Cultural Landscape Preservation Resource Assistant

Because the need for preserving all of our nation’s history has never been greater, we’re counting on you! HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship) DHA Program is an 11-week summer experience brought to you by Greening Youth Foundation in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service. As a part of HBCUI, students from schools around the country are putting their unique skills and talents to work in preserving the contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history and culture. Participants gain real world, on-the-job experience as they explore federal careers in the U.S. National Park Service.

Position Title Cultural Landscape Preservation Intern
NPS Unit Name Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, Boston, MA
Direct Hiring Authority Resource Assistant The DHA Resource Assistant internship (DHA-RA) is a unique internship opportunity within the Department of the Interior (DOI). The objective is to build a pathway to employment in the DOI for exemplary students in higher education.  DHA-RA interns will apply content expertise to NPS management and build a network with federal employees throughout the internship. These rigorous internships require specialized expertise and typically are available to upper level undergraduate or graduate students or recent graduates. The internships are designed to develop the participant’s technical and creative thinking abilities, leadership skills, and problem-solving capabilities.  DHA-RA interns will receive a weekly stipend of $480, park-provided housing or a housing allowance, and paid travel expenses.  Successful completion of the internship does not guarantee that the participant will be hired in to a federal position.
In order to be eligible for a DHA–RA Internship, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“green-card-holder”) and enrolled or within one year of graduating from an institution of higher education.   
DHA-RA interns who successfully complete the internship requirements become eligible for 2 years from the date of their degree to be non-competitively hired by the Department of Interior.
Position Dates May 21 – August 3, 2018
Position Description The Resource Assistant will serve as a member of a team working to prepare the “Cultural Landscape Report for Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park” in Dorchester County, Maryland. Proclaimed a National Monument on March 25, 2013 by President Barack Obama, this unique park, comprised of 11,750 acres of federally owned land, memorializes Harriet Tubman’s life through a landscape little changed since the time she led many to freedom.
The Resource Assistant will help provide the park with core baseline documentation needed to guide long-term stewardship of the park’s cultural landscape. A detailed narrative site history, narrative and graphic documentation of existing conditions, and an analysis and evaluation of contributing resources (according to the National Register criteria) will be prepared during the course of the project. This project will aid the park and its partners in preserving the landscape and expanding its interpretation, these being explicit objectives in the park’s proclamation and subsequent legislation.
The Resource Assistant will work closely with experienced staff at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation to research and prepare a narrative site history, this work requiring visits to the National Archives and local repositories of regional history; to prepare mapping documenting existing conditions; and to analyze surviving landscape characteristics and features that make the site eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
The Resource Assistant will also provide weekly summaries of activities on the “Designing the Parks” program blog ( and present findings and a summary of the assistantship experience though a final
Week 1: Project overview and introduction to Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park with project lead; Introduction to the National Park Service, Olmsted Center, and cultural landscapes with Olmsted Center Director; Safety procedures/IT training.
Week 2: Review and understanding of annotated chronologies and statements of significance; Introduction Cultural Landscape Reports and Inventories with Olmsted Center Cultural Landscape Inventory Coordinator.
Week 3: Week-long work trip to a park in the Northeast Region with the “Designing the Parks” intern cohort to advance work on a Cultural Landscape Report.
Week 4: Initial development of annotated chronology and statement of significance for Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park; Participation in geospatial data workshop, including map creation and rendering.
Week 5: Site visit to Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park and National Archives, including deed research training.  
Week 6: Compilation of research trip findings; Tour of Salem Maritime National Historic Site or Boston Harbor Islands National Park.
Week 7: Continued work on annotated chronology and statement of significance; Tour of a Boston area landscape architecture firm
Week 8: Complete final significance statement and annotated chronology; Tour of Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.
Week 9: Format final report, including InDesign training; Tour of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University.
Week 10: Prepare for final presentations by developing PowerPoint and talking points; Tour of a Boston area public landscape, such as the Rose Kennedy Greenway or Boston Public Garden/Common
Week 11: Final presentations to Olmsted Center staff, park staff, and stakeholders; Resume update with assistance from Olmsted Center staff; Exit interview.
Learning Goals Throughout the summer, the Resource Assistant will be exposed to the Day -to-day operations of government work as well as substantive project-oriented assignments. The Resource Assistant will also gain familiarity with the National Park Service Cultural Landscapes Program and understand the form, content, and purpose of Cultural Landscape Reports within the context of the National Park Service.
Specifically, the Resource Assistant will gain skills and experience in:
– Archival and documentary research by working with Olmsted Center staff to study the physical history of a historic and anthropological landscape, including oral interviews, and primary and secondary source investigation
– Technical writing and desktop publishing (InDesign)
– Graphic mapping using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, AutoCAD, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through development of graphic maps of the site
– Public speaking through final presentations
Qualifications The successful candidate will also demonstrate:
– Interest or experience with American history, cultural geography, African-American history, oral history, historic preservation, or landscape architecture
– Interest in learning or improving skills in cultural landscape management
– Ability to communicate and write effectively
– Ability to work as a team member
– Experience with working or a willingness to work in a multicultural
environment where diversity and inclusion are institutional values
Additional qualifications:

  • Must be currently enrolled in an accredited HBCU institution
  • Must be between 16 and 35 years of age
  • Must be U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or U.S. national
  • Must be able to pass a federal background check
Work Environment The Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation is based in a historic office building in the financial district of downtown Boston. The workplace is not unlike that of a design office, with approximately 10- 20 percent fieldwork and 80-90 percent office work. The Resource Assistant will be provided desk space and computer/phone in the Olmsted Center’s office, working alongside program staff and other interns. During fieldwork, s/he will always be accompanied by Olmsted Center staff.
Vehicle/License Requirement A personal vehicle and driver's license are not required. The Resource Assistant is not expected to operate a government vehicle.
Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is at a rate of $480 per week
  • Housing stipend or offsite housing will be provided.
  • Attend the all-expense paid Leadership & Careers Workshop in Washington, D.C. in August
  • Qualify for federal non-compete hiring after meeting service requirements
  • Make a difference in your local community and beyond
Application Instructions Interested students should apply directly to this position via the SERVE job portal at:

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Greening Youth Foundation (GYF, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture environmental stewardship among diverse youth and young adults, while exposing them to conservation careers.
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