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AmeriCorps Membership, Trails and Restoration Crew, California

American Conservation Experience

Santa Cruz ,  California

American Conservation Experience:  CA AmeriCorps Spring Program(ACE CA – 900 Hour CV/AmeriCorps Professional Development Internship) 

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Santa Cruz,  South Lake Tahoe, and Southern California is currently hiring energetic, ambitious young adults to participate as AmeriCorps members in a 26-week outdoor skills training program preparing them for careers in resource management with ACE, with other conservation corps, or with public agencies such as the National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife, or the Bureau of Land Management.  

ACE is currently hiring corps members for an AmeriCorps spring term in 2017: 


Start Date: March 26, 2017         End Date: September 23, 2017  (1 SPOT REMAINS!)

*An early arrival as soon as 3/24 may be required for out-of-state residents who need to complete CA state background checks. All checks must clear before earning AmeriCorps hours.


Start Date: April 9, 2017         End Date: October 7, 2017

*An early arrival as soon as 4/6 may be required for out-of-state residents who need to complete CA state background checks. All checks must clear before earning AmeriCorps hours.

A 900-hour, 26-week commitment is required.  *There may be opportunities available to continue with ACE after the 26-week period for the best performing crew members. Extensions to service are also dependent on available projects in the field and seasonal constraints.

Position Description:  Offered as an advanced, long-term opportunity to earn significant practical and environmental work experience, AmeriCorps Members at ACE California will spend approximately 6 months participating on complex trail construction, forestry, and environmental restoration projects under the guidance of ACE’s most highly skilled staff members.   The goal of the position is to accomplish meaningful project work for a variety of agencies while being exposed to various field techniques such as trail construction and maintenance, ecological restoration, dry stone masonry, and Leave-No-Trace principles. As skills develop, it’s expected to remain on a project and cohesive crew long-term to advance ones skills, leading to less project variety in relation.

AmeriCorps Members will also gain leadership skills while helping to supervise, train, and generally support current and incoming ACE volunteers and Corps members, who are rotated into new and ongoing long-term projects.  All work is physically demanding, often requiring stints in the backcountry and/or extended stays in the field.   This position requires hiking, backpacking, camping and cooking outdoors while at front country and wilderness spike camps.  Members will also be expected to serve as ambassadors of ACE and citizens of their local community by coordinating one volunteer event (Volunteer Service Project – VSP), recruiting a minimum of ten members of the Santa Cruz/SLT/SoCal ACE housing community or a local community near a project site to participate in a volunteer day alongside ACE members or with local residents for the common good.

Location:  Projects throughout the 2017 season will take place at various locations throughout California. All participants must be flexible and willing to be assigned to a variety of locations and for multiple agencies, wherever community need is the highest.  Projects awarded to ACE California typically vary in length from one week to four months so members should expect varied opportunities during their 26-week term. Crew members’ project schedule is comprised of multiple short-term ‘hitches’ on average 8-11 days long. Members return to the same project until completion, and/or to other projects in motion. Flexibility is necessary for locations during days-off, as you will spend days-off in potentially housing locations of Santa Cruz, South Lake Tahoe, Southern California(new for 2016/2017), and/or time-off on project sites.

Benefits: Upon successful completion of the program, members receive an AmeriCorps/Segal Education Award of up to $2887.50 to be used to pay future tuition or federal student loans. More information regarding amount and eligibility, see the AmeriCorps website.   Food is provided on project days, and housing (volunteer housing, tents, primitive facilities) is included both on and off projects.

AmeriCorps Members at ACE California receive a living allowance of $6,400 (before tax) for 900 hours of service, spread evenly over the 26-week period. The living allowance calculates to $246.15 per week before taxes & housing deduction ($246.15 = $6400 divided by 26 weeks). This is a gross amount before taxes, and the standard amount of state and federal income taxes/withholdings may be applied by law. Members pay $25.00/week for ACE housing on off-days in Santa Cruz/South Lake Tahoe/SoCal as an automatic deduction from the living allowance.

Qualifications:    Applicants should have an established interest in conservation issues and should take joy in tackling challenging situations with a positive mindset.  Applicants must be willing to undertake arduous physical work in all types of weather and terrain, and to participate as a team member dedicated to ACE’s mission.   ACE’s Conservation Corps Program is meant as a stepping stone to environmental careers and as a gateway to potential advancement within ACE, not only as an interesting and rewarding way to spend several weeks working in beautiful locations.  Drug users, including users of marijuana, should not consider applying as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing and absolutely abhors the presence of drug users in our program. ACE intends to be a positive influence and intends to create safe and healthy environments for our members. The culture of alcohol and tobacco use is also restricted from ACE property and not supported by our mission of professionalism and personal development.

Other Requirements: 

  • Program is available to US Citizens and Green Card holders only.
  • Members must have personal medical insurance for the duration of their participation with ACE.
  • To prove eligibility and citizenship, members must be able to provide ORIGINALS of the following documents: 1) Social Security card, 2) Passport –OR- Birth certificate, 3) Photo ID (passport, driver’s license, military license, or student ID)
  • ACE will provide tents to all Members (upon request) but all other camping items such as sturdy boots, sleeping bags, backpacks, and raingear must be provided by the applicant.
  • Due to fire hazard conditions in ACE, smoking is not permitted in many of the sensitive worksites. Smoking is not allowed on ACE property.
  • This position is a “covered position” that may entail episodic (temporary) access to vulnerable populations such as youth and the elderly.  Selection for the position is contingent upon a review of all Criminal History results.

Age: 18-25 (as per AmeriCorps national guidelines, however ACE reserves the ability to set alternative upper age guidelines, please inquire if necessary)

Training:  Trainings may include a variety of technical project and outdoor skills such as retaining wall construction, rock step construction, rock drilling, splitting and shaping, setting up rigging systems, tread and switchback construction, installing water bars, check dams and other erosion control devices, restoration management, or GPS use. Certification-style training such as CPR/First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, and Leave No Trace Training may be included, dependent on project scheduling, available classes, and training staff. Practical work and environmental training abound, we encourage the growth of our short-term corps members to continue and develop to eventually be present for future certifications that become available with an extended commitment. Membership spanning several seasons allows for additional training opportunities.


To Apply: Fill in your basic information and click "APPLY FOR THIS POSITION"  located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing above or find on our website here: Upload all request documents including your motivation statement, resume, and 3 professional references. Rather than a traditional cover letter, please include a motivation statement which sincerely describes your interests, skills, professional goals, and any other relevant information in regards to this opportunity. This is your opportunity to stand out and express why you are a great fit for our program, in your own words.

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time, and is open until filled. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact the California Outreach Coordinator, Marcel Coppolino at 928-814-3191 or

Also, consider checking out our Facebook page and social media for more details about ACE!

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)  To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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