ACE EPIC placements provide recent young adult graduates with focused, hands-on opportunities to work alongside and under the guidance of agency mentors as they apply their knowledge of resource management on their path to becoming the next generation of resource and land managers.
Summary: American Conservation Experience, a non-profit youth and young adult conservation corps in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking 1 Visitor Services CARES Act Members to help mitigate COVID-related impacts on visitor services alongside USFWS Staff at South Arkansas Refuges Complex. During this term, the ACE member will join our team of young adults working on meaningful conservation projects such as roving outdoor interpretation, outdoor programming, virtual education and/or interpretive programming, and staffing Visitor Centers.
For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: 12/06/2021
End Date: 12/03/2022
**52 week commitment required**
Location: South Arkansas Refuges Complex (AR)
For more information about USFWS and the National Wildlife Refuges listed above, please visit: https://www.fws.gov
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 Monday – Friday. 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 $600/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. Additionally, selectees are eligible for an $1,100 travel allowance to cover expenses to/from duty station.
Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term. When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations 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.
This individual placement is meant to facilitate personal growth and professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with agency professionals.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) received funding through the CARES Act to place long term interns at field stations to help mitigate COVID-related impacts on visitor services. Projects/duties include activities such as roving outdoor interpretation, outdoor programming, virtual education and/or interpretive programming, and staffing Visitor Centers. Many field stations have experienced increased visitation over the past 18 months, while being impacted by fewer volunteers and interns to perform key operational functions.
Working in Visitor Services your duties will include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Participates in the development, management, and implementation of a high quality and balanced visitor services program by recommending and implementing compatible wildlife-dependent recreation activities.
- Consistent with current COVID and safety –related guidelines, provides interpretation, environmental education, and recreation based programming for target audiences, as determined by the field station. Programming may also be virtual.
- Coordinates media during visitor service programs, including photography, informational pamphlets, and other informational tools.
- Assists Service staff in developing compatibility determinations for visitor services activities and facilities on refuges.
- Assists Service staff in developing, conducting, and analyzing surveys and visitor use studies; and measuring expectations, quality, and satisfaction regarding the refuge’s visitor services program.
- Supports Service sites with developing budget enhancement packages, such as: volunteer/friends group grants and assistance with contributed funds accounts.
- Participates in the development, coordination, and implementation of site or issue specific outreach and communication.
- Identifies potential partnership activities with community organizations and corporations (Scouts, service organizations local governments and businesses).
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 ACE member 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 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.
- S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
- 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.
- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in wildlife biology, botany, natural resource management, or other related discipline appropriate to this position.
- Outstanding customer service including anticipating the needs of visitors, clear and timely communication with visitors and staff, ability to handle the unexpected, and is committed to continuously improving services.
- Knowledge of a wide range of concepts, principles, and practices of visitor services management. Ability to assist in planning, organizing and implementing wildlife-oriented recreation activities at a National Wildlife Refuge.
- Knowledge of the diverse range of outdoor facilities such as upland and water trails, visitor centers, campgrounds, wayside exhibits and their maintenance, in order to provide safe, wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities to visitors.
- Knowledge of refuge policies and procedures concerning the collection and transmittal of recreation user fees. Knowledge of fee collection operations and experience in money collection.
- Skill in oral and written communication.
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 at (208)869-3555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
To support the Administration’s focus on racial equity and justice, the USFWS is seeking diverse applicant pools for these positions to apply and encourage applicants who culturally identify as Hispanic/Latinx/a/o or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color) to apply; however the Service does not discriminate with regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, personal appearance, marital status, familial status, family responsibility, pregnancy or other pregnancy-related conditions, childbirth, disability, military/veteran status, citizenship status, religion or political affiliation, or any other status protected by federal or state law, local ordinance or Executive Orders. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer.