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Biological Support Member

American Conservation Experience

Yazoo City, Mississippi

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $600/week + Housing + AmeriCorps
Deadline Sep 01, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Summary
American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking One Member to contribute as Biological Support alongside Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff. During this term, the ACE member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the accomplishment of diverse management activities on various wildlife habitats, forested wetlands, upland and riverine habitats for the improvement and/or maintenance of these habitats for the benefit of a wide variety of plant and animal species.

For more information about ACE, please visit the USA Conservation website.

Start Date: Late July 2024 *Flexible start date
Estimated End Date: June 2025
*a 48 week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description: Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Mississippi; the member will be stationed at Panther Swamp NWR, Yazoo City, MS. 

The Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Complex conserves wildlife and honors the legacy of Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States and the founder of the National Wildlife Refuge System. For more information about USFWS and the National Wildlife Refuges within this Complex, please visit the Headquarters Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex , please visit the FWS website.

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 that mission at Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex. 

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

  • Assisting with water management, including operating water control structures, checking pumps, de-watering impoundments, and monitoring water levels.
  • Conducting and assisting with vegetation and/or wildlife surveys, including migratory bird and waterfowl surveys, in accordance with station objectives.
  • Sign upkeep and installation on the refuges, including sensitive areas such as waterfowl sanctuaries, closed areas, boundaries, and other locations.
  • Cultivation / planting / monitoring of croplands and moist soil units and/or sensitive areas.
  • Operating and maintaining refuge equipment including all-terrain vehicles, 4x4 trucks, trailers, boats, and heavy equipment.
  • Assisting with the control of invasive and nuisance species. Identifying, mapping, and treating areas, including the application of herbicides and removal of beaver/nutria dams to protect other natural resources.
  • Assisting with the gathering of biological data in the preparation of plans and reports relating to plants, fish, and wildlife, and assisting with data compilation, input, and reporting.
  • Assisting with public use programs (e.g., fishing, hunting, wildlife observation, environmental education, and other recreation).
  • Other duties will include trail construction and upkeep, providing or assisting with environmental education programs and visitor services, mowing, filing and scanning, and other administrative duties.

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 (7:30am-4pm).  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 over 8-hour work days and working on weekends and/or holidays.  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 $600/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly..  

AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for an 1700-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2023/24 grant year program, valued up to $6,895.00 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 1700 hrs. 

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

Qualifying Child Care Coverage: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for qualifying child care coverage. 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.

Housing:  The ACE member will be accommodated in provided FWS housing at no cost for the duration of the term.

Gear Reimbursement:  The ACE member will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear for this position includes boots, pants, outerwear, etc., and must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase. 

Scholarship Funding Opportunity: The selected candidate(s) for this position will be eligible to apply for ACE’s Access and Inclusion Scholarship. This is a $500 scholarship which is intended to make participation in ACE positions more accessible to individuals who are underrepresented in the conservation field. Recipients will be able to allocate this funding to financial need(s) of their choosing. A limited number of scholarships are available. 

Provided Training/Orientation: The ACE member will receive position-specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support. Specific training may include ORUV (ATV/UTV), chainsaw, First Aid/CPR, and others.

Qualifications 

Required:

  • 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 two-part criminal history check. 
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • 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.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements

Preferred:

  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing an associate’s degree in Environmental Studies, Wildlife Biology, Forestry, Natural Resource Management or related field of study and/or have relevant experience. 
  • Knowledge of biological fieldwork
  • Experience with equipment maintenance and operation of 4x4 trucks, trailers, agricultural tractors, ATV / UTV, hand tools, boats and using Geographic Information Systems, mapping (GPS). 
  • Deep interest in Wildlife Biology, Forestry, Natural Resources Management. 

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions: 

  • Physical Demands: 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.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus. 
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 40 lbs., ability to move up to 40 pounds.
  • Travel: This position does not require unique travel.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards:  The ACE member 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.

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.  

HOW TO APPLY

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: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/1107248.html.

Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. ACE values an inclusive workforce - if you meet at least 70 percent of the qualifications, we want to hear from you!

EEO: Employment with ACE is based upon ability, qualifications, attitude, and job-related factors. Every qualified employee or applicant has the same opportunity for recruitment, hire, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, demotion, termination, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information (including of a family member), veteran or military status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition, marital or parental status, political affiliation, ethnicity, hair texture or style, arrest record, caste, hereditary status, endogamy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship, Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife
Tags Trail Maintenance, Outreach, Ornithology