Invasive Species Support Member - Northwest North Dakota National Wildlife Refuge Complex

American Conservation Experience

Upham, North Dakota

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $600/week
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking 5 members (2 at J Clark Salyer NWR, 2 at Lostwood NWR, and 1 at Upper Souris NWR) to contribute to invasive species management and biology projects alongside National Wildlife Refuge Staff.

For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.

Start Date: May (Flexible)

Estimated End Date: November (Flexible)
*a 24-week minimum commitment is required, approximately 960 hours*

Location Details/Description: J Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge, Upham, ND;  Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, Kenmare, ND; or Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge, Carpio, ND

Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935. The Refuge lies in the lake bed of glacial Lake Souris, once home to the Arikara, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Hidatsa, Lakota, and Mandan Tribes of American Indians. Retreating glaciers created the rolling hills and temporary wetlands of today's landscape. Most of the Refuge is composed of river valley wetland habitat bordered by a narrow strip of upland vegetation. The southern portion of the Refuge includes wooded river bottomlands, floodplain meadows, and native prairie sandhills. The sandhills are remnants of wind-and-wave borne deposits on the ancient lakeshore. The land cover types found here - mixed grass prairie, river valley, marshes, sandhills, and woodlands - come together to support an abundant variety of wildlife.The primary purpose of the Refuge is to provide habitat for waterfowl, migratory birds, and other wildlife. 

Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge is located in the physiographic region of North Dakota named the Missouri Coteau. Coteau is French for "little hill." This distinctive landscape of rolling hills and wetlands was shaped by glaciers. The glaciers melted away 10,000 years ago, leaving behind a moraine or ridge of rocks and soil varying in width from 10 to 60 miles. This glaciated region extends from southeast Alberta to northwest Iowa and is also known as the Prairie Pothole Region. Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge is designated a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Birding Conservancy and National Audubon Society. The Refuge provides essential habitat for rare grassland bird species such as Sprague's pipit and Baird's sparrow. Some of the larger, showy members of the mixed grass prairie include marbled godwit, upland sandpiper, and willet.

Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge is located in north central North Dakota, along the western loop of the Souris River. The refuge encompasses over 32,000 acres of native prairie, marshes, and woodlands. Near refuge headquarters is Lake Darling Dam. This earthen structure creates a 9,600 acre reservoir that supports one of the finest fisheries in the area.  Northern pike, walleye and yellow perch are the most sought after by anglers. The refuge also supports a wide variety of wildlife, including big game animals such as the abundant white-tailed deer and an occasional moose. A large number of small game species inhabit the area. Avid waterfowlers and birders alike will be amazed at the large number of ducks and geese the area supports. Songbirds thrive in the refuges diverse upland habitats. New life birds are abundant. The Wetland Management District covers main stem Ward County and currently has 26 Waterfowl Production Areas under management out of this office as well.

For more information about Lostwood NWR, please visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/lostwood/about-us

For more information about J Clark Salyer NWR, please visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/J_clark_salyer/

For more information about Upper Souris NWR, please visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/upper-souris

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 in Northwest North Dakota. 

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

  • Map invasive plants using a rapid protocol established in the Prairie Region;
  • Search for new invasive species infestations (Early Detection Rapid Response) 
  • Assist with training another member on plant identification and pesticide use
  • Safely mix pesticides for application
  • Assist with planning locations and strategies for invasive plant management
  • Spot and broadcast application of general use pesticides (with oversight from refuge staff) using light trucks and UTVs;
  • Collect and translocate leafy spurge beetles for biological control;
  • Maintain station grounds by mowing lawns, mulching, weed eating, and trimming shrubs. Utilize hand tools or tractors and skid steer type loaders, perform work of spreading gravel or soils to rough grades.
  • Assist Refuge staff with facility maintenance projects and with maintenance of equipment.
  • Assist with other biological work, and other Refuge work (e.g. public outreach) as opportunities and interest allows.

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.  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.

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.

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 and 640 hours of service. If the duration of a PLC-eligible term is not long enough for Members to accrue 640 hours of service (~16 weeks), the total hours served at the completion of the term may be eligible to be combined with hours accrued from another PLC-eligible term to meet the 640 hours requirement. 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: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements

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

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

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. Specific training may include ATV/UTV, North Dakota commercial pesticide applicator, heavy equipment (ag tractor, skidsteer, payloader), and defensive driving training.

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. Scholarship recipients will be able to allocate this funding to financial need(s) of their choosing. A limited number of scholarships are available. 



  • 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.
  • Must take all measures possible to ensure the safety of yourself and others and understand all safety precautions involved
  • A personal vehicle is required for off-duty hours due to the distance of housing to office and store.
  • Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions.
  • Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time. 
  • Ability to complete tasks independently and work well in a team
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements


  • Holding or pursuing at least a 2-year college degree (education or experience in natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject preferred)
  • Experience with invasive plant management
  • Experience identifying native and invasive plants
  • Pesticide applicators license is a plus
  • Experience with data collection software and equipment (ie, GIS and iPads)
  • Ability to follow assigned protocols to perform tasks with many steps.
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field as a natural resource professional.
  • Desire to explore the national wildlife refuges in the Northern Great Plains Prairie Pothole Region.

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. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and camp overnight under field conditions.
  • 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 25 lbs., ability to move up to 50 lbs.
  • 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.

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: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/1083883. 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 Member Manager, Saige Ruleau at sruleau@usaconservation.org

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 Botany , Ecology
Tags GIS