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Non-native Snapping Turtle Survey Members (2) - Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, AZ

Non-native Snapping Turtle Survey Members (2) - Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, AZ

ACE EPIC placements provide young adults 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.

Funding for ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults.

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking TWO (2) Non-native Snapping Turtle Survey Members to contribute to a snapping turtle detection project in partnership with Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. During this term, the ACE members will conduct a snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) eradication pilot study at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in partnership with Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD).

Start Date: ASAP (Summer 2022)
End Date: 10/1/2022
**8-week commitment required**

Location: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, AZ

Cibola National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1964 as mitigation for the straightening, channelization, and armoring of the banks of the Colorado River by the Bureau of Reclamation to prevent flooding. The purpose of the 18,444-acre refuge is to protect and recreate the marshes, backwaters, and meanders that historically provided wintering grounds for migratory waterfowl and other wildlife that natural flooding would have formed. 

For more information about the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, please visit:

Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday - Thursday on a four days a week, 10 hours a day schedule. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. A flexible work schedule may 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 ACE Member is expected to contribute at approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $400/week to offset the costs of food, housing, and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: The ACE member will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term. When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required.

Position Description:

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 different work groups.

This position will conduct a snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) eradication pilot study at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in partnership with Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD). Snapping turtles are non-native to the Colorado River basin and prey upon native wildlife species. There have been three records of snapping turtles on the Colorado River, one at Cibola Lake in Cibola NWR in the spring of 2022, one at Taylor Lake near Imperial NWR in 2021, and one at Imperial Dam in 2020. The population and breeding status of snapping turtles in the Colorado River is unknown. Information is needed to assess the population status and foraging habits of snapping turtles in the Lower Colorado River.

The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the accomplishment of:

  • Walking adjacent wetlands in waders, through tall grasses/cattails
  • Operating non-motorized watercraft (certification will be provided)
  • Riding in motorized watercraft as necessary
  • Setting and checking baited box traps on a regular schedule
  • Euthanizing snapping turtles if applicable according to AGFD veterinary guidelines
  • Conducting informal interviews with recreationists to potentially identify new snapping turtle sighting locations and conduct outreach about species impacts
  • Surveying for other non-native species may occur

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; operating canoes and kayaks; and wading through deep water and walking through 6-foot tall vegetation (grasses and cattails). Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The members will encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The members will operate non-motorized watercraft which requires safe use and cautious behavior. The members are 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 or AZGFD. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), 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.


  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Ability to perform the primary duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization (FWS) in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.

  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold a minimum of a high school diploma or GED and/or have interest in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject.
  • Knowledge of Arizona reptile and amphibian species.
  • Experience paddling canoe and kayak.
  • Experience handling herptiles.
  • Deep interest in conservation, threatened and endangered species, and invasive species control.

To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here:

NOTE: 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, Andrew Garcia, at or 928-419-7035.

Vaccination Requirement: ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.

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.