Refuge Support Member - Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience

Elk Grove, California

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $1000/week
Deadline May 31, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Refuge Support Member – Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Summary:  American Conservation Experience (ACE), a non-profit conservation corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking one Refuge Support Member to contribute to a variety of projects including mowing, herbicide use, biological surveys, and public use alongside Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Staff. 

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

Start Date: June 2024
Estimated End Date: March 2025
*a 39-week minimum commitment is required 

Location Details/Description: Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Elk Grove, CA

Established in 1994 as the 505th refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) System and located just 12 miles from the state’s capitol, Stone Lakes NWR serves as a magnet for fish and wildlife in the northern Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The Refuge is part of a vast network of seasonally flooded agricultural lands and natural and managed wetlands that provide feeding and resting habitat for thousands of birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway.

For more information about Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, please visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/stone-lakes

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 its mission at Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge by providing support and assistance with aquatic and terrestrial weed control programs.

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.

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

50% Mixing and spraying herbicides: Implementing Invasive Species Plan

  • Coordinating spray teams and monitoring wind conditions to make sure staff is out on days when treatments are allowed. Treating water hyacinth and other aquatic weeds from the front of an airboat.
  • Treating terrestrial weeds with a tank mounted ORTV or pull behind with vehicle or tractor and backpack sprayer
  • Ordering chemicals and moving/lifting jugs and containers them into storage areas  
  • Maintaining and reporting Pesticide Use Proposals record system
  • Securing Notice of Intent for spraying Restricted Use herbicides
  • Maintaining monthly spray logs
  • Wearing PPE, Tyvek suit and K-95 mask in 90-100 degree temperatures

20%  Wetland Management:  

  • Documenting and reporting water rights
  • Operate pumps, valves and water control structures to move water
  • Operating  large AG tractors to mow vegetation along levees, roadways and wetlands
  • Wearing hip and chest waders to access structures, clean out pit blinds

10% Monitoring:

  • Water bird surveys
  • Wetland vegetation surveys
  • Residual dry matter surveys for grassland grazing

10% Maintenance & HQ public use area:

  • Use weed whackers to trim around paths and facilities
  • Use pole saws to cut down and remove overhanging branches and downed small trees and limbs
  • Repair gates, fencing and signs
  • Avian carrion collection and trapping and or removing  problem rodents (rats and mice in facilities and beaver/muskrat in water conveyance systems). 
  • Collect and remove trash from public use areas. 

10% Public Use:

  • Staffing the hunt check station on Saturdays from mid November to late January
  • Assisting the VCM with projects & Events: Eagle scout, Nature Bowl, paddle tours, wetland birding tours

Schedule: Duties will tentatively be carried out between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm Pacific, Monday-Friday, 5 days/week (5/8s). Supervisor and member will collaborate together on setting member schedules. 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. 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 $1000/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. 

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 must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase. 

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.

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 defensive driving if driving a government vehicle and FISSA training for computer access.

Grant Funding Opportunity:  The selected candidate(s) for this position will be eligible to apply for ACE’s Access and Inclusion Grant. This is a $500 grant which is intended to make participation in ACE positions more accessible to individuals who are underrepresented in the conservation field. Grant recipients will be able to allocate this funding to financial need(s) of their choosing. A limited number of grants 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 current and valid form of ID (will be required to provide copies of ID’s upon hiring)
  • If eligible to drive,  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
  • Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time. 
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a Bachelor's degree (education or experience in natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject preferred)
  • Enthusiasm for interacting with people and learning how to assist visitors to enjoy refuge resources responsibly through interpretation, customer service, and facility maintenance
  • Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions.
  • Skills and abilities to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in a field or office setting.
  • A personal vehicle is highly suggested for off-duty hours due to the distance of housing to office and stores

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

Physical Demands: Position is primarily based outdoors. Demands may include stooping, lifting, reaching, talking, hearing, regular and recurring hiking, walking, and bending. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment, and 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 lbs.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently, working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates. When indoors, office environment conditions; indoor air quality is good and temperature is controlled. 
  • Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as hand and power tools. Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.
  • Travel: This position may require 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.  


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 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 General / Stewardship , Restoration
Tags Wetland