Visitor Services Associate (NPS, Manzanar National Historic Site )

The Great Basin Institute

Lone Pine, California

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details Total Living Allowance: Approximately $675 per week before taxes
Deadline Jul 23, 2024

The Great Basin Institute seeks to hire a Research Associate (RA) to enhance Visitor Services at Manzanar National Historic Site (MNHS). The RA will support the interpretation and preservation of the Manzanar’s stories and resources and, among other duties, will:

  • Expand visitor services and enhance interpretive opportunities by staffing the visitor center desk;
  • Provide orientation, information, and explanation to visitors about Manzanar’s historic context, interpretive themes, cultural and natural resources, management, and visitor opportunities;
  • Using previously prepared research and documentation, lead guided walks, present talks, and answer questions on subjects related to the site and its stories. The RA will initiate informal interpretive contacts throughout the site;
  • Provide project support to address deferred/cyclic maintenance of interpretive exhibits/media;
  • Increase accessibility of interpretive media and services for all visitors by supporting projects including Audio Description of the visitor center (8,000 sf exhibit space), mess hall (4,000 sf) and Dust to Diplomas: Creating Schools in Manzanar (1,000 sf);
  • Digitize historic resources, such as scanning loaned or donated archives and photographs representing all eras of Manzanar’s history; 
  • Increase outreach to students and groups by helping to update the site’s interpretive program reservation system; and
  • Highlight the successes of these projects, including deferred/cyclic maintenance benefits, FLREA project accomplishments, as well as services and programs provided by the NPS and its partners at Manzanar.

This position will have intense and extensive public contact responsibilities. Passion for history and compassion for people is essential.


  • Total Living Allowance: Approximately $675 per week before taxes
  • Housing stipend of $56 per week
  • Education Award: $3,247.50 for 26-week positions upon successful completion of full-service term. (May be used for past, present or future educational expenses, including payment of qualifying federal student loans.) 
  • Eligibility for SNAP benefits, Federal Student Loan Forbearance, & Interest Accrual Repayment
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance provided at no cost to participant
  •  Housing is NOT provided. To the extent possible, the NPS will assist in identifying potential housing options. There are limited rental opportunities in nearby communities. Lone Pine, CA is 9 miles south and has limited rental opportunities ranging from mobile homes to single unit homes. Independence, CA is located 6 miles north of the site. It is a smaller community than Lone Pine but usually has rentals available. On average, Research Associates have paid $600 to $700 per month for housing, less if they are able to find a shared housing situation.


  • 26 week AmeriCorps appointment beginning in late July or upon completion of a Department of Interior background investigation;
  • Potential for an extension, pending available funding and positive performance review;
  • Full time, 40 hours per week; weekend and holiday work will be required.


Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps at which Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were incarcerated during World War II. The 814-acre site is rich in a layered history of indigenous people, early pioneers, townspeople, and incarcerated Japanese Americans.

Manzanar National Historic Site is 225 miles north of Los Angeles, CA ; 225 miles northwest of Las Vegas, NV; and 245 miles south of Reno, NV. The area is commonly referred to as the Owens Valley and the region as the Eastern Sierra. Manzanar is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada (west) and Inyo Mountains (east). Mt. Whitney trailhead is within 20 miles of the site and Mt. Williamson (the second highest peak in the Sierra) is immediately west of the site. The site’s administrative offices and visitor center are located in a rehabilitated historic auditorium constructed in 1944. Summer temperatures can be extreme (100°+ F) and winter temperatures can fall below freezing (32°- F) at times. Wind and dust storms are common depending on the season.

There are limited grocery stores, gas stations, schools, places of worship, etc., in Lone Pine, Independence, and Big Pine, CA. There is a small community hospital and clinic in Lone Pine. Major shopping, a movie theater, and other amenities are located in Bishop, CA (45 miles north) and Ridgecrest, CA (85 miles south).

Opportunities for outdoor recreation abound as the site is surrounded by Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, and the peaks of the majestic Sierra Nevada.


To learn more and apply, please visit our site:


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

Category Environmental Education, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Conservation Corps, Naturalist, Outreach