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 community preservation, economic development, sustainability, promoting public appreciation of cultural heritage, national preservation policy and legislation, Native American interests, diversity, and youth engagement.
Candidates should have an interest in historic preservation and may come from a wide variety of disciplines in addition to history, architectural history, or archaeology, such as planning, law, economics, architectural design, or journalism. Selected interns will complete projects contributing to, or broadening awareness of, the activities carried out or overseen by the ACHP and our historic preservation partners nationwide. Interns will 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 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 to help offset expenses will be provided. Projects can be tailored so that academic credit can be awarded. ACHP professional staff members supervise all interns.
Potential 2017 Projects
In addition to supporting emerging priorities through work with the Offices of Communications, Education, and Outreach (OCEO); Federal Agency Programs (OFAP); General Counsel (OGC); and Preservation Initiatives (OPI), interns may:
- Research and develop materials highlighting the importance and benefits of historic preservation for all Americans. Help identify new audiences and develop avenues and communications to reach these audiences. Research and draft content for the ACHP Web site and Section 106 success stories, as well as ideas for the ACHP’s social media efforts and targeted stories by themes. (OCEO)
- Assist with activities relating to the ACHP summer business meeting; provide support for upcoming meetings and projects, including annual preservation conferences, and ACHP participation in other outreach activities. (OCEO)
- Work on youth outreach initiatives including research, writing, and working with partners. (OCEO)
- Research relevant parts of the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 regulations, federal policies and guidance, and consider how the courts have treated public involvement as part of a federal agency's Section 106 responsibilities. Related to this research, consider the question of standing to bring claims involving Section 106 and assess the most common types of complaints raised in the context of the National Historic Preservation Act. (OGC)
- Participate in the day to day work of the Office of General Counsel and have the opportunity to become involved in legal issues that affect the ability of the agency to accomplish its mission. Assignments may include issues related to historic preservation law, social media, and appropriations law, and may involve attendance in meetings with outside parties. (OGC)
- Explore how cultural landscapes are identified and how effects to them are assessed in planning federal projects such as energy infrastructure. Develop a web-based resource page and/or training materials, such as case studies, research and writing. Help develop guidance on methodologies for documenting and assessing indirect and visual effects to cultural landscapes, or a frequently asked questions document. Familiarity with cultural landscapes documentation is desirable. (OFAP)
- Assist with implementation of selected recommendations for improving the national historic preservation program adopted by the ACHP during the 2016 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. (OPI)
- Compile data and examples from various sources on the economic benefits of historic preservation; assist staff in summarizing findings for briefing papers, presentations, and public information. (OPI)
- Research and develop new content related to the Preserve America program for social media, presentations, and the Web. Assist with enhancing and updating existing online content, managing program information, and acquiring current contacts, images, and program examples for designated communities and steward organizations. (OPI)
Relevant skills include strong research, writing, and organizational 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.
-Diana Maxwell, Grants Manager, at 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”
-Raina Regan, Senior Manager, Easement Program, National Trust for Historic Preservation
“I highly recommend the ACHP internship program to any student or emerging professional interested in government, history, urban/community planning, architecture, or cultural studies; all will find relevant and valuable experiences with the ACHP. Staff members in the small agency are a close-knit group and provide personal, one-on-one guidance to interns. The ACHP is genuinely interested in helping interns develop professionally and provides many opportunities to do so both within the agency itself and throughout the DC arena.”
-Emily Sisler, Planner, City of Hendersonville, NC