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 provide career experiences for students in undergraduate or graduate degree programs, who might seek employment with federal agencies in the Department of the Interior (DOI). Applicants should have a strong interest in a career with the DOI, which includes the BLM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS), and many other bureaus and offices. Current students who successfully complete this summer program will be eligible to be noncompetitively hired into federal positions for two years starting from the completion date of their qualifying degree program.

A key focus of the DHA-RAI Program is supporting the full participation of individuals traditionally underserved in federal and STEM career fields, who might identify as racially and/or ethnically diverse, LGBTQIA+, persons with disabilities, veterans of the U.S. armed forces, underrepresented genders, and individuals who experience intersectionality with one or more of these identities. Past participants have been:

  • Black and African American, Hispanic or Latino/a/e, Indigenous and Native American, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Asian American
  • Students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)
  • Members of marginalized religious groups
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQIA+)
  • Non-binary
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Veterans of the U.S. armed forces
  • Persons who live in rural areas
  • Persons adversely affected by systemic issues and accessibility


Summer 2023 Opportunities - Applications Re-Opened for Positions Based in Utah - Apply Now and Be Considered Immediately

Scroll through the table below and click the description links to read more about available summer opportunities. The BLM DHA Program will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, which means we pass forward your application for immediate review after you apply. Most projects begin in June or May, so it is to your advantage to apply ASAP. 



Application Form
African American woman wearing BLM hard hat at industrial site.

You do not need to be a GSA member to apply. In order to apply for any BLM DHA-RAI position, we will ask that you complete the following items:

  1. Complete the GeoCorps BLM DHA-RAI Application Form. No login is required and you will be asked to provide or upload the following information:
    • Type in a cover letter. Describe your interests and skill sets, and direct your letter broadly towards the projects you would like to be considered for in the BLM DHA-RAI program. The application cover letter should demonstrate how the applicant's background and interests align with their project(s) of interest. Address the cover letter to "Dear BLM DHA-RAI Project Coordinator," because more than one project coordinator may read it. While it is often preferred to address cover letters personally when applying to jobs or internships, in this case we want you to use a generalized greeting. 
    • Upload a copy of your unofficial transcripts. Unofficial transcripts should be from your current or most recent degree program. Official transcripts are not needed to apply.
    • Type in contact information for three references, one of each type: professional, educational, and personal. Provide the full name, e-mail address and phone number for each reference. Mailing and physical addresses are not needed.
    • Upload a resume. If you didn't get to finish your GeoCorps or SIP application questions from applying this year, or you prefer to apply with your resume instead, you may upload a copy of your resume and we will attach it to your application as an alternative to the GeoCorps or SIP application questions.

  2. Make sure your previous responses to the GeoCorps or Scientists in Parks application questions are complete, or include copy of your resume when applying above. You will want to address the following when providing a resume:
    • Professional Experience. Details about the organizations where you worked including the name of the organization, the location, the dates of employment, position title, and a brief description of job duties. Avoid the use of acronyms.
    • Education. List your education starting with your current or most recent experience first, and work backwards. Provide the name(s) of the accredited community college, college, or university where you are currently or were previously 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. Include details about organizations where you volunteered if you have them, 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 if you have them (OK if not applicable)
    • Awards, Honors, Activities. Include grants and scholarships, academic honors, and educational and professional affiliations if you have them (OK if not applicable)

Please note:
Applying to the BLM DHA-RAI Program follows a different process than applying to some of our other GeoCorps or Scientists in Parks opportunities, and we do not need you to complete letters of recommendation or a list of courses and grades to receive full consideration.


All applicants must be:

  1. At least 18 years old at the start of the project.
  2. A U.S. Citizen.
  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.)
    1. Students recently graduated from a qualifying degree program in/after May 2023 are eligible to apply.
    2. Students beginning an undergraduate/graduate degree program in Fall 2023 are eligible. They must provide a copy of their acceptance letter for the Fall 2023 degree program.
  4. Available to provide a minimum of 11 full weeks of continuous service.
  5. Willing to submit to a government security background clearance and employment background check process.
  6. Able to meet the minimum qualifications listed for the position(s).
  7. Able to meet the general GeoCorps eligibility guidelines

After Applying

GeoCorps America submits your application to the BLM DHA-RAI Program, and your application is then reviewed by the Project Coordinator of each project you selected through the GeoCorps BLM DHA-RAI Interest Form. The application review process begins starting 21 March. It is possible applicants and references could be contacted after 21 March by the BLM Project Coordinator or BLM DHA-RAI Program Coordinator with follow-up questions, but most commonly selected candidates will be determined on the basis of their submitted application by the BLM Project Coordinator. Once a candidate has been selected, GSA will contact the selected candidate with a project offer. The BLM DHA-RAI Program provides 1-2 days for consideration before the offer must be accepted or declined (in case the offer needs to be extended to another candidate). When all projects are officially filled, GSA will notify all program applicants.

Direct Hire Authority (DHA) and Noncompetitive Hiring

BLM logo

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 delegated authority, Bureaus may appoint a candidate directly, without competitive examination or competing with career and career-conditional employees under merit staffing procedures to any position and grade level for which the candidate meets Office of Personnel Management (OPM) qualification standards. Direct-hire authority permits hiring without regard to Veteran’s preference.” (Section 6.b., Personnel Bulletin (PB) No. 21-08 , published 5 Nov. 2021 by the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior).

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 typically 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 America partners with the BLM Office of Recruitment and Retention Programs (ORRP), which manages the BLM DHA-RAI Program. 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 .