GSA Online Application System



Public Land Name:
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Position Title:
CLOSED Geology Interpretive Guide

Agency: USFS

Position Type: GeoCorps

Position ID Number:
2024611, 2024612

Washington State, Toutle (2 positions)

Accepting Applications? No

# of current Applicants: 45

Position Description:

Each project can accept up to 100 applicants. GeoCorps applicants can apply for multiple projects per season. Applicants must complete a cover letter for each project for which they apply.

For current applicants: You are considered a project applicant once you have successfully added the project to your profile while you are logged into your application form. The added project would appear under “POSITIONS YOU HAVE ADDED” for the GeoCorps America Program. You are encouraged to add projects before you complete your application components. In order to be fully considered for any position, you must complete all application components before the application deadline passes on 28 January. Login to your GeoCorps application profile to check the status of your application components, and make sure to complete any remaining items before the deadline passes.

Our GeoCorps participants will become an essential part of the interpretive programming cadre at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. This will be an opportunity to learn the concepts of interpretation and provide resource related talks and presentations to the public at the Johnston Ridge Observatory on the flank of Mount St. Helens. Presentations can be focused on a variety of topics such as geology, history, and ecology. Corps members will assist with the development or revision of interpretive materials such as guidebooks, handouts, and exhibits. Our GeoCorps participants can work with us in the development of curriculum related educational materials about Mount St. Helens for local K-12 schools. They will also provide information to the public relating to site specific regulations, and recreation activities available on the Monument. They will assist with drafting a variety of written materials that include news releases, articles, correspondence, and event flyers designed to increase understanding of the Forest Service mission or that encourage attendance or assistance with special events. In addition, they will perform routine daily opening and closing procedures and assist with general office tasks and collect fees and assist with bookstore sales. This project is offered through the Geological Society of America's GeoCorps America Program, in partnership with the Lands, Minerals, and Geology Washington Office of the USDA Forest Service.

The program encourages participants to follow the same guidance provided to all USDA Forest Service employees and partners, which is to follow CDC guidance and stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters that protect against the new and most prevalent variants.

Commitment to Inclusion: Both the facilities and housing meet accessibility requirements. Staff at the Monument are open and accepting of a diverse population and we strive to welcome all individuals to be part of our program.

Goals, outcomes, and deliverables:
By the end of the project, the participants will have produced at least two different interpretive, geology/ecology-based programs (prior experience with ecology-based programs is not required; relevant skills can be acquired through the project). They will understand how to present scientific material to visitors in a way that will encourage participation and support for national forests. An Interpretive Activity Plan will be completed for each program and an outline will be turned in, so future interpreters will be able to present these programs as well.

Agency involvement (project oversight, mentoring, team building, etc.):
The selected individuals will be mentored by the Johnston Ridge Observatory Visitor Center Director. They will have an opportunity to work and learn from other staff members on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest as well as partner staff and volunteers from the Mount St. Helens Institute, Washington State Parks, and Discover Your Northwest. The Forest will provide the selected individual with an overall forest orientation, interpretive training, and risk assessment briefings.

Professional development & learning opportunities: (trainings, certifications, networking, etc.):
The participant will also be exposed to various protocols used in federal service. As they become available and are pertinent to the project, the selected applicant will be encouraged to attend local workshops or trainings. Trainings may include Certified Interpretive Guide, First Aid/CPR, computer security, safety procedures, and defensive driving. These skills are helpful for related professions in a wide variety of public agencies and private institutions in the US and abroad. In addition, the participant will be exposed to the work of other resource professionals within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This may include exposure to the Spirit Lake Tunnel and Permanent Outflow Project, various USGS volcano monitoring projects, Ape Cave Interpretive program, as well as being provided with a thorough introduction to what working for the USFS looks like.

Leadership Development:
The participant will engage in different multi-faceted projects that focus their skills and reveal the work qualities of the individual. The project provides the opportunity for the participant to develop or apply personal responsibility in their work. The participant will also work with multiple partners in their project, which will help the individual develop/demonstrate communication skills, and experience navigating organizational hierarchies.

Presenting Project Results:
The participant will create a minimum of two interpretive outlines that will be available to future interpreters at the Monument’s visitor centers. During the season, the individual will have an opportunity to share their interpretive project with thousands of visitors.

Physical/Natural Environment:
At 8:32 a.m. on Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted. Within a few moments, nearly 150 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing. Fifty-seven lives were lost, and the ensuing 9-hour eruption left a dramatically changed landscape.

In 1982, the President and Congress created the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument to be managed by the Forest Service for research, recreation, education, protecting local communities, and allowing natural processes to unfold. In addition to the legislated Monument, Mount St. Helens administrative unit also includes general forest areas. These areas are primarily to the south and east of the Monument and are where most dispersed recreation activities occur.

