial amount of primary source documents and research, the intern can choose from multiple facets of Company L’s Skagway experience to share and connect with visitors. Informal interpretation & visitor assistance: Staff public buildings such as park visitor centers, museums, and Junior Ranger Activity Center. Duties will include providing informal interpretation to visitors on Klondike Gold Rush history and park resources & significance, offering site orientation to visitors, operating media equipment, introducing park film, as well as performing opening and closing procedures. The intern will gain a detailed understanding of how to share the National Park Service mission, day to day operations at a busy national park site, and greatly build on their public communication skills. Learning about the National Park Service: The intern will have many opportunities to learn about different park operations. The selected intern will attend the superintendent’s leadership meetings and departmental planning meetings. This tailored experience can also include shadowing park environmental field studies such as boreal toad surveys, eulachon Fish studies, and/or bat acoustic monitoring. The intern may have the opportunity to participate in archaeological digs with cultural resources staff. Time is also provided for the intern to hike in the backcountry on the park’s Chilkoot Trail.

Community outreach & special events: The intern will have other opportunities for outreach, depending on their interests. Opportunities include promoting HBCUI during the park’s Jr. Ranger Day by staffing an activity table, marching with the NPS float in the Fourth of July parade, assisting with summer camp planning & staffing, or any of the other events at the park.
Learning Goals The intern will learn interpretive techniques and methods including Audience Centered Experiences. They will gain extensive experience in formal & informal interpretation, along with general customer service. By the close of the internship, this individual will have excellent experience in interpretive program development and implementation as well as operational leadership. The intern will also have the opportunity to work with biologists, archaeologists, curators, and several other park staff. This will give the intern an informative glimpse at what a career in various NPS fields is like
Qualifications This intern will need to be comfortable interacting with hundreds of people each day. Public speaking skills or a desire to build general speaking skills are a must. Some coursework in history is helpful but not required. Experience working with children is also a plus. The intern will need to be able to research, develop, and present 45 minute interpretive walking tours 3-5 times a week for up to 30 visitors per program. The intern will also develop 30-minute auditorium programs.
Additional qualifications:
•          Must be currently enrolled or recent graduate of an accredited HBCU institution
•          Must be between 16 and 30 years of age
•          Must be U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or U.S. national
•          Must be able to pass a federal background check
 Work Environment The intern will work a "5/4/9" schedule. In a 2 week pay-period, the intern will work 9 hour days; 5 days the first week and four days the second week. The schedule provides alternating three day weekends and ample time for recreational activities. Each workday, the intern will attend daily morning meetings with interpretation and education staff. For the majority of the intern’s time, they will work alongside seasonal staff at the visitor center, museums, and the Junior Ranger Activity Center. To provide a robust NPS experience, the intern will also receive opportunities to participate in biological and archaeological field studies. These studies can be strenuous, requiring hiking for several hours across rough terrain, in bear country, and in changing weather conditions. Which opportunities are offered will be tailored to match the intern’s interests and abilities.
Vehicle/License Requirement A personal vehicle is not required for this site. A valid state driver's license is required to operate a government vehicle while conducting official government business.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is at a rate of $10 per hour, 40 hours per week.
  • Park housing is provided and well cared for, in excellent condition. Each unit includes a television, DVD player, free laundry facilities, kitchenware (including dishes, pots and pans, and some small appliances). Linens can be provided for free upon request. Bicycles are also available and free to check out. Houses are within walking distance ( ½ mile or less) of duty stations. The intern will share a bedroom with one roommate. The kitchen and living space is communal among housemates. Park housing has 4-8 occupants per unit
  • Mandatory attendance in the all-expense-paid Career & Leadership Workshop
  • Make a difference in your local community and beyond
Application Instructions Interested students should apply directly to this position via the SERVE job portal at
  • Use the link to apply to the selected position
  • First-time applicants must create a profile on JobDiva
  • Upload resume as a PDF file
    • The file name should include your first and last name or initials
    • Examples: FI. Lastname-resume.pdf, Firstname Lastname – resume.pdf, or Firstname L.pdf
For more information about HBCUI, visit
QUESTIONS? Contact us at