Participant Information

Fees & Deposits

Many thanks to our partners, sponsors, and donors who enable us to offer this program at no cost to active duty military personnel and veterans, at reduced cost to students and others, and offer stipends to qualified applicants as they become available. Because we are a non-profit foundation and do rely on outside support, fees and stipend offers are subject to change.

  • Military veterans and active duty military personnel pay no fees
  • Military veterans will be offered a $500/month stipend for each of the three months of the program (subject to change)
  • CPI is unable to offer stipends for active duty military as per Federal regulations
  • $5000 fee for students and others payable upon session start date (subject to change) 


Alcatraz: Housing is provided by CPI in partnership with the National Park Service. Housing is located in the beautiful Marin Headlands just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The site is located within the National Park along the Pacific Ocean, just minutes from downtown San Francisco. The area boasts some of the most spectacular hiking and mountain biking in the Bay Area. We are fortunate to share these NPS intern facilities with other Park programs; an experience that provides the opportunity to interact with interns from diverse backgrounds and interests who are all dedicated to stewardship of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Private bedrooms with shared kitchen and bath facilities.

Pearl Harbor: Active duty participant housing is at Hawaii military bases

How to apply

  • Submit an application
  • Submit one letter of recommendation.
  • Veterans are required to submit DD214 form as instructed on CPI application
  • Active duty military personnel will be required to submit documentation of official military authorization to participate if accepted (call to inquire about this process)

My experience on Alcatraz was incredible. I learned more than I ever imagined I would. The instruction was amazing and the industry contacts I have as a result of the experience will carry into my future career. 
~ Michelle, 2013

​​​​​Who should apply

  • Pearl Harbor: Active duty military personnel from any service branch with proper military authorization may apply - call to inquire
  • Alcatraz: Post 9/11 Military veterans who have served at least 24 months since 9/11/2001 and were honorably discharged (exceptions may be made in special cases) and college students and other young adults interested in our Field Training experience and working hand-in-hand with veterans
  • Participants with exceptional performance may be encouraged to apply for a second session as a CPI Fellow at their current location or another CPI Field Training location across the United States
  • No prior experience necessary but must be at least 18 years of age
  • Please see CPI Application to apply

​​​​Optional and recommended items

Alcatraz Program:You might consider bringing a mountain or road bike, hiking boots, running shoes, light and heavy jackets for varying weather conditions, special small cooking equipment, fishing poles, and/or other reasonable items for recreation and pastime. We recommend bringing a camera for the spectacular Golden Gate National Park and other Field School location projects and scenery. If you are participating at the Alcatraz location, we recommend a Giant's baseball cap to wear in case you and your team decide to take the ferry across the San Francisco Bay to a Giant's game. We welcome patronage for other sports teams, but please note that we do take our SF Giants very seriously.

 Pearl Harbor: Participants are active duty military so all off-duty time activities are guided by military rules and expectations.

Required items

  • Individuals are required to provide their own steel toe work boots, long-sleeve work shirts, and full-length work pants
  • CPI program shirts, hats, and necessary Personal Protective Equipment provided


Alcatraz: Transportation to and from CPI housing and Alcatraz Island for work days is provided. Transportation to and from San Francisco at the beginning and end of a session and personal transportation outside of work hours are the responsibility of individual participants. The Marin Headlands housing is somewhat remote so individual cars are recommended; however, public transportation is available to points within and around San Francisco and the CPI van regularly stops at local stores to allow participants to purchase food and other necessities. 

Pearl Harbor: Transportation is the responsibility of active duty military participants; CPI will assist with parking arrangements.