BLM Direct Hire Authority for Resource Assistants Internship Program

Partnership with GeoCorps™ America


During the summer, the Geological Society of America (GSA) partners with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to support the Direct Hire Authority for Resource Assistants Internship (DHA-RAI) Program. The BLM DHA-RAI Program offers rigorous geoscience opportunities through GeoCorps America. Program participants bring new and diverse viewpoints to the BLM, while working on rigorous projects designed for attracting, recruiting, and filling mission-critical and hard-to-fill occupations at the agency.

The objective of the DHA-RAI Program is to build a pathway towards employment with federal agencies in the Department of the Interior (DOI) for highly-motivated students in higher education. Current students who successfully complete this summer program will be eligible to be non-competitively hired into federal positions for two years starting from the completion date of their qualifying degree program.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“green-card-holder”). A key focus of the DHA-RAI Program is the full representation of women and individuals from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) or other schools with diverse student populations. We encourage participants from African American, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American, Hispanic, and Veteran communities, and we encourage individuals with disabilities to participate. Applicants must be enrolled in a degree program at an accredited institution of higher education. Students enrolled in a certificate (non-degree) program are not eligible to participate in the BLM DHA-RAI Program.

Applicants should have a strong interest in a career with the Department of Interior (DOI), which includes the BLM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS), and many other bureaus and offices.

Summer 2021 Opportunities

BLM logo

Please follow the links below to learn more about the available opportunities this summer in the 2021 BLM DHA-RAI Program.

DHA-RAI Summer 2021 Opportunities - BLM (Various Locations)


You do not need to be a GSA member to apply. In order to apply for any BLM DHA-RAI position, we ask that you complete the following items by 8:00 a.m. MDT 21 May 2021:

  1. GeoCorps application (complete all required fields). You can begin applying by visiting the GeoCorps application web page. When you create your profile, make sure to add the positions you want to apply for to your application. You will want to address the following areas when answering the application questions:
    • Professional Experience. Details about the organizations where the student applicant worked including the name of the organization, the location, the dates of employment, their position title, and a brief description of job duties. Avoid the use of acronyms.
    • Education. The name(s) of the accredited college, university, or community college where the student applicant was either previously enrolled or is currently enrolled. Include the location of the school(s) (city, state), date of actual graduation or anticipated graduation (month, year), degree(s), and grade point average.
    • Volunteer Experience. Details about the organizations where applicants volunteered including the name of the organization, the location, the dates of volunteer work, position title if applicable, and a brief description of volunteer duties. Avoid the use of acronyms.
    • Certifications or Licenses. Include any relevant certifications or licenses.
    • Awards, Honors, Activities. Include grants and scholarships, academic honors, and educational and professional affiliations.
  2. List of courses and grades. Enter your courses and grades in the appropriate section of your application profile. It is optional to submit a copy of your unofficial transcript to at this stage (PDFs preferred). We will follow up to request unofficial transcripts after the deadline passes for completed applications. 
  3. Cover letter. Add the BLM DHA RAI program opportunity to your GeoCorps application before adding a cover letter. Describe your interests and skill sets, and specify the projects you would like to be considered for in the program. Make sure to include contact information for references. Provide the full name, e-mail address and phone number for one reference of each type: professional, educational and personal.

Please note: You do not need completed recommendation letters, and you do not need to send recommendation requests through the application. Instead, we will collect your reference information for the application via the cover letter. 


African American woman wearing BLM hard hat at industrial site.

All applicants must be:

  1. At least 18 years old at the start of the project.
  2. A U.S. citizen (by birth or naturalization) or a U.S. legal permanent resident (a "green card" holder).
  3. A current student of an associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree program at an accredited institution of higher education. (Must be enrolled in a degree-based program; certificate-based programs do not qualify. Must not have completed the degree which qualifies them for the internship before they complete their summer internship.)
  4. Available to provide a minimum of 11 full weeks of continuous service.
  5. Willing to submit to a government security background clearance process.
  6. Able to meet the minimum qualifications listed for the position(s).
  7. Able to meet the general GeoCorps eligibility guidelines

Direct Hire Authority (DHA) and Noncompetitive Hiring

Individuals eligible for the Direct Hire Authority (DHA) may be hired into federal jobs “noncompetitively,” providing a pathway to employment with agencies in the DOI. Eligible candidates can use their DHA eligibility when applying to job vacancies that are open to special authorities that include the DHA.

Under the DHA [Direct Hire Authority] the Secretary [of Interior] may appoint directly a candidate(s) without competing in a competitive examination or competing with career and career-conditional employees under internal merit staffing procedures for any position(s) for which they are eligible in a land management agency. Veteran’s preference does not apply. Candidates applying under this authority will be considered with other noncompetitive candidates.” (Section 3, Personnel Bulletin (PB) No. 12-15, published 18 Dec. 2012 by the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior).


The Geological Society of America (GSA) GeoCorps America program is partnered with the BLM Office of Recruitment and Retention Programs (ORRP), which manages the DHA-RAI Program.

About GeoCorps America

GeoCorps America logo

GeoCorps America is a program administered by the Geological Society of America in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The program offers geoscience opportunities in some of the most beautiful natural areas on U.S. public lands. Past GeoCorps projects have taken place in the Tongass National Forest (AK), Sierra National Forest (CA), Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (UT), Craters of the Moon National Monument (ID), and among dozens of other locations. GeoCorps project areas include geology, hydrology, paleontology, mapping, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), minerals, soils, glaciology, geo-hazards, cave/karst science, education, and interpretation. For a full description of the GeoCorps America program, please see the main GeoCorps America website. GeoCorps is a proud partner of the BLM DHA-RAI program since 2015.

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