NPS Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) Program

Eligibility Guidelines

To be considered eligible for any NPS Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) position, an applicant must meet all of the following eligibility criteria.

  1. Applicants must be 18 years old before beginning work in a position.
  2. Join GSA
  3. You do not need to be a GSA member to apply, but GSA invites you to join GSA, or renew your membership. GSA membership provides many benefits, such as ensuring that your application information carries over into multiple years and to other GSA programs.
  4. If you are a GSA member, you can simply use your GSA Member ID to login to the online application system. If you are not a GSA member, you can generate a Non-Member ID and use that to login. (You can use this link to retrieve your ID number.)
  5. Due to U.S. government regulations, all applicants must be either a U.S. citizen (by birth or naturalization) or a U.S. legal permanent resident (a "green card" holder). These terms are defined in detail below. There are no exceptions to this rule. People with temporary education or work visas are not eligible. Neither GSA nor its federal partners can "sponsor" temporary visas through this program.
  6. You must possess a current and valid U.S. drivers license, and you must have a current and valid auto insurance policy. If you are selected for a position, failure to possess a drivers license and insurance policy prior to your start date will be considered grounds for dismissal. No exceptions will be made.
  7. Some positions may require the participant to bring their own personal vehicle to the project location. If a vehicle is required, this will be specified in the position description. If you are interviewed for a position, it is a good idea to inquire about the vehicle requirements.
  8. You will be required to show documentation to verify your identity.
  9. If selected for a position, you must submit to and be able to pass a federal background check and a background check from the relevant staffing partner. You must submit your background check materials in a timely manner so that your background check is complete before you arrive on site to begin work. Failure to complete and pass a background check before your start date will be considered grounds for dismissal.
  10. Geoscientists and other natural resource scientists of all levels are eligible to apply. This includes, but is not limited to, undergraduate students, graduate students, recent graduates, post-docs, professionals, faculty members, teachers, and retirees. (These opportunities are not just for students!)
  11. GSA welcomes applicants from diverse disciplines, such as chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science, ecology, hydrology, meteorology, other natural resource sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Applicants with backgrounds outside of the geosciences should be mindful of each position’s qualifications and are advised to apply to positions for which they can meet all of the qualifications.
  12. You can apply for up to three GIP/Guest Scientist positions. However, you can only accept an offer for one position. 
  13. If you were a past participant in the GIP program, you may be eligible to apply for future GIP positions. Since this is an AmeriCorps affiliated program, you are eligible to do up to four GIP positions of any length.
  14. Application materials submitted into GSA's online application system after 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on the posted deadlines are ineligible and will not be accepted. Partial or incomplete applications will not be considered in the selection process.
  15. Guest Scientist positions have the same eligibility requirements as regular GIP positions, but tend to demand a higher level of specific qualifications.
  16. Although GIP participants are not considered employees of the program's partner organizations or the U.S. government, the NPS Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) Program takes Equal Employment Opportunity principles very seriously. Selection of positions will be made solely on the basic of merit and qualifications, without regard to race, sex, color, creed, age, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, non-disqualifying handicap conditions, or any other factors not related to performance.
  17. Occasionally, high-school (pre-college) students have asked about participating in the GIP Program. There is a minimum age of 18-years-old to participate, and the qualifications for most, if not all, positions would be very difficult to fulfill without having taken at least some college level geoscience or other science courses. Here are some other programs that high-school students should look into: The Student Conservation Association (SCA), AmeriCorps, CityYear, Volunteer.gov, the National Park Service "Volunteer-In-Parks" (VIP) program, USFS volunteer opportunities, BLM volunteer opportunities, and volunteer opportunities in local state/county/municipal parks and nature centers. Your local university may also have programs for high-school students and recent graduates.

If you have any questions, please contact Lesley Petrie and Matt Dawson.