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National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Survey Field Team Members - Traveling Nationally

American Conservation Experience

Fort Collins, Colorado

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $500/week
Deadline May 01, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a non-profit conservation corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS, the Service), is seeking six (6) National Visitor Survey team members to help implement a multi-year nationwide survey of visitors to national wildlife refuges. This position involves traveling to different national wildlife refuge units approximately every two weeks to recruit visitors for participation in a post-trip survey about their refuge visit. Individuals and teams are both encouraged to apply, as ACE members will travel and work as a pair.

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

Start Date: 7/15/24

Estimated End Date: 12/06/24 

**a 21-week commitment is required**

Location Details/Description: TBD (traveling)

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System) is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. More than 560 national wildlife refuges exist across the country, with at least one in every U.S. state and territory, and receive more than 50 million visitors annually. Understanding and characterizing visitors and their experiences on refuges is a critical element of managing Refuge System lands and waters.

The National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Survey effort is led by the Service's Human Dimensions Branch, and provides the Service with information regarding visitors' recreational, educational, and informational experiences, as well as visitors' levels of satisfaction with current services and facilities. This information will help the Service track and understand how some of the complex changes occurring within American society (e.g., demographic changes, preferences) are likely to affect the future of the Refuge System. Results from the survey may be used to help direct FWS resources for the betterment of the visiting public and protection of wildlife resources. 

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. These positions will help FWS realize that mission by:

  • Participating in pre-sampling visitor recruitment training in Fort Collins, CO.
  • Continuous travel to national wildlife refuges across the country, spending ~2 weeks at each refuge.
  • Approaching visitors following survey protocols to collect a target number of visitor contact names and addresses per refuge.
  • Participating in check-in calls with the National Visitor Survey Coordinator to report progress and discuss obstacles for completing tasks.
  • Providing appropriate field documentation (e.g., photos, reports, blogs).
  • Remotely assisting the National Visitor Survey Coordinator with project-related tasks.
  • Assisting with other projects specific to the assigned refuges as time permits, for example: 
    • Conducting visitor counts
    • Trails maintenance
    • Assisting with wildlife surveys
    • Water quality monitoring
    • Assisting with fuels management
    • Removing invasive species
    • Habitat Restoration

Former National Visitor Survey Field Teams have documented their experiences in a blog. To read their posts, go to: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic-fish-and-wildlife-service/

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 FWS staff in different work groups.

Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out during daylight hours. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours.  A flexible work schedule will 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 National Visitor Survey team members are expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and receive a $500/week living allowance to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for an 675-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2023/24 grant year program, valued up to $2,626.27 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 675 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 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: Housing, and occasionally camping, will be provided for teams at no cost at refuges and during travel between sites. When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required.   

Gear Reimbursement: ACE members will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Gear for this position 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. 

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. 

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 three-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. 
  • Members 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: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements

Preferred:

  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, social sciences, biology, ecology or a related subject.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate both verbally and in writing in a way that is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and coordinate work within schedule constraints and handle emergent requirements in a timely manner. 
  • Experience and/or knowledge in the mission of the USFWS.
  • Experience identifying and addressing challenges on a project before they become issues.
  • Experience interacting with the public or in a customer service setting
  • Bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish.
  • Strong desire to enter public service as a natural/cultural/social resource professional.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions: 

  • Physical Demands: 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. 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. 
  • 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. Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 15 lbs., ability to move up to 40 pounds.
  • Travel: This position requires domestic 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. 

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/. 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 FWS Member Manager, Mac Utter at mutter@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 General / Stewardship , Outdoor Recreation