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Employment Opportunities, Jobs & Internships in Preservation & Cultural Resources     

Employment Opportunities, Jobs & Internships in Preservation & Cultural Resources
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Summer Internships at the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Washington, DC)
Historic Preservation Blog from - Internship, summer, federal agency, preservation
Contributed By: Judy Rodenstein
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Are you, or do you know of, a student interested in the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic resources?

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) in Washington, D.C., has internship opportunities available for undergraduate or graduate students, as well as individuals at an early stage of their career and professional development. A small, independent federal agency, the ACHP oversees the historic preservation review process for federal projects and conducts a variety of preservation programs dealing with sustainability, Native American interests, economic development, promoting public appreciation of cultural heritage, national preservation policy, and legislation.  

The ACHP is looking for candidates with an interest in historic preservation who may come from a wide variety of disciplines in addition to history or archaeology, such as architecture, planning, economics, law, journalism, and information technology. In 2014 our selected interns will complete projects aimed at engaging a wider audience in the activities carried out or overseen by the ACHP and our historic preservation partners nationwide. Interns will also become familiar with the full range of work of the agency and will participate in meetings and programs with others interning at related agencies and organizations.

Internships at the ACHP are flexible and can be for the summer (8-12 weeks) or for an alternative period of time, such as a quarter or a semester during the school year. Specific assignments will be developed based on the skills and interests of selected interns. Interns are volunteers, though a small stipend may be provided. Projects can be tailored so academic credit can be awarded. ACHP professional staff supervises all interns.

Potential 2014 Projects
  • Research and draft short stories illuminating the experiences of individuals and communities using the federal Section 106 process to preserve historic sites which reflect the diverse cultural heritage of the United States. Products may be used as part of a series of Section 106 Success Stories, on our Web site, in training courses, and to promote broader public participation in historic preservation. 

  • Conduct a survey of Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations for best practices regarding Sacred Sites protection by federal agencies and draft one case study from the survey results.
  • Assist with information collection, organization, and outreach associated with planning for the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act in 2015 and 2016.  May include compiling and summarizing planned activities of preservation organizations and federal agencies leading up to the anniversary, drafting stories for posting on the Web and social media, and assisting with development of an anniversary tool kit for use in local event and activity planning.
  • Develop materials highlighting the value of historic preservation for segments of the American population currently under-represented. Examples would be drawn from Preserve America Communities, Grant Projects, Stewards, and Presidential Award winners and similar sources. Deliverables may include success stories, model approaches and documents, and peer-to-peer guidance on making such preservation efforts successful. This material will be disseminated via the Web and social media, as well as made available for training and conference sessions.

  • Develop social media content to better engage youth and more diverse audiences in our work and in historic preservation in general. 

  • Work on an ethnography and Section 106 primer focusing on the role of ethnography in identifying and considering effects to certain types of properties, typically those with traditional cultural importance.

  • Support other emerging priorities through work with the Office of Communications, Education, and Outreach; the Office of Federal Agency Programs; the Office of the General Counsel; the Office of Native American Affairs; and the Office of
Preservation Initiatives.

Relevant skills include strong writing and research ability; comfort with contacting, meeting, and interviewing people by phone or in person; and experience with using and developing content for the Web and social media. Some familiarity with historic preservation is desirable, but not required.

Past interns say…

“I loved how friendly and welcoming everyone was. Even though it's a federal agency, it's small enough that you can easily meet people and learn about what they do. I also appreciated how flexible the ACHP was in making my internship project work for my graduate program, and I felt like I was doing substantive work, both with the work directly related to my project, and the everyday work that I did. 

“It was nice to have the opportunity to visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation and learn about what they did there, and we did a tour at the Pentagon too- a good way to tap into a larger group of preservationists.”

- Diana Maxwell, Contracts Associate at the National Trust for Historic Preservation

“One of the best parts of my internship at the ACHP was the opportunity to learn about preservation across the entire country. Reading about communities and projects in states like Colorado, Alaska, and American Samoa really opened my eyes to the diversity of preservation in the United States.

“From a practical side, the internship taught me valuable skills for any job, including program management, agency interaction with the public, and writing for specific audiences. I translate the knowledge I gained about the National Historic Preservation Program into my current position.

“It was great working alongside the staff at the ACHP, as I was treated as a fellow staff member and not just an intern. They allowed me to take initiative on certain projects, including research and development of materials to be included on Web sites and promotional material.”

- Raina Regan, Community Preservation Specialist, Indiana Landmarks

How to Apply

Interested applicants should apply online using the form at  and attach a resume. The Internet Explorer browser works best. Hit “submit” at the bottom of the form, and the data you filled out should appear as an .xml file attached to an e-mail message. Before you hit “send,” attach your resume.  If this doesn’t work for you, “save as” the filled-out form as a pdf and then attach it to an email along with your resume.  Send to

If you have any questions, contact Judy Rodenstein at For more information on the ACHP and its work, please visit and

Keywords: Internship, summer, federal agency, preservation

Posted: March 6, 2014
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