Program Background Information The National Park Service is committed to providing professional and leadership development opportunities to advanced-degree students so that they can cultivate a lifelong stewardship ethic and explore career opportunities in public land management while contributing meaningfully
to the NPS mission.
The principal purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to identify a nonprofit organization that can cooperatively support NPS efforts to manage graduate-level internship opportunities, designed around projects that promote the long-term health of our national parks by developing and improving financial planning and management tools.
The primary program model for this cooperative agreement is the National Parks Business Plan Internship (BPI).
The BPI program is focused on engaging graduate-level students in projects that address specific analysis needs – financial, strategic, or operational – of park units and/or program offices.
BPI interns are grouped in 2 or 3 person teams and placed on-site, to complete multi-week projects.
Substantial NPS involvement is necessary in order to provide the technical expertise and assistance needed to ensure BPI projects are successfully completed.
Overall BPI program management is provided by the NPS Business Management Group (BMG) in the Office of the Deputy Director for Management and Administration.
The NPS BMG identifies and develops BPI projects.
The NPS BMG also acts as the on-the-ground expert on all financial and business management tools used within the NPS and provides program participants with relevant training and orientation.
The partner organization leads overall program design and administration, particularly around student outreach and recruiting, intern onboarding, placement logistics, program evaluation, and alumni engagement.
Partner expertise in managing all administrative functions of the program is essential to the successful and timely completion of projects.
Program Objectives Jointly administer a graduate-level internship program focused on improving the financial and operational health of our national parks and NPS programs.
The internship program should provide students with in-depth training on NPS finance and operations, exposure to park and/or program level operations, and the opportunity to conduct substantive analysis and evaluation which lead to recommendations that improve strategic planning and management decision-making.
Encourage highly qualified graduate students from professional disciplines underrepresented in the NPS workforce (Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Policy, Master of Environmental Management, and similar degree programs) to explore federal careers with conservation and land management agencies.
Cultivate a lifelong stewardship ethic for public lands in graduate students from top universities.