Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking one Endangered Species Recovery Fellow to contribute to a variety of tasks in support of the Mexican wolf recovery project along with Bolson tortoise recovery alongside USFWS Ecological Services Staff. This Fellow will split their time working with the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, and Bolson tortoise recovery in New Mexico. During this term, the ACE member will monitor wild distribution and occurrence of wolves, conduct radio-telemetry monitoring of both wolf and Bolson tortoise, participate in livestock/wolf conflict management activities and various other related tasks.
For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: October 4, 2021
End Date: August 12, 2022
**45-week commitment required**
Location: Arizona and New Mexico (Armendaris Ranch, or Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge)
Ecological Services (ES) works with others to plan and implement on-the-ground conservation measures for species listed under the Endangered Species Act. For example, ES consults other federal agencies during the development phase of their projects so that impacts to a listed species can be avoided and the status of listed species can be improved through means such as habitat restoration, creation, and enhancement. Similarly, ES works with private landowners and members of industry to develop Habitat Conservation Plans that outline on-the-ground conservation measures that can be carried out in conjunction with their development projects to offset impacts to species without impediment to economic growth and development. ES uses the best available science and sound managerial techniques to achieve conservation of Service trust resources, focusing on threatened and endangered species, 150 of which are found in the Southwest Region.
The Ecological Services division supports a number of specialized and high profile projects, among them, the Mexican Wolf, San Juan, and Middle Rio Grande recovery programs, which are demonstrating successes in working with partners to increase species numbers and manage key habitats.
The Southwest Region is also one of the leaders in the use of conservation agreements and Recovery Programs as tools for conserving listed species, while providing stakeholders a means to mitigate their project impacts. In New Mexico and Arizona Candidate Conservation Agreements, Safe Harbors, Habitat Conservation Plans, and Section 7 Consultations form the basis for several large and successful Recovery Programs.
For more information about the SW Ecological Services, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/
Age Requirements: Funding for many ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults and therefore is subject to minimum and maximum age requirements of 18-30 (35 for veterans).
This position requires ACE or FWS vehicle operation in the performance of the duties and therefore the minimum age to be considered is 21.
Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out 8AM – 6PM. Normally field days are 10 hours (on average), with a 10 day on/4 day off schedule. 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.
Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $250/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. Selectees are also eligible to receive a travel reimbursement of $29/day camp rate.
Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term. Rotation through housing units, at different locations, may occur depending on program needs.
AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 1700-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($6,195.00) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment and volunteer service is required.
Public Land Corps (PLC) Non-competitive Hiring Authority: Members serving on this project may be eligible to receive a Department of the Interior (DOI) PLC non-competitive hiring authority certificate upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours (16 weeks at 40 hours/week) and utilize their certificate when applying for qualifying federal positions within 2 years of receipt and before the age of 31. More information can be provided upon request.
Primary Duties include:
This is primarily a field-based opportunity (90%). Duties MAY include the following:
- Monitoring wolf distribution and occurrence (using track identification , scat ID, and howling surveys)
- Conducting radio-telemetry (by vehicle or hiking, or assisting with aerial telemetry) using receivers and H-antenna to monitor the locations and movements of radio collared wolves. Telemetry skills also involve using a map, compass and GPS to triangulate and plot wolf locations. Previous experience with radio-telemetry is a strong plus.
- Livestock/wolf conflict management activities such as hazing wolves using non-lethal munitions (e.g. cracker shells), and diversionary feeding. Previous experience using firearms is a plus. (Applicants must be legally able to possess a firearm)
- Backcountry travel by 4WD vehicle, hiking, backpacking, and camping. Extended periods of work and camping in remote areas for behavioral observations and various management activities will likely occur.
- Depending on seasonal needs, the volunteer MAY assist project biologists with various wolf management activities such as:
- Capture (using leg-hold traps or darting)
- Radio collaring of wolves including medical workups (blood, vaccines, etc.) and measurements
- Possible monitoring of den and rendezvous site activity for pup counts and cross-foster operations
- Being a courteous ambassador of the wolf program, distributing current wolf information and educational materials to ranchers, campers, hunters, and other persons using the recovery area
- For the tortoise program, the volunteer will be working at the Armendaris and Ladder Ranches operated by the Turner Endangered Species Fund. During this time, the volunteer duties will include assisting project biologists with various tortoise management activities such as:
- Monitor and care for captive tortoises
- Radio track released tortoises, measure tortoises, and record den sites
- Monitor den site activity
- Release captive tortoises as part of a controlled effort
- The majority of field data is collected and entered in the field utilizing Collector App software on an iPad. Office tasks such as data entry (managing remotely collected data, managing wolf photos, etc.) and equipment maintenance (vehicles, traps, ATV’s, etc.) are routinely conducted. Depending on current seasonal activities, volunteers will assist with a wide variety of project needs, complex or tedious. An extremely flexible and positive attitude are essential to succeed on this project.
- During their first few months, volunteers will be evaluated to assess their skills, decision making, and ability to learn for overall compatibility with program needs and to ensure the safety of themselves and others; working in remote areas can be hazardous.
Physical Requirements: 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.
Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The Recovery Fellow(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.
- Willing and able to represent ACE and the USFWS in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
- Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
- U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
- This position requires ACE or FWS vehicle operation in the performance of the duties and therefore the minimum age to be considered is 21.
- A valid driver’s license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
- Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
- Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
- He/she must be able to work independently and with a team and demonstrate a good level of flexibility.
- Ability to work in remote areas with extreme environmental conditions.
- Ability to work and travel long (average 10 hours/day), irregular hours.
- Must be able to work and camp in remote areas for extended hitches (independently and in teams).
- Ability and willingness to represent the views and goals of the USFWS, Mexican Wolf Recovery Program to cooperators and the public, and adhere to the services code of conduct and ethics.
- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, botany, natural resource management, or other related discipline appropriate to this position.
- Deep interest in wildlife conservation and USFWS’s mission.
- Ideal candidates are highly motivated, detail oriented, organized, and able to maintain a positive disposition even under adverse conditions.
- Experiences with map and compass use, wildlife or carnivore handling and tracking, ranching, hunting and trapping are preferred.
- Remote backcountry hiking and camping experience, radio-telemetry, 4WD vehicle operation, UTV, pulling trailers, and good communication skills are also preferred.
Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties including while on federal property or in a FWS or ACE vehicle, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.
To Apply: Please submit your resume, unofficial academic transcripts, 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/. ***Academic transcripts are required for verification of related coursework and professional development purposes, as opposed to evaluating prior academic performance.
NOTE: 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 USFWS Division Support Specialist: Danielle Ramsden, firstname.lastname@example.org , 208-869-3555.
EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.