Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking Three Invasive Species Specialists to help with invasive species removal on the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge along the Texas coast. These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic individuals with a background in Wildlife Biology or Forestry who possess an interest in gaining experience in the field of Wildlife Conservation and Management.
San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge was established to provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl and other bird species. The refuge provides an end point for ducks and geese migrating south along the Central Flyway in winter, as well as an entry point for neotropical migratory songbirds headed north to their breeding grounds. More than 320 bird species visit the refuge throughout the year. The 54,000-acre refuge is a popular site for wildlife watching, photography, fishing, and environmental education.
Start Date: June 1st, 2021
End Date: November 26th, 2021
**26-week commitment required**
Location: San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge (part of the Texas Mid-Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex) Brazoria, Texas
Age Requirements: Funding for many ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults and therefore is subject to minimum and maximum age requirements of 18-30 (35 for veterans).
This position requires ACE or FWS vehicle operation in the performance of the duties and therefore the minimum age to be considered is 21.
Project Website: For more information about the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/San_Bernard/about.html
For more information regarding ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Housing: Refuge housing will be provided at no cost to the member.
Living Allowance: The ACE Member will complete 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $320/week, distributed biweekly, to cover the cost of food and incidental expenses.
AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($3,097.50) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment is required.
PLC Competitive Hiring Authority: Members serving on this project may be eligible to receive a Department of the Interior (DOI) PLC non-competitive hiring authority certificate upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours (16 weeks at 40 hours/week) and utilize their certificate when applying for qualifying federal positions within 2 years of receipt and before the age of 31. More information can be provided upon request.
The selected individuals (members) will work alongside FWS staff on a number of projects during their term. Members will work on a team to assist with the removal of invasive species on the San Bernard and Brazoria National Wildlife Refuges. Members will mix herbicides and apply herbicides to target vegetation with a variety of equipment and techniques. They will locate, identify and treat invasive species including Chinese tallow, deep-rooted sedge, tri-foliate orange and other species in prairie and forest habitats. Members will operate off-road utility vehicles to access refuge tracts.
Members will assist with the removal of invasive apple snails. Utilizing kayaks, members will paddle around infected lakes, collecting snails and removing them from the environment. Members may assist with gathering scientific data on a random group of snails. Members may assist with removing vegetation in which the snails lay eggs and directly remove eggs.
When weather is not conducive to invasive species treatments, members will assist with a variety of management activities, including gardening, removing vegetation from rookeries, trail and yard maintenance and removing fences.
Primary duties include:
- Mixing and applying herbicides to invasive species
- Record all invasive species treatment using GPS/ GIS (geographic information systems)
- Operate vehicles and off-road utility vehicles (ORUV’s) to access treatment locations
- Other duties as time and weather permits
Physical Requirements: This position requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over wet and rough surfaces while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements. Collecting survey data requires good vision and fieldwork results in exposure to such things as poison ivy insects, sun, wind, temperature variation and many varieties of pollen.
Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday-Friday, but may include some Saturday and holiday work during the summer. Members may have projects that begin very early and/or go late into the day and may have weekend duties as well. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. Time off will be granted on an as-needed basis.
Equipment Use: ACE and the FWS will provide a vehicle and the tools required to accomplish the tasks the member is asked to do. Training will be provided for all equipment that the member is asked to work with. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. A valid state driver’s license is required.
Position Environment: Duties are performed both indoors and outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources. The member will be working outdoors and may be exposed to heat or cold, humidity, stinging and biting insects, and inclement weather.
- U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
- Ability to undergo federal criminal background check
- At least 21 years of age (as required to operate ACE or Agency vehicles). PLC eligibility for those 30 years of age and under
- A valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and ability to provide such documentation
- Must take all measures possible to ensure the safety of yourself and others and understand all safety precautions involved
- Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions.
- Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time.
- Ability to complete tasks independently and work well in a team
- Ability to work doing strenuous activity for significant periods of time, often walking over rough terrain and in muddy conditions; on rough or uneven surfaces; wading through vegetation choked marshes, lifting and carrying heavy objects (40 lbs), and in many instances during difficult weather conditions.
- Proficient in English
- The member must be willing to represent ACE and the USFWS in a professional, positive and enthusiastic manner.
- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, botany, natural resource management, or other related discipline appropriate to this position.
- Ability to use computer technology to maintain and retrieve information from automated data systems, develop spreadsheets, and use word processing and statistical software programs in order to develop reports.
- Familiarity with geographic information system (GIS), aerial photography and survey techniques, and global positioning systems (GPS).
- Ability to communicate in writing in order to assist in the preparation of wildlife management survey summaries
- Ability to operate small watercraft, cars, trucks and trailers.
- Ability to use various specialized tools and equipment required to conduct wildlife studies surveys.
- Ability to capture, handle, and tag or collar various wildlife.
Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties or while on federal property, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.
To Apply: Please submit your resume, thoughtful cover letter, academic transcripts and contact for three professional/academic references to the online application page.
NOTE: Academic transcripts are required for verification of related coursework and professional development purposes, as opposed to evaluating prior academic performance. Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC USFWS Division Support Specialist, Cody Dems, 435.315.7067, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.