The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is undertaking an analysis of its crew program and operations in 2023 to adjust and optimize Trail Maintaining Crews for the long-term benefit of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) The program evaluation of this 40-year-old program will result in recommendations that aim to modernize the structure of operations so that it is resilient to cultural and climate changes.
The selected candidate will be enmeshed in and asked to participate fully as part of the field-based operations of the crew program, making observations on human dynamics, crew productivity, and recommending meaningful improvements. The appointment is a full-time position for a minimum of 10 weeks between April and August; the start date is flexible.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The intern will support the efforts of the Trail Operations program area of the ATC in program evaluation.
Specific duties include, but are not limited to:
- Hands-on trail rehabilitation or construction; duties and expectations outlined in the Konnarock Crew member handbook and position description.
- Through full participation in Konnarock Trail Crew, the intern will draw observations of the experience (for themselves and by others), and submit a weekly report to the supervisor / Senior Trail Operations Manager based on the following aspects:
- Evaluate the balance of productivity with the cultivation of human engagement.
- Understand how crews of 5 to 8 days fit with the busy lives of contemporary participants.
- Evaluate efficiencies that may reduce the carbon footprint of this program.
- Identify aspects of operations to be retained or altered for improvement to best reflect the ATC’s interest in inclusive and equitable work.
- Assist with the analysis of a survey of past and current crew participants centered on motivations, obstacles, scheduling, and other recommendations.
- Interest in the A.T. and the intersection of recreation and volunteerism.
- Personal initiative and team player.
- Desire to learn and contribute.
- Exposure to recreation resource management, sustainable trail design, aspects of recreation sociology, and social ecology.
- Opportunity to spend two months primarily outdoors while contributing to physical improvements to the A.T. and assessing opportunities for programmatic improvement.
- Opportunity to meet and learn from professionals in the field of conservation.
- Author a report on ATC Trail Maintaining Crews based on survey data and the season’s field reports.
Physical Demands of the Position
- Traveling without assistance over uneven, variable terrain, including but not limited to flat, uphill, and downhill, with varying trail width, where obstructions include rocks, root steps, water bars, log bridges, slick surfaces, streams, muddy areas, or standing water.
- Carrying of personal and group gear, as well as tools and safety equipment, which combined could weigh between 20-50 lbs. for up to 3 miles.
- Performing trail work tasks that include but are not limited to lifting 50 lbs. of weight, swinging hand tools, cutting annual growth, raking or digging out drains, installing erosion control features, moving heavy logs or rocks, vegetation clearing, tread definition or side hill bench construction, constructing trail features using hand tools.
- Working at the computer to draft reports.
- For greater detail, also see: Konnarock Crew Volunteer Handbook and Position Description.
Areas of Study:
The ATC intends this internship for students enrolled in educational pursuits and is designed for young participants under 35. The ATC anticipates students bringing knowledge and experience from their studies in the following program areas may provide particular benefit to the project:
- Environmental Education / Outdoor Recreation
- Resource Management / Forestry
- Social Sciences / Sociology / Psychology
- Leadership / Public Administration
Terms and Compensation:
This is a full-time 10-week internship. Start and end dates are flexible within the range of April to August. During the term of the internship, lodging is provided. Food is provided during active crew periods; supplemental food items during days off will need to be purchased by the candidate. Transportation during the term of each crew session is included, but having your own vehicle for the time between sessions is recommended.
The intern will receive a stipend of $2,000 paid in two parts — once in the middle of the internship and once at internship completion unless otherwise arranged.
Submit a letter of interest, resume, and a brief (2-3 page) writing sample to [email protected] before March 3, 2023. Writing samples can be of any style/on any platform.
ATC Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness with all employees and volunteers to enable participation and contributions to their fullest potential.
We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive organization and recognize that diversity contributes to an effective and successful organizational culture and mission.
The ATC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and/or expression), national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, political affiliation, union membership, or any other status protected by the laws and regulations in the locations where we operate.