You are viewing a preview of this job. Log in or register to view more details about this job.

CRDIP Historical Research Assistant - Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and through the Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program, is seeking a Historical Research Assistant to assist in the research and writing of a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom nomination draft for a site in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: June 10, 2024

Estimated End Date: August 30, 2024

*a 12-week minimum commitment is required *

The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP) is a professional development internship that introduces students and recent graduates, from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the National Parks, to career opportunities within Cultural Resource Management in the NPS. CRDIP participants will have the opportunity to attend several professional development webinars as well as write blogs or create videos about their projects throughout their term. To learn more:

This position is classified as a DHA (Direct Hire Authority) Internship. DHA positions target exceptional, current upper-level undergraduate or graduate students that are interested in pursuing careers with the NPS. DHA positions will be rigorous internships that develop the participant's technical and creative thinking abilities, leadership skills, and problem-solving capabilities.

DHA applicants will be involved in cultural resource management projects that generate data and/or research that must be analyzed and presented to various stakeholders at the end of the internship. After successful completion of the internship, and graduation from their degree program, the intern will receive DHA non-competitive hiring eligibility.

Location: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area- Thousand Oaks, CA

The Santa Monica Mountains offer easy access to surprisingly wild places. Experience the famous beaches of Malibu or explore more than 500 miles of trails. The park abounds with historical and cultural sites, ranging from old movie ranches where major studio films were once made to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center, a center intended to provide a place where all peoples can learn about Chumash, Tongva, and other American Indian cultures.

Having a personal vehicle is highly recommended for commuting to work and to access groceries and other needs on days off. For more information about the park, please visit:

Position Overview: The Historical Research Assistant will assist in the research and writing of a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom (NFT) nomination draft for a site in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). As an NPS partner program, the NTF is dedicated to commemorating, preserving, and interpreting the history of resistance to slavery through escape and flight. This project seeks to commemorate Black freedom-seekers at a site within the SMMNRA that is associated with a landmark freedom lawsuit. In this role the ACE member will:

  • Conduct historical research to better ascertain appropriate locations for potential commemoration of the event
  • Meet with various stakeholders—such as park management, representatives of the NTF, and representatives of outside organizations with a vested interest in the project, such as the Biddy Mason Charitable Foundation— over the course of the project in order to present his or her research of potential sites for commemoration and to garner consensus in the selection of one.
  • Conduct historical research to support the preparation of a nomination for the selected site. The historical research effort will require primary research in local archival repositories as well as review of existing secondary sources.

The ACE member will be working directly with Dr. Kevin Waite, Associate Professor of History at Durham University (United Kingdom), in the preparation of this nomination. At the end of the 12-week term, the ACE member will have helped finalize a draft nomination for the selected site in the SMMNRA.

Schedule: Work schedule is M-F, 8 hours a day, typically 8:30 - 5:00 (with a mandatory half-hour unpaid lunch break). There is some flexibility available in the work schedule.


Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $700/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: Park dorm-style housing (shared bathroom and kitchen facilities) is provided at no cost for the duration of their term.

Travel Expenses: ACE members will have access to up to $1,200 to be used for relocation and/or travel expenses.

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support. Specific training may include an overview of archival repositories in the Los Angeles area and the requirements, if any, to access them; direction on both conducting archival research and locating archival materials specific to the project; guidance in preparing presentations for an intended audience; and instruction on how to prepare a Network to Freedom application. A potential, and optional, travel opportunity to archives in the San Francisco Bay area may be available during this term as well.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service and 640 hours of service. If the duration of a PLC-eligible term is not long enough for Members to accrue 640 hours of service (~16 weeks), the total hours served at the completion of the term may be eligible to be combined with hours accrued from another PLC-eligible term to meet the 640 hours requirement. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online:



  • Enrollment in a history program with a focus on American History
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request), to regularly operate government vehicles.
  • Willing to undergo and must pass the required two-part criminal history check
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation
  • ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term
  • ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning of term feedback forms, end of term evaluations and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website here


  • Have earned or working towards a graduate degree in History
  • Knowledge of African American history and /or History of the American West
  • Knowledge of the history of Southern California

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Environmental: Office environment conditions; indoor air quality is good. Some work will take in the field/outdoors. There will also be off-site work, such as visits to local archival repositories.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.
  • Physical Demands: This position is primarily sedentary in nature, although there will be occasional periods of activity (approximately once per week) that require the ability to traverse uneven and/or unpaved exterior areas. Daily duties require hiking, sitting, standing, using hands to feel or handle, and walking. Manual dexterity necessary for use of equipment and tools beyond computer keyboard and mouse.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted:  Not applicable.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards:  The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme temperatures, rough terrain, poison oak, and wildlife encounters on an occasional basis, but will be provided proper protective equipment. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members, or cultural resources.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the NPS.  Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the NPS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the NPS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it.  Strict adherence to NPS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.  

To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC NPS CRDIP Member Manager, Samira Rosario Martinez (she/they), at

EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.