ACE: National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Survey Field Team Member, Traveling Nationally – AmeriCorps eligible
ACE EPIC placements provide recent young adult graduates with focused, hands-on opportunities to work alongside and under the guidance of agency mentors as they apply their knowledge of resource management on their path to becoming the next generation of resource and land managers.
Summary: American Conservation Experience, a non-profit youth and young adult Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS, the Service), is seeking up to eight (8) National Visitor Survey team members to help implement a multi-year nationwide survey of visitors to national wildlife refuges. This position involves traveling to different national wildlife refuge units approximately every two weeks to recruit visitors for participation in a post-trip survey about their refuge visit. Individuals and teams are both encouraged to apply, as interns will travel and work as a pair.
For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: January 2022
End Date: May/June 2022 (20 weeks after start date)
Position Location: TBD (traveling)
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System) is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. More than 560 national wildlife refuges exist across the country, with at least one in every U.S. state and territory, and receive more than 50 million visitors annually. Understanding and characterizing visitors and their experiences on refuges is a critical element of managing Refuge System lands and waters.
The National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Survey effort is led by the Service’s Human Dimensions Branch, and provides the Service with information regarding visitors’ recreational, educational, and informational experiences, as well as visitors’ levels of satisfaction with current services and facilities. This information will help the Service track and understand how some of the complex changes occurring within American society (e.g., demographic changes, preferences) are likely to affect the future of the Refuge System.
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.
Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out during daylight hours. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. A flexible work schedule will be required, which could involve work performed outside of normal work hours including on weekends and/or holidays. Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.
Living Allowance: The National Visitor Survey team members will contribute ~40 hours/week and receive a $300/week living allowance paid out biweekly to cover all food and incidental living expenses.
Housing: Housing, and occasionally camping, will be provided at no cost at refuges and during travel between sites. When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required.
AmeriCorps: Team members MAY be eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award for up to $2,321 upon the successful completion of 675 hours of service, which may be used for qualifying educational expenses including student loan repayment.
Public Land Corps (PLC) Non-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.
This individual placement is meant to facilitate personal growth and professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with agency professionals. This could include gaining experience in a variety of conservation fields and/or shadowing FWS staff in different work groups.
Primary duties for this position will include:
- Participating in pre-sampling visitor recruitment training in Fort Collins, CO.
- Continuous travel to national wildlife refuges across the country, spending ~2 weeks at each refuge.
- Approaching visitors following survey protocols to collect a target number of visitor contact names and addresses per refuge.
- Participating in check-in calls with the National Visitor Survey Coordinator to report progress and discuss obstacles for completing tasks.
- Providing appropriate field documentation (e.g., photos, reports, blogs).
- Remotely assisting the National Visitor Survey Coordinator with project-related tasks.
- Assisting with other projects specific to the assigned refuges as time permits (e.g., conducting visitor counts, assisting with wildlife surveys, removing invasive species).
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.
Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The National Visitor Survey Team Members may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources.
Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the FWS or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the FWS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the FWS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.
Applicants must have a degree (or be pursuing a degree) in environmental science, natural resource management, social science, parks and recreation, biology, ecology or other related disciplines appropriate to the position. A combination of relevant education and appropriate experience is also acceptable.
- Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- Must be between the ages of 21 and 30 (35 if military service).
- Must have a valid driver’s license and clean driving record. No personal vehicle is necessary as all travel between refuges and on site will be in the ACE project vehicle.
- Successful completion of a federal criminal background check.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team with minimal supervision.
- Ability to communicate orally in a courteous, professional manner to a variety of individuals (e.g., USFWS professionals, visitors, the public) from diverse backgrounds.
- Willingness to represent ACE and USFWS in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
- Proper wearing of ACE uniform components, including AmeriCorps logo.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate both verbally and in writing in a way that is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.
- Demonstrated ability to organize and coordinate work within schedule constraints and handle emergent requirements in a timely manner.
- Experience and/or knowledge in the mission of the USFWS.
- Experience identifying and addressing challenges on a project before they become issues.
- Experience interacting with the public or in a customer service setting
- Bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish.
- Strong desire to enter public service as a natural/cultural/social resource professional.
ACE Emerging Professionals must be willing to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties including while on federal property or in a FWS or ACE vehicle, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.
To Apply: Please submit your resume, thoughtful cover letter, and contact for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. Please indicate in your cover letter whether you are available for the entire project duration.
NOTE: Former National Visitor Survey Field Teams have documented their experiences in a blog. To read their posts, go to https://www.usaconservation.org/epic-fish-and-wildlife-service/
Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC National Visitor Survey Coordinator, Sarah Rappaport, 201.788.0297, email@example.com or ACE EPIC USFWS Division Support Specialist, Adam Auerbach, 720.812.1619, firstname.lastname@example.org.
EOE: 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.