Restoration Plant Project Team Member - Catalina Island Conservancy

American Conservation Experience

Avalon, California

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details 600.00/week
Deadline Jul 20, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Restoration Plant Project Team Member - Catalina Island Conservancy

The American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy (CIC), is seeking two (2) Restoration Plant Project Team Members to contribute to the Catalina Habitat Improvement & Restoration Program (CHIRP) project alongside CIC Staff.

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

Start Date: Late June 2024
Estimated End Date: December 2024
*a 26-week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description: Santa Catalina Island, California

Santa Catalina Island is one of the southern Channel Islands and is located 30 miles off the coast of Southern California. It's known for its wildlife, dive site, and Mt. Orizaba, its highest peak. Catalina Island Conservancy, founded in 1972 as a nonprofit organization, is one of the oldest private land trusts in Southern California. It protects 88 percent of Catalina Island, including more than 62 miles of unspoiled beaches and secluded coves - the longest publicly accessible stretch of undeveloped coastline left in Southern California. Catalina Island is home to more than 60 plant, animal, and insect species found nowhere else in the world.

For more information regarding the Catalina Island Conservancy (CIC), please visit their website.

Position Overview:  This challenging position on the Catalina Habitat Improvement & Restoration Program (CHIRP) team is a dynamic and highly valued opportunity located off the southern coast of California. It is intended for enthusiastic entry-level professionals with a background in conservation biology/ecology, botany, or a closely related field, with a deep interest in jointly advancing their career goals and environmental stewardship of the Island through hard, purposefully directed work. CHIRP's invasive plant project is responsible for the identification, management, and control of over 40 invasive plant species across the 48,000-acre island. The Ackerman Native Plant Nursery grows over 85 native plant species used for restoration projects. Interns will aid in the propagation and maintenance of these plants.

The Conservancy will emphasize providing an enriching, rewarding, and educational experience for the ACE members during the execution of this project. The specific training an ACE member will receive will be determined by the season of service. Training will include, but not be limited to, an in-depth botanical education including an introduction to herbarium specimen collections, use of GIS programs and equipment for navigational and data collection purposes, manual and chemical treatment methods including herbicide application training, maintaining and growing plants, and monitoring and repairing fences.

The ACE members will work with a team of two to six people to survey for and control invasive plant species across the island using chemical and manual control methods. They will also spend a portion of their time at the Ackerman Nursery maintaining and growing plants. They will work with the Catalina Island Conservancy by enthusiastically working to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Work extensively with a team of two to six people to survey for and control invasive plant species across the island using chemical and manual control methods
  • Safe and effective use of herbicides and applications
  • Equipment maintenance and organization
  • Use of ESRI ArcGIS software platform
  • Collect survey and control data
  • Work in an on-site native plant nursery
  • Fence walking and repair

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promote exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.

Schedule: The typical schedule is 5 x 8-hour days a week though schedules may vary as needed. A 4x day 10-hour schedule may be necessary for more remote work. Weekend work will be required occasionally, particularly when volunteer events are held.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $600.00/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. The living allowance is a fixed rate determined by the CIC and ACE and is not flexible.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided housing at the CIC, on Santa Catalina Island at no cost for the duration of the term. Please note: housing is in a remote area. Limited cell and internet services are available.

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position-specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies, procedures, and networks for support. Specific training from the CIC may be included related to the position’s needs for success.



  • 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. 
  • Ability to and willingness to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, participating in physical labor.
  • Written and verbal English proficiency is required.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit the American Conservation Experience website.

Preferred: Remove any/all if not specified by the agency partner:

  • Comfortable learning/using hand tools, power tools, and herbicide application equipment: and enthusiasm for rugged work.
  • Ability and willingness to operate a 4-wheel drive vehicle in rough, steep, and hazardous terrain.
  • Deep interest in ecology and respect for nature.
  • Ability and willingness to consistently demonstrate a professional, positive, and approachable attitude/demeanor that works well with others in a team setting.
  • Experience in backcountry hiking and navigation in steep terrain.
  • Ability and willingness to think critically and exercise independent judgment and initiative. Able to work under pressure and meet deadlines while maintaining composure.
  • Desire to be a part of a high-functioning and cohesive team working towards a common goal.

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 is required for the use of various tools. 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. 
  • Environmental: Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.

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 including bison, rattlesnakes, and ticks. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger themself, 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 CIC or ACE.  Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the CIC. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the CIC, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it.  Strict adherence to CIC 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 ACE’s online application page for this position on the American Conservation Experience website. 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 BLM/FS Division Member Manager, Allison Finch at afinch@usaconservation.org  

ACE values an inclusive workforce - if you meet at least 70 percent of the qualifications, we want to hear from you!

ACE participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information when you are hired to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S.

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, Restoration
Tags GIS, Entomology