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National Wildlife Refuge Support Members - Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge Complex

National Wildlife Refuge Support Members - Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge Complex

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking one National Wildlife Refuge Support Member to contribute to work alongside Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge staff. During this term, the ACE member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS management and biology staff in the accomplishment of wildlife refuge projects and operations.

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: Flexible April
Estimated End Date: September/October 2023
*a 24 week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description: Everglades Headwaters, Pelican Island, Archie Carr, and Lake Wales Ridge NWRs. Based at Pelican Island NWR in Vero Beach, FL.
For more information about Everglades Headwaters, and additional National Wildlife Refuges in the Complex, please visit: 

Position Overview: The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. This position will help FWS realize the mission at Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge Complex.The position at the Everglades Headwaters NWRC will provide a well-rounded experience in the natural resource field. The member will work as part of a small team to help manage the Refuge completing such tasks as biological surveys, routine maintenance, public programs, and administrative tasks.
The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the accomplishment of:
  • Participating in habitat management and monitoring including invasive plant control and mapping, mechanical treatment of woody vegetation, vegetation surveys, and prescribed burns.
  • Organizing and conducting monthly public lands cleanups.
  • Maintaining accurate and detailed field records, entering data promptly and accurately.
  • Assisting with public outreach including visitor contact and environmental education.
  • Assisting with general facilities and grounds work, including trail clearing.
  • Managing Refuge social media accounts.
  • Working with volunteers on a regular basis.
This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.

Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday - Friday, normal business hours.  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.  The member will be expected to work 1-2 Saturdays per month (in exchange for a weekday to maintain ~40 hours per week).  Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $350/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $3,247.50 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 900 hrs.

Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for federal loan forbearance. Additional enrollment steps are required.  

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online here

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term.  All utilities are included.  Housing is a 4 bedroom and 3 bathroom building and a maximum capacity of 3 people.  Housing is within walking distance to the main office.  When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required.

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support.

  • Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. 
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass the required three-part criminal history check.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • 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.
  • ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning of term feedback forms, end of term evaluations and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation. 
  • Member may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement or as defined by AmeriCorps.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website here
  • Ability to communicate effectively to Refuge visitors and staff, both orally and written
  • Knowledge of natural sciences
  • Ability to work in very hot, humid, and buggy conditions
  • Willingness to work varying hours including weekends

  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology, environmental science, natural resource management, forestry, or other related discipline appropriate to this position
  • Knowledge of USFWS mission
  • Experience, professional or personal, with hand tools used for landscape and trail maintenance
  • Experience conducting invasive plant management
  • Basic GPS and GIS skills
  • Basic plant identification skills
  • Strong interest in public relations and conservation education

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:
  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent sitting, standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talking and hearing. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus. 
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Ability to move up to 40 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools.
  • Travel: This position does not require unique travel.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards:  The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme 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. South Florida has average temperatures in the 80's-90's during the summer months, with rainfall almost daily. This position will require extended time outdoors, in hot, humid, and buggy conditions. Field work is often done in remote areas, including wetlands. 

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.  

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: 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 FWS Program Manager, Johannah McCollum,, (701) 389-2152.

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.