Lowell National Historical Park: Urban Parks Climate Change Education

NPS Unit: Lowell National Historical Park
Location: Lowell, MA
Project Title:   Urban Parks Climate Change Education
Pay: The intern will be paid $12/hour for a total of 480 hours.
Position Description: This position will undertake climate change-related projects at Lowell National Historical Park.  The intern will be located in the Boott Cotton Mills, which houses the Boott Cotton Mills Museum and the Tsongas Industrial History Center. The duties will focus on developing multi-media materials that will be used in an urban national park to inform park staff and school groups about climate change. Clear and succinct messages and materials will allow the audience to make meaningful connections and build a deeper understanding of climate change, and inspire them to take action in their own lives. Two categories of work support this endeavor.

The intern will work with a Park Ranger in Education to research and create an hour-long educational program and develop products about climate change.

The products can include but are not limited to posters, a web page, and handouts.  The program and products will provide information that encourages students to learn more about climate change and become stewards and ambassadors in their own community.

Staff Training
The intern will research, develop, and coordinate multi-media products that will be used to train park staff.  These products will include tools the staff can use to communicate this complex subject, and skills to help them understand their audience better, including predicting how the audience will relate to this information.

Learning goals: The goal of this internship is for the intern and Lowell NHP to have a mutually beneficial relationship where both will come away with a better understanding of climate change by being more aware of current climate change research and being able to more effectively and confidently communicate about climate change to multiple audiences. This will be accomplished by using interpretation and education techniques to develop an understanding of climate change communication and audience needs.  The intern will also gain a better understanding of how to create an educational program that addresses state frameworks and meets audience needs.
Mentoring: The Park Ranger supervising the intern will familiarize the intern with the park and with the Tsongas Industrial History Center. During the orientation, the intern will learn about Lowell’s industrial/environmental history, visit key historical sites in Lowell, and observe some of the Center’s education programs. The intern will be introduced to the staff and duties of different workgroups in the park, such as Interpretation and Cultural Resources, in order to better understand the park and its staff training needs. The intern will also learn about the Lowell NHP/University of Massachusetts Lowell partnership, and the supervisor will facilitate collaboration with UMass Lowell faculty, if appropriate. Throughout the internship, the supervisor will provide guidance, encouragement, and assistance as needed.
Qualifications: Qualifications for this position include:

  • Background in scientific principles and general knowledge of climate change
  • Experience making oral presentations to groups as related to education and/or interpretation
  • Comfort collaborating with multiple workgroups, community partners, and students
  • Effective communication skills (both oral and written)
Position Dates: June 2, 2013 through August 24, 2013 (dates are flexible)
Housing Available: No park housing is available.
Vehicle/License Required: There is no requirement for a vehicle or a valid driver’s license. It is necessary to have a valid driver’s license if operating a government vehicle (not required).
Work Environment: The work environment will be primarily indoors in an office setting with significant amount of time spent working on computers.  There will be opportunities for observing educational programming offered by the park, partnering with local non-profits, and joining partners for the opportunity to learn about the local community both indoors and outdoors, mainly during good weather.