The US Forest Service (USFS) and Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) have partnered to support the next generation of conservation and environmental stewards through the Resource Assistant Program (RAP). This partnership aims to build a strong community of inspired, skilled, motivated Latinx leaders through substantial work experience, building skills required for success in natural and cultural resource careers. RAP fellows are placed at USFS national forests and offices throughout the U.S. and support the Forest Service mission to care for the land and serve the people.
Fellows are introduced to various tasks and projects such as lands management, conservation education, resource interpretation, and rehabilitation activities through their assignments on public lands across the country.
During one-year assignments, fellows will receive specialized training opportunities, mentoring and ongoing support from Forest Service and HAF staff to effectively carry out their assignments.
The program connects underrepresented students and young professionals
Project Goal & Objectives
The RA program facilitates work and learning experiences for participants under the supervision and mentoring of Forest Service and Hispanic Access staff, while contributing to mission-critical thinking, and strategic communication.
The program aims to:
- Engage highly motivated candidates through internships working alongside Forest Service staff
- Instill stewardship values in next generation of natural and cultural resource management professionals through career exploration and professional development
- Expand and enhance the capacity of the Forest Service to accomplish mission-critical work and high-priority projects
- Attract and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce to support the Forest Service’s mission to “sustain the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations”
After completing a minimum of 960 hours of satisfactory work as an RA, and obtaining a post-secondary degree (associate degree or higher), RAs may become eligible for the RAP noncompetitive hiring authority and receive a 2-year certificate of eligibility. This certificate enables participants to apply to internal merit announcements for qualifying, permanent General Schedule (GS) Forest Service positions.
- Individuals ages 18 and up
- Possess U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
- Have a strong interest and/or relevant experience in areas pertaining to natural and cultural resource management
- Bilingual skills (Spanish/English) are preferred but not required for all positions
- Be available to work full-time (40 hours per week) throughout the duration of the fellowship (timeframes are usually 1 year but some positions vary)
- Preference is given to students enrolled in or graduates of a 4-year degree program.
Candidates may express interest in specific sites while completing their application. Specific assignments will be based on best fit with the unique requirements of each USFS forest and/or office. Final candidates will undergo a background check before beginning their assignment. Applications will be reviewed and rated according to the following criteria:
- Relevant educational and work experience
- Oral and written communication skills
- Professionalism, technical knowledge, and expertise
- Adaptability and ability to work effectively with diverse audiences.
- For all sites, priority will be given to local candidates
- Applications will be reviewed as they are received