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A Look at the Department of the Interior

Department of the Interior headquarters at 18th and C Streets, NW in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons by AgnosticPreachersKid)
Department of the Interior headquarters at 18th and C Streets, NW in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons by AgnosticPreachersKid)

If you'd like to play a role -- large or small, direct or indirect -- in managing America's many natural and cultural resources, you may want to consider exploring a career with the US Department of the Interior (DOI).

Created in 1849, the DOI now employs more than 70,000 Americans in more than 90 specific DOI occupational titles, ranging from the obvious (e.g., biological scientist, ecologist, forester, park ranger) to the less expected but equally important (e.g., auditor, computer specialist, historian, public affairs specialist, and office assistant).

The DOI employs people in over 2,000 locations throughout the United States and its territories. Whatever your particular abilities, skills, and educational background, there's probably a place for you in one of the department's eight bureaus:

  • The National Park Service, which oversees the country's National Park System as well as historic sites associated with America's past.
  • The US Fish and Wildlife Service, which coordinates the protection of America's fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats.
  • The US Geological Survey, which studies the nation's natural resources and phenomena like earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and droughts.
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs, which manages the federal government's relationships with the 562 recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments across the country.
  • The Bureau of Land Management, which handles overall administration of about 260 million acres of America's public lands, located primarily in 12 western states.
  • The Minerals Management Service, which oversees the nation's natural gas, oil and other mineral resources within the "Outer Continental Shelf."
  • The Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, which collaborates with the states and American Indian tribes to protect both people and the environment during mining projects.
  • The Bureau of Reclamation, which manages water and hydroelectric power resources, particularly in the country's western states.
You can also explore job possibilities (and in some cases internship opportunities if you're a college student) within one of the DOI's administrative divisions. These include:
  • The Office of the Solicitor, which serves as the DOI's general counsel on legal matters.
  • The Office of the Inspector General, which coordinates audits and investigations within the DOI to promote efficiency and prevent or detect fraud, waste and abuse.
  • The Office of the Secretary, which is responsible for the overall direction and supervision of the DOI's activities and operations.

"We are the guardians of our nation's natural resources and cultural heritage," notes former Interior Secretary Gale Norton in her "Message from the Secretary." If you'd like to learn more about how you might become one such guardian, check out the following resources:

Search government jobs today in the Government & Law Enforcement Career Center.

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