To be considered eligible for any NPS Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) position, an applicant must meet all of the following eligibility criteria.
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.
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.
You will be required to show documentation to verify your identity.
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.
Geoscientists 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!)
GSA welcomes applicants from diverse disciplines, such as chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science, ecology, hydrology, meteorology, the 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.
You can apply for up to seven GIP/Guest Scientist positions. However, you can only accept an offer for one position. Those applying for the GIP Diversity positions have no limit on the number of Diversity Internships they can apply to. Diversity position applicants are also eligible to apply separately for GIP/Guest Scientist positions.
If you were a past participant in the GIP program, you are eligible to apply for future GIP positions. There is no longer a limitation on the number of times a person can serve in GIP, but GSA recommends a "self" limitation of two terms in order to allow other people more opportunities.
Application materials submitted into GSA's online application system after noon on the posted deadlines are ineligible and will not be accepted. Partial or incomplete applications will not be considered in the selection process. The reason the deadline is at noon is to ensure that GSA staff are available to assist with potential last-minute technical difficulties.
Guest Scientist positions have the same eligibility requirements as regular GIP positions, but tend to demand a higher level of specific qualifications.
GIP Diversity positions have the same eligibility requirements as regular GIP positions. Members of groups that have been historically underrepresented in the sciences are strongly encouraged to apply. These groups include but are not limited to African-American, American Indian / Alaska Native, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander, and persons with disabilities.
Although GIP participants are not considered employees of GSA nor 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.
Occasionally, high-school (pre-college) students have asked about participating. 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 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.
- Applicants must be 18 years old before beginning work in a position.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
If you have any questions, please contact Allison Kerns and Matt Dawson.