Job Listing
🔗NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow: Exploring Indigenous Artistic Responses to Black Hills and Destination Tourism

  • Fellowship
  • Full Time
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota. Remote work eligible; on-site and regional visits required quarterly.
  • $67,600 / year + 4% year two USD / Year
  • December 1, 2023
  • Job Qualifications:
    • Must be a PhD in any field of the humanities or humanistic social sciences. Scholars who received or will receive their PhD between May 1, 2019, and August 15, 2024, are eligible to apply. For more information on eligibility, visit
    • Subject matter expertise in Indigenous Studies; Public History; Transportation History; Cultural Landscapes; Cultural Studies; History of Tourism; Cultural Anthropology.
    • Strong intercultural facilitation skills, experience communicating across cultural and disciplinary divides.
    • Comfort in cross-disciplinary research.
    • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills and ability to communicate across multiple audiences.
    • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team environment. Skill in project planning, organization, and time management; ability and desire to perform multiple concurrent and variable tasks.
    • Strong organizational skills to keep track of workload, tasks, and interactions.
    • Proficiency in developing curriculum, lesson plans, education and/or interpretative programming.
    • Selective factors include the merit of scholarship and promise, commitment to the public humanities, and capacity to complete research successfully.

    Other Requirements:

    • Must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required to comply with U.S. government contracts.
    • Must be proficient in English.
    • Must pass a federal background check; Fellowship is also contingent upon a successful security background check with the NPS.
    • Must be willing to abide by ACE Policy and Federal Drug Free workplace policies and laws. ACE reserves the right to drug test at any time.
    • A valid US driver’s license and reliable personal transportation required. For long distance travel, mileage reimbursement may be available. A government vehicle may be available for local travel associated with park-based work, per most current travel regulations.
    • Must be willing to abide by a requirement to acknowledge The Mellon Foundation, the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and American Conservation Experience, in any publications generated by this project.
    • Must be willing to abide by federal policy that research results, publications, films, videos, artistic or similar endeavors resulting from the Fellowship, other than the specifically career-focused work, will become the property of the United States, and as such, will be in the public domain and not subject to copyright laws.
    • Consent to being photographed and to the release of such photographic images.
  • How to Apply:

    Full details and application at Exploring Indigenous Artistic Responses to Black Hills and Destination Tourism Postdoctoral Fellow – Keystone, SD – Mellon Fellowships Jobs (

  • Job benefits: Medical / PTO and Sick Leave
  • Physical Demands / Work Environment: Details in the full position description at
  • Application URL:

American Conservation Experience

Each NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will complete work in four areas. Fellows will (1) perform project-based research; (2) share research results; (3) produce and substantially contribute to interpretive and educational products; and (4) pursue career-focused work.

Project-Based Research: There is bountiful scholarship on Indigenous connections, histories, and continuing significance of the Black Hills of South Dakota to Indigenous peoples. There has, however, been little in-depth work done around the topic of Indigenous tourism from the vantage point of Indigenous artists, culture bearers, and organizations dedicated to sharing Indigenous culture through tourism. During year one, the Fellow will conduct original research on the topic, including meeting with external and internal institutional partners within the tourism industry of South Dakota. A critical piece of this research will be working with Indigenous partners who provide a variety of tourism services and cater largely to a non-Native audience. These relationships will shape and inform the direction for research in year two, wherein the Fellow will consult with the mentorship team, as well as other subject matter experts as needed, to propose a project for their second year. Additional research opportunities exist through access to the park museum collection, local museums and historical centers, ethnobotany herbariums, and community elders.

Sharing Research Results: The research conducted by the Fellow involves collaboration with numerous teams, individuals, and organizations. The Fellow will join park staff in attending South Dakota 250th Committee meetings, tourism meetings with Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Association, regular events hosted by the South Dakota Department of Tourism (including the annual Tourism Conference in Pierre, South Dakota), and regular interaction with projects and campaigns initiated by the South Dakota Native Tourism Alliance. Research results will be compiled into a summary of findings that will be added to the park archives, staff library, and incorporated into training for frontline staff.

These partnerships will provide the Fellow with necessary subject-matter expertise on the organizations, individuals, and initiatives that inform and shape tourism to the Black Hills. The Fellow will be invited to present research at the Public Lands Alliance Conference, the South Dakota Tourism Conference, and the National Association for Interpretation Conference. The Fellow will also share research results with local National Park Service units through webinars, presentations, and written resources.

