Every summer, The Bill Lane Center for the American West offers many opportunities for Stanford undergraduates (including graduating seniors and co-terms) to work with organizations throughout the West. Through these internships, students can explore careers in natural history, conservation, land use, museum curation, resource management, energy and more.
All internships are full-time and last ten weeks during the summer. They are fully funded by the Lane Center.
The Lane Center has placed over 200 interns in positions across the West since 2005. As such, we have developed strong relationships with host organizations and work hard to ensure interns have successful and enriching experiences.
Read more about past interns' experiences here.
The Bill Lane Center will provide a base stipend of $7,500 with additional funding for student financial aid and cost of living adjustments for the internship location, if applicable.
Description of the Agency and the Internship:
Cultural resources at Yellowstone National Park include one of the West’s most pristine archaeological records, documenting the over 11,500 year presence of prehistoric and historic period Native Americans, and historic period explorers, trappers, U.S. military personnel, and tourists. The park has documented over 2,000 archaeological sites, with less than 3% of its area investigated. The Archeology Program manages the park’s archaeological heritage, pursues research, and provides technical guidance on the preservation and protection of archaeological resources.
The archaeology intern will work as part of a team responsible for inventory, monitoring, evaluation, and management of archaeological resources within the park.
Fieldwork is among the most important duties, and the intern will assist with more complicated projects, including assessing known archaeological sites for impacts related to geological processes (flooding, erosion, wildfire burns, etc.) and increased visitation, and with determinations of eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places.
While engaged in office duties, the intern will assist with data management, as well as complete an independent research project; topic will be determined by the intern and Park Archeologist based on intern’s academic interests and park needs.
Internship Work and Environment:
This is an in-person internship only and housing will be provided.
Intern housing will in either Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, or five miles north in Gardiner, Montana. No family housing is available for this internship. Housing will be in a shared setting with common living room, kitchen and bathroom facilities. Each person is responsible for cleaning their own space and common areas, as well as removal of all trash and recycling. There are laundry facilities onsite. Pets are not allowed in shared government housing.
The intern can anticipate 50-70% of work will be outdoor/fieldwork, and 30-50% of time will be indoor/office work.
While the intern will be based at the Heritage Research Center (HRC) in Gardiner, Montana for office work, for some fieldwork overnight stays involving camping or use of cabins in the park’s interior are anticipated. Camping gear can be provided. Travel for fieldwork will be in a government vehicle.
The intern will work as part of the archaeology program, as well as directly with the Park Archeologist (internship supervisor/mentor). The Archeology program includes professional NPS Archeological Technicians, Native Student Intern, and Volunteers.
There will be two Bill Lane Center interns at Yellowstone in the summer of 2023. The other opportunity is for the Yellowstone National Park, Museum Internship.
It will be very useful for the intern to have a car. Mammoth Hot Springs, WY is the headquarters of Yellowstone National Park and is a rural community not serviced by public transportation. Within walking distance (1 mile or less) of housing is a gas station, post office, medical clinic, hotel, two restaurants, and the Albright Visitor Center.
Five miles north of Mammoth is the town of Gardiner, Montana. Gardiner has all of the major amenities of a small town including, gas stations, grocery store, drug store, bank, restaurants, bars, churches, library, hotels, and post office. 52 miles north of Gardiner is the city of Livingston, Montana and Bozeman, Montana is 26 miles west of Livingston.
Location: Gardiner, Montana (housing is provided in either Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming or Gardiner, Montana)
- The intern will have various field duties, such as taking field notes, creating field maps, taking photos, operating a GPS unit, and assisting with delineating site boundaries and condition assessments.
- Field duties may also include excavating shovel test units, screening soil matrix, recording/collecting artifacts, and recording soils data.
- Pre-fieldwork preparatory duties include collecting information for planning new fieldwork using maps and site files housed onsite in the lab.
- Office duties include preparing site condition assessment forms, and assisting with database management and official site file records.
- Additional duties may include preparing official archaeological site forms and drafting site maps using ArcGIS online. Lab duties also include analyzing and cataloguing artifacts, as well as preparing those collected for final curation in the park's collections.
Bill Lane Center internships are part of Cardinal Quarter opportunities and students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The opportunities are full-time (35-40 hours a week) for 10 consecutive weeks during the summer. Specific start and end dates can be coordinated directly with the supervisor.
- Students are not permitted to engage in another full-time internship, job, or volunteer opportunity (whether funded by Stanford or otherwise) during this full-time, summer internship.
- Student athletes should confirm the impact of any awarded stipend on their athletic eligibility by contacting the Compliance Services Office prior to committing to a research project or internship.
All undergraduates, including graduating seniors, are eligible. Coterms are eligible only if they hold undergraduate status.
For more helpful application advice, please visit the BLC’s FAQs page.
Application Guidelines for this Internship:
This is a very remote internship so students must be independent.
The internship is geared towards students entering their junior or senior years, but dedicated students entering their sophomore year have been successful applicants.
Pursuit of a degree or a minor in archaeology or anthropology, and/or historic preservation, or a documented interest in one of these disciplines is highly desired.
- The intern must be able to work both independently and as a member of a team.
- The intern must be able to hike up to fifteen miles daily at high elevations (between 5,500 and 11,000 feet AMSL), carrying loads up to 30 lbs. on a routine basis.
- Completion of at least one course in archaeology or a related field.
- Preference is given for applicants who have completed an archaeological field school or archaeological fieldwork training.
- Knowledge of the prehistory and/or history of North America is preferred.
Selection of applicants:
Complete applications are screened and finalists are contacted for an interview with staff from The Bill Lane Center for the American West. The top candidates for the position are forwarded to the organization for direct interviews with their potential supervisors and other staff.
Host organizations will then notify the Lane Center of their preferred candidate and that applicant will receive an internship offer from the Bill Lane Center by email.
The applicant is expected to respond promptly (within 48 hours) via email to the offer or the offer will be rescinded.
Once an applicant accepts an offer, they should promptly notify all other Stanford and non-Stanford programs to which they have applied that they have accepted another offer and withdraw their candidacy from those other opportunities.