Today, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument contains many popular trailheads, waterfalls, lakes, forests, and lava tubes, managed by the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This position will be in the Northern section of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Work Environment:
Approximately 70% of the work occurs in a visitor center. The participant will be provided shared office space, a desk, and a computer equipped with relevant software. About 30% will consist of day trips to monitor and maintain developed recreation sites or provide roving interpretive programs. Walking, bending, or carrying of a day pack may be involved.

Applicants must be committed to work full time for at least 20 weeks beginning in May 2024, and be able to live in housing accommodations made available by the USFS. Academic qualifications include: (1) being a recent geology college graduate or a senior-level geology student in the latest stages of an undergraduate (BS) degree. The applicant should be able to work independently, both in the office and in the field, with little oversight. Ability to speak a second language in addition to English is desirable but not required and they must be able to adequately communicate orally in English at a level that allows for daily and professional interactions with USFS personnel. The person hired should have a disposition to work collaboratively and to participate in various trainings as part of the job, which may include topics such as defensive driving, computer safety, geoscience education research, and GIS. The applicant must be comfortable living onsite in shared housing, and possess a valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record. The following interests and skills are recommended:

  • Basic knowledge of public outreach and communication tools and techniques to identify audiences and messages.
  • Familiarity with the diverse range of outdoor facilities and maintenance requirements, such as, visitor centers, trails, wayside exhibits, to provide safe, wildlife/environmental-dependent recreation opportunities for visitors.
  • Skills in oral and written communication. Graphic design skills are a plus.
  • Ability to assist with the implementation of natural resource-dependent recreational programs.
  • Ability to perform work within well-established parameters; employee will have some responsibility for initiating, developing, or modifying work methods.
  • Knowledge of the resources and objectives of the visitor center, subject matter, and audiences when developing specific interpretive programs. Interest in the overall mission and goals of the Forest Service.
  • Ability to provide quality information, education, and interpretive services to increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of natural resources, their conservation and management. Work will include specific routine duties to support the Forest Service’s visitor services program.
  • Interest in the development of natural resource-dependent recreational opportunities that minimize impacts to public land while simultaneously promoting the overall mission of the Forest Service.
  • Interest in making contacts with the public, co-workers, volunteers, support groups, conservation organizations, and other audiences to welcome and orient visitors, interpret recreational and/or historical sites, explain Forest Service policies and regulations, coordinate work efforts, and assist with partnerships.
Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident (Green Card holder). Applicants must have a valid driver's license from a U.S. state or U.S. territory (i.e., Puerto Rico) and a good driving record. Prior to starting this position, the participant will need to pass a background check either with the host agency, GSA’s staffing partner, or both.

Applicants must be eligible to participate in Public Lands Corps, which means applicants must also:

  • Be between 18-30 years old inclusive during the timeframe they would finish the project (military veterans are permitted to be up to 35 years old during participation)
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
Compliance with Public Lands Corps eligibility requirements is defined by the legislation supporting Public Lands Corps opportunities (16 U.S. Code § 1723 - Public Lands Corps program). Read more about the benefits and requirements of participating in Public Lands Corps with the USDA Forest Service.

Vehicle / Driver's License Requirement (If applicable):
Applicants must have a valid driver's license from a U.S. state or U.S. territory (i.e., Puerto Rico) and a good driving record. We anticipate the participant will drive a government vehicle on occasion. A personal vehicle is required, for personal errands, for travel between housing and the worksite, and for exploring the area independently during time off.

Position Dates:
6 May to 21 September, 2024 (start/end dates are flexible, but must start before 26 May, 2024 due to seasonal trainings)

Position Duration: 20 weeks

Hourly Wage: $16.50/hour

Housing Details:
Shared government housing is available at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Available housing is in duplexes with shared bedrooms (2 bedrooms, 4 occupants), with one bathroom, and a washer/dryer available in each. Housing is remote (1 hour to shopping) and located at the Coldwater work center, so a personal vehicle is highly recommended. Off duty opportunities include hiking area trails and kayaking on Coldwater Lake.

If you have questions about the application and selection process, please contact GSA's GeoCorps managers.  If you have questions about any aspect of the position — description, qualifications, housing, dates — please direct them to the contact(s) listed in the project description. Remember, application materials can only be submitted online. The project contact(s) will not accept application materials sent to them via e-mail, mail, fax, etc. See the full program details at the GeoCorps homepage.

Diane Bedell
Monument Recreation Program Manager
42218 NE Yale Bridge Rd
Amboy, WA 98601

Kristine Cochrane
Visitor Center Director
19000 Spirit Lake Hwy, milepost 43
Toutle, WA 98649