Resource Management Member – Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience

Crystal River, Florida

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $600/week
Deadline Jul 31, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Resource Management Member – Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking one member to contribute to resource management projects, focusing on invasive species education and control at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex. During this term, the ACE member will operate a mobile watercraft cleaner (CD3; cd3systems.com), survey for and treat invasive species, conduct biological surveys (e.g. birds and manatees), participate in outreach and environmental education, and support other programs at the refuge.

For more information about ACE, please visit our usaconservation website .

Start Date: September 2024
Estimated End Date: September 2025
*a 52-week minimum commitment is required, approximately 2080 hours*

Location Details/Description: Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Crystal River, Florida

The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex is located on Florida's west coast, stretching 160 miles from Crystal River to Tampa Bay.  There are five refuges in the complex (Crystal River, Chassahowitzka, Egmont Key, Passage Key, and Pinellas) with the home office located in Crystal River, Florida. This position will be based at the Crystal River NWR.  Crystal River NWR, established in 1983, is the only refuge created specifically for the protection of the threatened Florida manatee, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee. Crystal River NWR manages lands and waters within its management boundary, as well as seven designated manatee sanctuaries in Kings Bay that provide a winter home for over 1,000 manatees each year.  Manatees attract thousands of visitors to the Refuge during the winter and throughout the year.  

For more information about Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 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 its mission at Crystal River NWR. 

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

  • Operating, cleaning, and performing basic maintenance on the CD3 cleaning station (see cd3systems)
  • Surveying for invasive species
  • Treating invasive species following the Crystal River NWR’s Pesticide Use Proposal
  • Performing biological surveys of trust resources (e.g., birds, manatees) throughout the Crystal River NWR Complex
  • Assisting with community outreach including the annual manatee festival in Crystal River, FL  
  • Developing and conducting interpretive programs focusing on importance of invasive species control and prevention 
  • Communicating with the public on how to recreate responsibly
  • Providing environmental education to the public and FWS partners
  • Scanning documents and entering data
  • Producing, editing and distributing interpretative documents 

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 (8am-4:30pm).  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 eligibility information on our usaconservation website. 

Housing: Accommodation for ACE members will be provided in FWS housing at no cost for the duration of the term. Housing accommodations will be in a shared bunkhouse. The bunkhouse is fully furnished with separate rooms for each occupant.

Relocation Allowance: ACE members will have access to up to $1000 to be used for eligible relocation expenses. Further details regarding distribution of these funds will be provided during the interview process. 

Gear Reimbursement: ACE members will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear for this position includes boots, sturdy work pants, socks, 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 training and Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC).

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 criminal history checks 
  • 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 usaconservation website. 
  • Ability to tolerate the Florida summer heat.
  • Willing to apply approved herbicides following USFWS Pesticide Use approval


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a Bachelor's degree or relevant experience in natural resources, biology, ecology, conservation or a related subject. 
  • Ability and willingness to work with others, including but not limited to other interns, staff members, volunteers and the public.
  • Interest in wildlife conservation and habitat management

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. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain.
  • 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 40 pounds.
  • 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. The ACE member will be required to follow the Crystal River NWR Hurricane Disaster Plan during hurricane preparedness and any potential weather events headed toward Crystal River NWR Complex.

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 at: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/1114153. 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 Program Manager, Johannah McCollum. 

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
Tags Outreach