Olympic National Forest - Visitor Services and Community Engagement Resource Assistant

Northwest Youth Corps

Olympia, Washington

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $20,400 living stipend, prorated monthly throughout 8-month internship
Deadline Apr 26, 2024

Job Announcement

United States Forest Service – Olympic National Forest

Visitor Services and Community Engagement Resource Assistant

1 Position – Olympia or Quilcene, Washington

Please respond by APRIL 26, 2024

Delivering Benefits to a Multicultural Public – Resource Assistant Program

The Northwest Youth Corps (NYC) in partnership with the United States Forest Service (USFS) Olympic National Forest is advertising for one Visitor Services and Community Engagement Resource Assistant. The position will be located on the Olympic National Forest. This is an eight-month full-time work experience from approximately July 2024 – February 2025. Created in 1984 and modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, NYC is a non-profit job training and experiential education program for youth and young adults to learn and work in the field of natural resource management. NYC will recruit and hire the selected RA candidates providing personnel and Human Resources HR needs during the placement.

The Position

The Resource Assistant Program is a rigorous and immersive paid internship for individuals interested in Forest Service careers. Resource Assistants (RAs) work with Forest Service staff to complete mission-critical work that demonstrates leadership, critical thinking, and strategic communication. Through direct training, experience, and exposure, RAs gain the tools to launch their natural and cultural resource careers.

Through a partnership with Northwest Youth Corps, the selected Resource Assistant will support the Olympic National Forest in the dissemination of information to the public and engaging local communities through various means. This is an immersive professional internship that requires a skillful and confident applicant who can manage a busy workload and learning opportunities with the support of permanent staff. This position will perform work at the equivalent of a GS-5 position in the federal service. Visit https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-systems/general-schedule/ for more information.

Position Requirements:

  • Successful completion of a full 2 or 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study in environmental science, environmental education, education, biology, natural history interpretation or communications. However, any degree will still be considered.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and over 19 years old.
  • Valid state driver’s license and ability to operate a motor vehicle by the time of employment. Government vehicles are available for work-related travel. RAs are responsible for travel to and from duty station.
  • Successful completion of a background check.

Program Benefits

  • $20,400 living stipend, prorated monthly throughout 8-month internship
  • $1,200 monthly housing allowance
  • $2,750 reimbursable funds for work-related training and professional development opportunities
  • $50 monthly commuter allowance
  • 56 hours of available PTO
  • Workers compensation, FICA/Medicare, and optional health care coverage (monthly premiums covered)
  • RA will have special United States Forest Service Direct Hire Authority upon completion of a minimum of 960 hours of service

Position Responsibilities will include:

  • Supports the implementation of the visitor information program, coordinating with staff specialists to provide accurate, timely information to the public through in-person service hours, responding to phone and email inquiries and updating social media platforms.
  • Performs activities for the front desk such as opening and closing, raising, and lowering the flag, and maintaining a front desk presence.
  • Serves as unit collection officer and is responsible for accounting, balancing, reconciling, and accurate record keeping. Reviews cash processing transactions, completes audits, and prepares various reports on the status of funds.
  • Arranges informational interpretive displays in the reception area or visitor center.
  • Acts as a Forest Service representative to develop and maintain relationships with community groups and schools.
  • Develops and delivers culturally responsive community engagement and conservation education programming on an off Forest.

Successful candidates will demonstrate:

  • Professional knowledge of basic principles, concepts, and methodology of environmental education/community engagement as would typically be acquired through a bachelor's degree program within the profession in which the work is to be performed, plus skill and knowledge gained through additional work experience, that provides the ability to perform recurring assignments independently.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing. Strong organizational skills. Ability to work independently and with others.
  • Skill in using current desktop publishing software and equipment technology applicable to electronic and print publication procedures and word processing, including experience in Microsoft Office and Adobe software.
  • Ability to gather and verify facts and to develop information that is clear and meaningful to the intended audience.
  • Ability to review and/or edit reports prepared by others and to ensure that material conveys information that the writer intended, and that areas of misunderstanding or ambiguities are eliminated.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

About the Olympic National Forest

A small but mighty national forest, the Olympic National Forest is uniquely situated on the Olympic Peninsula, a primarily rural area surrounded by saltwater on three sides, with the Olympic Mountains nestled at its center and the continuously expanding I-5 urban centers (Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, Everett) just a short drive away.

The unique physical and social environments surrounding the Olympic Peninsula generate management needs that drive the way we approach our work. Driven by relationships and guided by science, the Olympic National Forest is committed to being a team-oriented, collaborative organization that nurtures a respectful, professional workplace.  The Forest is building a staff of diverse, adaptive leaders who provide innovative ideas from different perspectives to develop thoughtful solutions to complex opportunities. The Olympic National Forest embraces a culture of learning, inclusion, service, and accountability.

Known today as the Olympic National Forest (ONF), the lands that comprise the ONF are ancestral lands of multiple federal and non-federally recognized tribes. Landscapes across the forest are wonderfully diverse, including coastal, mountainous, and saltwater fjord settings.  Our program of work is as diverse as the lands we manage and the public we aim to serve.  This includes watershed management protecting threatened and endangered species, timber stand restoration thinning that enhances wildlife habit while providing benefits to local economies, sustaining a world-class recreation program, controlling invasive weeds, suppressing wildfires, engineering to support it all and communications and community engagement to share our work.

This position will be based either out of Forest Service offices located in Olympia or Quilcene, WA. Duty station will be determined at the time position is offered with input from the candidate.

Olympia, WA -Olympia is the state capital of Washington and a large metropolitan city in Thurston County with immediately neighboring cities of Tumwater and Lacey. The tri-city area supports major schools, places of worship, stores, etc. Olympia is located at a crossroads of I-5 and HWY 101, with easy access to the Olympic Peninsula to the northwest and Seattle/Tacoma to the northeast.

Quilcene, WA - Quilcene is located on the northeast part of the Olympic Peninsula along the waters of Hood Canal, the westernmost arm of Puget Sound. Clams, oysters, and shrimp are harvested from area waters, and the Olympic Mountains to the west offer many opportunities for hiking, camping, and enjoying the National Forest and Olympic National Park. The Washington State Ferry System connects the Olympic Peninsula to the Seattle urban area where sports, arts, and entertainment associated with a major city may be found. Quilcene’s population is approximately 700, and housing options in town are scarce. Nearby communities such as Port Townsend and Sequim, however, offer a greater selection of housing and amenities.

Additional Information

If you have questions about the position, please reach Northwest Youth Corps Internship Program Coordinator Abi Snow at abigails@nwyouthcorps.org, 541-521-3139 or Olympic National Forest Partnership Coordinator, Josh Parker, at joshua.parker3@usda.gov, 360-358-1125

All job offers are contingent upon the completion of a satisfactory background check (criminal history and driving history).

Northwest Youth Corps (NYC) and The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination on all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).  To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Application Deadline: April 26, 2024

Interviews: Will occur as qualified applications are received.

Type of position: Individual Placement

Service Dates: July 2024-February 2025

Length of Term: 8 months/34 weeks

How to apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references and completely fill out the application form found at https://nwyouthcorps.workbrightats.com/jobsearch/?job_board_classification=Internships

Please select “Olympic National Forest - Information Assistant (Community Liaison) Resource Assistant” when applying.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership , General / Stewardship
Tags Naturalist , Nature Center , Outreach