Become an IMBY Intern

EXTENDED! We’re now accepting applications through April 30th.

Summer 2017 National Park Service

In My Backyard Outreach Internship


Background: The In My Backyard internship program strives to introduce Seattle youth to the opportunities available through the National Park Service (NPS). In My Backyard (IMBY) is an NPS program dedicated to environmental leadership development and youth outreach. We enable young adults to give back to our shared community while creating relationships and sense of belonging within national parks.

This program is based out of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLSE). The park is situated in the heart of downtown Seattle, just north of the International District and within minutes of the most diverse zip code in the US. This provides our park with the unique opportunity to engage audiences that have historically been ignored by the NPS. IMBY aims to include the diverse perspectives of youth in Seattle, especially high school students, within the NPS story. This goal leads us to learn from and collaborate with community partners in order for the park to best serve our neighborhood. By adopting this approach, IMBY hopes to grow NPS community presence with respect and intentionality.

This internship is part of a long-term project initiated by Seattle Area National Parks, in partnership with Discover Your Northwest (DYNW). Since the summer of 2013, KLSE rangers, interns, teachers and volunteers have guided the project. From website content to lesson plans, our interns create crucial material for the program; they also participate in the decisions affecting the long-term direction of the program. As the NPS steps into its second century, the In My Backyard team aims to increase youth engagement and continue connecting urban populations to national parks.


Intern duties: The Summer 2017 internship will carry the project into the coming 2017/2018 school year. As with previous cohorts, this project is intern-driven. Interns have the opportunity to shape their internships based on their personal interests and goals. Interns dedicated to bringing creativity and problem-solving solutions to IMBY will have a direct impact on the shape of the project. Interns must work on-site at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and will be supervised by park staff. Public transportation subsidies will be provided to interns as a benefit of this opportunity. The park is located near many major bus routes, in addition to Link Light Rail stations and the Seattle Streetcar.

Three to four interns will work as part of a team to engage community members, particularly high school-aged youth, with the NPS. This includes:

  • Developing and presenting workshops about the NPS to local youth and community partners
  • Representing the NPS at community events aimed at engaging diverse audiences– especially where national parks have been historically inaccessible
  • Providing front-line visitor services and interpretation in the KLSE visitor center

Desired Qualifications:*

  • Experience in community outreach and engagement, especially with diverse audiences
  • Experience working with youth
  • Proficient computer skills
  • Competent writing skills
  • Comfortability with public speaking
  • Motivated to work independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to take initiative and produce results

* Part of the internship program will be to refine these skills as well.

As part of the program, interns will participate in the following discussions/trainings:

  • Annual NPS staff training
  • Continuous insight into the NPS
  • Visitor services
  • Certified Interpretive Guide training – including program development and communication strategies
  • CPR/First Aid/AED training
  • Community outreach techniques
  • Photography & videography techniques

In addition, interns will have the opportunity to travel on an expense-covered, multi-day camping excursion to one of the following national parks (park will be decided amongst the team):

  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • North Cascades National Park
  • Olympic National Park


This internship is unpaid and is applicable for credit. Hours can be arranged around interns’ schedules. Expected work hours are an average of 16 hours per week. The length of the internship is flexible, but is tentatively scheduled for 12 weeks from June through September 2017. Anticipated start date is June 12th, 2017.

Contact information: If you’re interested in pursuing this opportunity, email your resume and cover letter to Jimi Hightower at by Sunday, April 30th, 2017. Candidates will be contacted for interviews by the first week of May; all interviews are conducted over the phone. Applicants are encouraged to include any pertinent professional and/or personal experience that is relevant to the position.

If you would like to learn more about the project, check out Our Story page!