Internships - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Interns and staff in the Marin Headlands in 2018.

Before Applying

Academic Internships

Academic Internships are available only to students from College of Marin, City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University. Academic Interns are found across the Golden Gate National Parks. Typically, this program runs during the spring semester and some extend their internships into the summer. Due to COVID-19, we are piloting a summer program, June–August 2021. Academic Interns contribute to the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives that interns bring to the park.

Academic Internship applications for summer 2021 open in February, and close March 29th, 2021. Interested applicants can choose to apply for up to 3 internship positions, and may only accept one position. Applicants submit just one resume and cover letter to as well as fill out an online application form. Find this form on the Academic Internship page.

Dependent on local public health orders and park management decisions, internships will either be fully virtual, fully in-person, or a combination of both. Please check each individual internship position description for more details. We will keep interns updated as public health circumstances evolve.

COVID-19 safety protocols will be closely followed during an internship to make the experience as safe as possible.

Yes. Academic internship applicants submit just one application but can apply for up to 3 internship positions in their application.

Yes, for the summer 2021 pilot Academic Internship Program, you must plan to enroll for summer or fall 2021 classes to qualify for an Academic Internship. These internships must be directly tied to your academic studies, although we accept applicants from all majors! 

There is no minimum number of units you need to be enrolled in to qualify for an Academic Internship. You can be either a part-time or full-time student.

There is no minimum age, but given the time commitment and necessary skill set, most of our interns are 18 years or older.

Yes! The Golden Gate National Parks offer a wide variety of internships – from public affairs to media to natural resource stewardship. Don’t be discouraged from applying to an internship just because it’s outside of your field of study. Mentors value passion and a willingness to learn!

Interns are not employees of the National Park Service nor the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. While interns are covered through the Conservancy worker's compensation policy, neither the National Park Service nor the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy provide benefits such as healthcare or retirement options to interns.

Yes. However, it is up to each applicant to speak with their academic institution for procedures around securing academic credit for an internship at the Golden Gate National Parks.

Interns are not employed by the National Park Service nor the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Therefore, internship hours will not contribute to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Each individual's factors are different - please contact your loan servicer about your situation. For more information about PSLF see the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid page.

Each individual's factors are different - please contact your loan servicer to confirm your eligibility for loan repayment, forbearance, or deferment during the internship.

After Applying

Managers review applications as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there is no set time frame for managers to respond to applicants, but expect to hear from our team once the application deadline has passed. 

It depends. Internships that require the use of federal government (National Park Service) computers and internships that involve direct work with the people with disabilities, the elderly, and children require background checks.

The statutes by the Congress of the United States of America and the regulations set by the President of the United States of America, through regulations, require that certain security procedures are taken to ensure every individual using an internal federal network do not threaten the activity of the federal government and the American people. To comply with those regulations, all interns working with the National Park Service must participate in a background check to access federal government computers.

The State of California requires certain governmental and private organizations to conduct background checks to help determine the suitability of a person in a volunteer position working with children, the elderly, or people with disabilities.

After Arrival

Interns living independently may use the Bay Area's public transit options or drive a personal vehicle. If this is a hardship for you, please let your mentor or the Internship Management Team know and we will do our best to support you.

Each office and/or program has a slightly different dress code, so check with your mentor about what to wear before starting your internship. Interns will receive uniform pieces at no cost to them in the first few weeks of the internship.

Unfortunately, the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy cannot guarantee a job after completing an internship. We encourage interns to take advantage of the various trainings and networking opportunities during the internship to help with the post-internship job search.

Yes. Interns are covered under Parks Conservancy worker's compensation for internship related injuries (subject to approval).

Yes. Interns should check with their mentors regarding time off.

Park Academy offers classes that provide professional development and personal enrichment opportunities for interns, staff, and volunteers. Park Academy hosts a variety of classes - from plant identification courses to compass training to resume writing. Every intern is invited to participate in Park Academy classes (with their supervisor’s approval). Depending on your internship position, interns may earn training certificates - check with your mentor.


Academic Interns receive a stipend of $75 per day.

Every intern must have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or a Social Security Number to receive a stipend, regardless of citizenship status. This is necessary so that The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy meets federal and state wage and tax reporting regulations. Intern applicants should plan accordingly, as the process to obtain a number can be very lengthy.  

The National Park Service’s non-profit partner, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, pays intern stipends on a bi-weekly basis.

If interns receive more than $600 in their stipends, they receive a 1099-MISC form from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in the first two weeks of February.

No.  The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy does not pay interns through payroll and therefore taxes are not withheld. Interns should keep in mind that their stipend is a taxable event.

How much each intern pays in federal and state taxes for their stipend depends on many individual factors. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy cannot legally provide tax advice, though some organizations offer free tax advice and assist individuals with filing their taxes:

  • EarnIt KeepIt SaveIt lists 200 free tax preparation sites in the Bay Area’s  7 counties
  • Mission Economic Development offers free tax preparation to all low-income individuals and families. Call (415) 282-3334 extension 110 to set up a tax appointment or to ask a specific question.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) – San Francisco State University chapter
  • IRS Volunteers

Interns are paid bi-weekly by the National Park Service’s non-profit partner, The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy deposits the stipend directly into each individual’s bank account on a bi-weekly basis.

Stipends do not go through payroll and so pay stubs are unavailable. If you are an intern and need an official letter noting your stipend please contact .

Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Please email Mackenzie Segraves, Program Manager of Park Internships at

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