2015 Cordell Roy Internship at Ripple Rock Nature Center

Ripple Rock Nature Center Pick

Sponsored by Utah Valley University and Capitol Reef National Park

Job Description

Critical elements of the job include but are not limited to the following major responsibilities:

  • Interpretation. Assist visitors in gaining an understanding of and appreciation for the unique features of Capitol Reef National Park. Present the established Junior Geologist program at the nature center and develop a new nature talk, using National Park Service methods of interpretation. Provide informal interpretation to visitors at the visitor center and the nature center. Programs are designed to reach a wide variety of audiences (especially children) and contribute to visitor understanding of and appreciation for park resources.
  • Customer service. Provide accurate information, and appropriate and professional customer service to all park visitors. Cooperatively staff the park visitor center information desk with park rangers and independently staff the Ripple Rock Nature Center. Maintain nature center facility cleanliness.
  • Projects and Special Assignments. Maintain interpretive and educational displays. 
  • Safety and Care of Government Equipment. Follow all safety regulations and guidelines; practice safe work habits; properly check out, use, care for, and check in park equipment, vehicles and property.
  • Communications. Communicate and cooperate with others to promote an effective and successful partnership.
  • Other Projects and Duties as Assigned.

Job Duration

The internship runs from May 4 through August 14, 2015; following a 5-4-9 schedule that allows for a three-day weekend every other week. Work schedule will be Wednesday through Sunday the first week of the pay period and Thursday through Sunday on the alternate week; nine-hour days with the exception of one eight hour day; for 15 weeks.  The nature center will be open Thursday through Sunday, with the alternating Wednesday worked being a research or project day, enabling the intern to research for programs, hike longer trails and explore operations in other divisions.

Obligations of the Intern

  • Attend seasonal park employee training and online training.
  • Comply with park regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Complete projects and assignments on time.
  • Wear appropriate UVU/Capitol Reef Field Station (CRFS) clothing and maintain a professional appearance.
  • As a representative of both UVU and CRFS, maintain a high level of professionalism and flexibility at all times.
  • Adhere to the specified dates of the agreement.
  • Follow all safety regulations and guidelines; practice safe work habits; properly check out, use, care for, and check in park equipment, vehicles and property.

The Facilities

The Ripple Rock Nature Center (RRNC) is an educational facility that opened in May of 1999. During each summer season, RRNC is visited by approximately 3500 people. These visitors include families, student and civic groups who learn about the natural history of the Capitol Reef area.

Originally built in 1957, this two-room 940-square foot structure is conveniently located in the Park’s Fruita Historic District, approximately ¾ mile from the visitor center on the Scenic Drive. It is located between two fruit orchards, across from a blacksmith shop exhibit, adjacent to Sulphur Creek, and near a picnic area and historic pioneer farmstead. The building is set back from the road and surrounded by areas of rough lawn with mature shade trees.

The Park Visitor Center

The Park Visitor Center, built in the 1960s, is located at the junction of Utah Hwy 24 and the park's Scenic Drive. Open year-round, summer hours are 8:00 am – 6:00 pm and summer visitation can reach 1,000 daily. Exhibits and a movie describe park resources, activities and facilities.

Scholarship Award

The recipient is awarded a $7000 scholarship for living expenses.


The Park provides the intern with one private bedroom in a coed multi-bedroom house with shared living, kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Intern qualifications

  • Must be a current student at UVU with a 3.0 GPA or higher (preferably in junior or senior year of program).
  • Must have background and interest in areas of biology, botany, geology, recreation, natural resources, natural history, human history, education, or interpretation.
  • Must be willing to live at Capitol Reef National Park throughout the duration of the internship.
  • Must be mature, independent, and self-motivated.
  • Must be able to hike, load materials, and carry out activities related to the Ripple Rock Nature Center mission.

To Apply

  • Email your resume, cover letter, UVU transcript, and 2 letters of recommendation to crfs@uvu.edu
  • For more information contact Annette Harrington, CRFS Administrative Assistant (annetteh@uvu.edu) or Michael Stevens, CRFS Director (michael.stevens@uvu.edu)

Application materials must be submitted by Feb. 18, 2015.


Cordell Roy

Cordell Roy began his NPS career as a volunteer at Everglades in 1972. He worked summer and winter seasons at Lassen Volcanic while finishing a degree in biological sciences at California State University, Chico. His first permanent NPS position was as a park technician at Petrified Forest in 1976. Assignments after that included Guadalupe Mountains (ranger), Chickasaw (district ranger), Capitol Reef, Everglades and Big Cypress (resource management specialist), Alaska Region (environmental specialist, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill damage assessment coordinator and coastal programs division chief), and Timpanogos and Chamizal (superintendent). He also served acting superintendent assignments at Wrangell-St. Elias, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Bryce Canyon and Golden Spike. Cordell held an NPS law enforcement commission for 28 years and worked numerous major cases. He was the RS 2477 specialist for the Intermountain Region. In 1996 he enjoyed a detail to the personal staff of Senator Robert F. Bennett.

Cordell's unique understanding of Utah issues, and high respect of the NPS held for his professional skills led to his final assignment with the NPS as the Utah State Coordinator—a position he held from 2003 until his retirement in January 2011. As NPS State Coordinator for Utah, Cordell served as the principle representative of the NPS to the State of Utah. The Cordell Roy internship is funded by a generous grant to UVU given by Kevin Jones and others to honor Mr. Roy's service.