Deadline for Application:
Until position is filled; Interviews and offers expected in spring (March)
Hopewell Furnace (HOFU) is an 848 acre cultural park with historical buildings, iron making structures, agricultural lands, pastures, woodlands, and streams. Located in the heart of the 10,000 acre Hopewell Big Woods, HOFU is an example of a rural iron plantation from the late 18th to late 19th centuries that is rich in natural resources and closely connected to the surrounding landscape. Staff are shared with Valley Forge NHP (VAFO), a 3,500 acre park east of HOFU, and opportunities to participate in projects at VAFO will be provided. This hands-on internship will teach practical skills in park and resource management and provide a diversity of field-based experiences. Interns will contribute to the implementation of projects that benefit park resources and will assist managers in achieving management goals. In 2021, duties will include all of the following:
- Orchard Maintenance. Interns will: (1) receive training to prune and remove limbs on heritage trees in the orchard; (2) conduct routine tree maintenance (mulching, raking, and weed whacking); (3) maintenance of protective barriers and tree guards.
- Trails and Grounds Management. Interns will: (1) Work with staff and partners to maintain trails both inside the parks and adjacent sites, including clearing, mowing, vine removal, and installation of water management structures such as waterbars; (2) Install signs and wayfinding; (3) Assess trail conditions and use; (4) Install, maintain, and download assorted trail cameras/visitor counters; (5) routine grounds maintenance including mowing and raking.
- Cultural Resource Maintenance and Preservation. Intern will: (1) assist with the repair and preservation of historic structures, this may include painting, carpentry, masonry, and similar tasks, (2) assist with care and feeding of farm animal exhibits which may include mucking stalls, gathering eggs, herding and shearing sheep, feeding, and other farm related activities, (3) participating in structural walk throughs and assessments to determine preservation treatments.
- Non-native Species Management. Interns will: (1) Work to control invasive, non-native plant species within the park; (2) Map the distribution of invasive plants and treatment areas inside the parks; (3) install and monitor sticky bands for non-native spotted lanternfly and remove non-target catch. These activities will primarily involve manual control methods (e.g. mowing, hand pulling, cutting) requiring the use of hand tools (mechanized and non-mechanized). Opportunity to learn and participate in the safe application of chemical herbicides may be offered in specialized circumstances and according to regulations.
- Resource Interpretation. Interns may: (1) Contribute to development of park informational brochures; (2) Develop and monitor self-guided activity stations located in the park village; (3) Assist with delivery of interpretive programs; (5) Assist with interpretation of cultural resources in the Village Complex or while hiking trails; (6) Be responsible for opening buildings and staffing various visitor contact stations in the park; (7) Develop social media content for posting on park social media sites.
- Natural Resource Monitoring and Management. Interns will: (1) Locate, assess, and repair protective fencing along riparian buffers; (2) Install and maintain fencing to protect rare plant populations (3) Complete data collection, data entry, and implement quality assurance/quality control procedures for conservation projects; (4) Map the distribution of high priority plant species.
- Museums and Curatorial. Interns will: (1) Assist with the indexing of 19th century Hopewell Furnace account books; (2) Assist with routine curatorial activities (dusting, cleaning, checking for evidence of pests); (3) Assist in the annual inventory of catalogued museum objects; (4)May be provided opportunity to develop a changing exhibit for table top display case in Visitor Center.
● Vehicle provided for use during work hours (private vehicle required for personal use if living in park).
● $285/week living allowance
● This position is eligible for an AmeriCorps education award upon successful completion of the program and PLC hiring authority.
● Training related to specific activities as well as general park operations and management of the National Park System provided.
● Experience in the National Park Service conducting work that will serve as a foundation for future employment
● Pursuing or completed a college degree with a major in a related field (i.e. biological sciences, recreation, horticulture, landscape management, forestry, etc.)
● Must possess a valid driver’s license
● Ability to work independently and as part of a team
● Excellent oral and written communication skills
● Applicants must pass a criminal background check which requires fingerprinting by park law enforcement or your local police department prior to start date.
●Experience working with Microsoft Office products (e.g. Word, Excel, Powerpoint), and experience with global positioning systems.
●Spanish language skills
Activities will require the ability to hike up to 5-7 miles per day across varied terrain and to operate basic mechanical and electronic equipment (e.g. weed whip, gps unit, etc.) and may include exposure to extreme weather conditions, herbicides, poisonous plants, stinging and biting insects and wild animals.
Full-time, five days per week; schedule may shift in the summer but generally, schedule will be Sunday to Thursday, eight hours per day with some flexibility; 26 weeks; Start date on or around Monday, March 22, 2021 and end date on or around September 17, 2021.
COVID-19 risk mitigation will be an integral part of training and implementation of this internship. Position will be required to complete training and follow all park COVID mitigation requirements including:
• Completing a daily personal health self-assessment prior to reporting to work
• Wearing a mask while indoor and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
• Completing regular cleaning and sanitizing of workstations and other areas.
In addition, if a public health situation arises such that the park is required to close, every effort will be made to find work that can be completed at home; however, telework will not be guaranteed.
How To Apply:
Please submit the following:
● Cover letter indicating the title of the position, how you found out about the position, and whether the internship will contribute toward college credits.
● Writing sample describing what you hope to gain through this internship. (No more than 1 page)
● Contact information for two academic or professional references
NOTE: Incomplete applications will not be considered
Located approximately 50 miles northwest of center city Philadelphia and 17 miles southeast of Reading, Hopewell Furnace is an example of 18-19th century rural iron plantation. The park contains about 846 acres of forested rolling hills, pastures, wetlands, agricultural lands, historic sites and rough lawns and is surrounded by French Creek State Park, State Gamelands, and property preserved by conservation groups. Recreational and cultural opportunities are abundant, including museums, theaters, concerts, fishing, boating, hiking, etc. For additional information please visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/hofu or http://www.visitpa.com/pa/reading/attractions-activities