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Wildlife Control and Biology Members - Louisiana and Mississippi National Wildlife Refuges

American Conservation Experience

Lacombe, Louisiana

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $630/week
Deadline Sep 30, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Wildlife Control and Biology Members - Louisiana and Mississippi National Wildlife Refuges

Summary:
American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking FIVE Members to contribute to nutria control in the Gulf Coast region and other invasive species and biological projects alongside FWS Staff. Members will be placed at one of the following stations: Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge, Franklin, LA (2 members); Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Lacombe, LA (2 members); Panther Swamp NWR, Louise, MS (1 members).

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

Start Date: September 3, 2024
Estimated End Date: August 29, 2025
*a 52-week minimum commitment is required, approximately 2080 hours*


Location Details/Description: The locations range from National Wildlife Refuges in Louisiana and Mississippi. See additional information below.

Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge; Franklin, LA

Located in the heart of the “Cajun Coast,” Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge, established in 2001, sits along Bayou Teche, an ancient channel of the Mississippi River. The refuge consists of mostly swamp located behind the natural levees of the bayou between Franklin, Centerville, and Garden City, LA.  Our primary objective at the refuge is to support the Louisiana black bear by restoring and managing bottomland hardwood forests, cypress-tupelo swamps, bayous, and marshes to ensure high quality, diverse habitat. 

For more information about the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge please visit www.fws.gov/refuge/bayou-teche.

Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Lacombe, LA 

The Southeast Louisiana Refuges are part of a rich ecological system which includes marshes, pine and bottomland hardwood forests, lakes, barrier islands, swamps and bayous. Ranging from the marshy delta at the mouth of the Mississippi, to the wetlands that help protect New Orleans from hurricanes and provide a nursery to the fisheries that support the region’s food economy, to the wild bayous of the Atchafalaya Basin; your Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges preserve wildlife, habitat, and recreation opportunities representative of this unique part of the country.

For more information, please visit www.fws.gov/refuge/big-branch-marsh.

Panther Swamp NWR,  Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Louise, MS 

Established in 1978, Panther Swamp NWR is noted for its large waterfowl population, resident game and its numerous sloughs and wetlands. Although limited archaeological evidence exists about the earliest inhabitants of the Lower Mississippi Delta, early Native Americans probably hunted, fished, and even farmed much of the area now included in the boundaries of Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Unlike the more nomadic tribes of the northern and western plains, the Yazoo Indians built small villages and retreated into the loess bluffs along present-day Yazoo City only when forced to by rising flood waters. Many raised “Indian Mounds” can still be found throughout the Delta.

Yazoo City is about 15 minutes from Panther Swamp NWR, and has a variety of shopping options, restaurants, hotels, etc.

For more information, please visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/theodore-roosevelt-complex-headquarters-panther-swamp.

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. 

The National Wildlife Refuge System and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program are hiring nine Wildlife Control and Biology Members in efforts to control populations of the invasive nutria (Myocastor coypus), a large semiaquatic rodent, on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Nutria inflict considerable damage to Gulf Coast ecosystems and infrastructure due to their herbivory, burrowing behavior, and rapid reproduction. Member efforts will focus on nutria control and eradication on National Wildlife Refuges and adjacent private lands. The primary duties will include trapping, dispatching animals, vegetation surveys, and levee damage assessments. In addition, members will have opportunities to participate in other invasive species and biological conservation projects, as well as contribute to the restoration of nutria-affected areas. Members will work closely with refuge staff, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, and private landowners. 

Training will be provided to all members, including firearm safety training, CPR/First Aid, ORUV (ATV/UTV) and Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC). Members must be comfortable working outside in remote areas, around firearms and boats, and will be exposed to high temperatures and potentially dangerous wildlife in the summer. All required equipment and PPE will be provided.

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

  • Nutria trapping and dispatch
  • Cultivating positive relationships with private landowners while representing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Vegetation surveys
  • Levee damage assessments
  • Assisting with the restoration of nutria-damaged wetlands
  • Other invasive species removal (ex. Feral hog trapping, herbicide application for exotic plant control, etc.)
  • Station-specific biological conservation projects (ex. Wildlife surveys, bird banding, etc.)

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 (7:30am-4pm).  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 over 8-hour work days and working on weekends and/or holidays.  Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to FWS and ACE for approval.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $630/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.

Housing:  ACE members will be accommodated in provided FWS housing at no cost for the duration of the term. Members at Southeast Louisiana NWRC, Lacombe, LA may be responsible for their own housing, and if so, they will be provided a weekly housing reimbursement of $325/week with proof of housing costs. 

Gear Reimbursement:  ACE members will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear for this position includes boots, 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 will include Firearms safety, First Aid/CPR, and will include ORUV (ATV/UTV), Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC), and others.

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. 
  • Member 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 the ACE website.

Preferred:

  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology, Natural Resource Management, Forestry, Environmental Studies, or related field of study and/or have relevant experience. 
  • Knowledge of and experience with firearm safety and use.
  • Ability and willingness to dispatch invasive species, specifically nutria.
  • Experience with furbearer trapping, especially nutria, beaver, or muskrat.
  • Deep interest in USFWS and/or invasive species management.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions: 

  • Physical Demands: 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. 
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 40 lbs., ability to move up to 40 pounds.
  • 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.  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.  

The members will be required to discharge firearms while assisting with nutria control efforts. The members will be thoroughly trained in the use of firearms by FWS staff.

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 ACE’s  online application page for this position at https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/1117672. 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 Member Manager, Cait Dunne, at cdunne@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 Wildlife