American Conservation Experience is a national non-profit organization that provides rewarding conservation service opportunities for young adults and emerging professionals of all backgrounds to explore and improve public lands while gaining practical professional experience.
Founded in 2004, ACE has continued to grow and expand its programming partnerships that include federal land management agencies and dozens of federal, state, municipal, and nonprofit partnerships. Currently ACE operates out of hubs in Flagstaff, AZ; Sacramento, CA; Ridgecrest, CA; Hurricane, UT and Asheville, NC along with a robust remote workforce located across the country. We have completed projects in all 50 states and several territories and we engage members from across the US and Puerto Rico.
In addition to our ACE Conservation Crew program, we also feature an individual placement program, Emerging Professionals in Conservation (EPIC), as well as programming focused on private lands.
ACE CREW: ACE’s Conservation Crew program is for American participants, ages 18 - 30 (veterans up to age 35) who are considering land management as a career path or potential course of study. Members serve in professionally supervised teams as they explore future outdoor careers, learn practical field skills, and develop confidence as emerging leaders in the field of conservation. Working alongside staff from the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and many other public land agencies, members gain invaluable career perspectives and mentorship in a variety of areas. Crew members may apply for 3, 6, 9 month or longer terms, with opportunities for extensions, as well as possibilities to move up in the program to become Assistant Leaders or staff as Crew Leaders, Project Managers, and beyond.
Members are supported during their service terms with a living allowance, transportation and food on projects, and free common housing on off days in most locations. Participants are also able to earn Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards commensurate with their chosen term of service. Education awards can be used post-term for expenses such as tuition, student loans or fees, and a breadth of study or certification courses, including many offered by NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). ACE Conservation Crew offers a variety of terms at our different locations. Please visit our website, usaconservation.org, for further details.
ACE EPIC: ACE EPIC individual placements and fellowships provide recent 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. The EPIC Program not only provides an invaluable step for those seeking a link between the academic and professional worlds but also allows members to explore, connect, and preserve America’s natural and cultural resources as they gain professional skills and cultivate their careers in the resource management field. EPIC operates in coalition with partners such as the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other conservation-focused groups. Positions typically last 3-12 months.
EPIC members often have degrees and/or experience in disciplines such as, but not limited to: conservation or wildlife biology, botany, ecology, entomology, forestry, geography, archaeology, paleontology, geology, environmental sciences, recreation or natural resources management, or cultural resources. Members earn a living allowance and are provided with either dormitory housing at their service location or a housing allowance in many cases. ACE is a proud partner and supporter of AmeriCorps, and many EPIC positions allow members the opportunity to earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.
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