The Fellow will be expected to develop and sustain connections with program-provided mentors and host staff, associated NPS staff, members of their Fellowship cohort, and other Fellows across the tenure of the program. In addition to being provided mentorship and support themselves, the Fellow will have the opportunity to mentor others and to enrich staff knowledge by organizing events such as virtual speaker series and presentations. Twice a year, the Fellow will participate with their cohort and other Fellows in a virtual conference for NPS staff and partners to provide updates about their research. The Fellow will be responsible for tracking and reporting accomplishments and for supplying copies of interpretive, educational, and research products to their host and to the National Coordinator.

Interpretive and Educational Products: To ensure that the Fellow is able to impact interpretive programming and products throughout this project, an interdisciplinary team will be formed comprising managerial and frontline leadership of the Interpretation & Education Program. This team will meet regularly to discuss strategies for incorporating the Fellow’s research into interpretive programming, digital interpretive products, and promotional material. Some potential products are:

  • Podcasts;
  • Content on and Social Media;
  • Interpretive Training Modules;
  • Lesson Plans;
  • Exhibit design, including pop-up exhibits within the park;
  • Developing interpretive programming.

Career-focused Research and Products: In consultation with their mentors, the Fellow will carry out a career-centered project. About 20 percent of the Fellowship will be dedicated to this scholarly work that advances the Fellow’s career path. The Fellow will be supported by a multidisciplinary team that draws on local, regional, and agency-wide expertise. In addition to NPS staff, the Fellow will also have an external mentor whose work addresses Indigenous histories of the region.

Essential Responsibilities and Tasks:

  • Conduct original research into the history of tourism in the Black Hills and its impacts on Indigenous culture. Special attention and focus should be paid to the way that Indigenous artists and organizations found ways to benefit and participate in this economy and the way this involvement evolved through to present day.
  • Create annotated bibliography and summary report of resources on Indigenous tourism, with a special focus on destination tourism to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
  • Partner with Interpretation & Education lead interpreters to develop interpretive products and training modules for incorporation into seasonal training.
  • Assist park staff in expanding culture bearer programming, including recommendations for effective signage and strategic communications.
  • Present research at significant partner events, tourism conferences, and regional NPS meetings.
  • Attending university-level lectures and presenting as a guest lecturer to a university-level audience.
  • Working with Indigenous community members living on and off reservations (rural and urban).
  • Conducting one-on-one interviews and oral histories.
  • NCPE Internships: Eligibility & How to Apply


    All NCPE interns received an hourly stipend, the rate is listed at each position description. Additionally, interns receive paid time off (PTO), paid Federal holidays if working full-time, and access to NCPE's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for career and personal counseling, coaching, and referrals. Project sites may also offer a housing allowance and/or commuting stipend; this information is also listed in the description or offered during the interview.

    As an organization operating under Public Land Corps Act (PLC) authority, many NCPE positions qualify the intern for Federal Hiring Preference if (1) they complete a minimum of 640 hours at one or more qualifying conservation project(s); (2) are between the ages of 16 and 30 years (35 if a veteran); and (3) apply for a Federal position at USAJOBS with PLC noted in the announcement within two years of completing the internship. Find out more about this hiring preference during the interview or contact for details.


    To be eligible, applicants must be currently enrolled in a degree-seeking academic program or recently graduated (within the past 12 months) and be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident. Interns are not eligible to work more than 1200 hours total in the program; previous interns must stay within this overall limit. The length of an internship can vary from 10 to 30 weeks if full time (40 hours per week) or longer if on a part-time schedule. If selected, the exact starting date will be determined by you and the NPS supervisor. The stipend rate is $17.00 per hour unless otherwise listed.

    The successful candidate is responsible for finding and paying for travel to and housing at the internship location; some exceptions apply. The supervising office may be able to assist in locating housing but it is ultimately up to the individual accepting the internship to find accommodation.

    The National Council requires all interns working in-person at Federal facilities and/or with Federal employees receive the Covid-19 vaccination. Please be advised that you may also be required to wear a mask, depending on the protocols adopted by your work site. Also be aware that, due to Government-wide security requirements, a background check will be required if you are selected for a position. This will include providing information about recent housing and employment history. The position supervisor will have more information about these requirements and procedures at the time of hiring. You may direct any questions to NCPE's Internship Program Director, Julee Johnson, at

    Please note that interns are not NCPE or NPS employees. Stipends are academic awards and taxes are not withheld, nor are social security contributions made on your behalf. These funds may be taxable, however, so consult a tax preparation professional if you have questions.

    How to Apply

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