Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking TWO Natural Resource Members to assist with a variety of ongoing resource management projects alongside Cumberland Gap National Historical Park staff.
For more information on ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: January 10, 2022
End Date: September 18, 2022 (or 36 weeks after start date)
*a 36-week minimum commitment is required*
Location: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park – Middlesboro, KY
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (CUGA) is located at the corners of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Park contains 24,000 acres of which 14,000 acres are proposed wilderness. The natural beauty of Appalachian mountain country, lush with vegetation, supports a diverse flora and fauna. Cumberland Gap has 70 miles of hiking trails, mountains, streams, and caves. Middlesboro, Kentucky is the nearest town and is large enough to accommodate three grocery stores, fast food, several restaurants, and a movie theater. Knoxville, Tennessee is approximately 1.5 hours away and has many amenities of a large city.
For more information regarding Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/cuga/index.htm.
Living Allowance: ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $255/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. The Member will be provided with a one-time equipment allowance of $200 for the purchase of field boots.
Housing: IF there is room in the NPS dormitory it will be available to the member and an allowance equivalent to its rent will be provided. The member may opt out of NPS housing in favor of their own rental location and a housing allowance of $700/month ($175/week) will be provided for a total living allowance of $425/week.
NOTE: it can be rather difficult to secure rental accommodations in the Middlesboro area.
AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 1200-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($4,366.50) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment and volunteer service are required.
Position Description: The ACE member will assist the Cumberland Gap’s Resource Management staff in accomplishing a variety of tasks. The member will spend the majority of their time in the field performing physically demanding tasks as assigned. Approximately 75 – 80% of the fieldwork will be Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) control; duties will also include exotic plant management and other invasive species work.
This project is very physically demanding. In order to perform Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) control, the ACE member must be very comfortable navigating off trail in the backcountry using GPS. Backcountry camping in a team of two will be required. This treatment is performed off-trail and requires bushwhacking through rhododendron, mountain laurel, and greenbrier up-and-down steep slopes, crossing streams, carrying 2.5-gallon jugs of insecticide, measuring trees, applying chemical at the base of the tree, marking treated trees, and moving onto the next tree. The Member must be able to hike up to 8 miles a day carrying up to 40 lbs of gear in all weather conditions and in steep terrain.
Another duty would be exotic plant control. Exotic plant control at Cumberland Gap is almost always accomplished by spraying herbicides. There are two primary methods of exotic plant control performed:
- The first is foliar treatment with a backpack sprayer that carries 2 – 3 gallons of herbicide. Foliar spraying large areas of exotic plants require members to carry this heavy load of herbicide, often in full sun, on slopes in difficult terrain.
- The second method requires cutting down shrubs and small trees with hand tools and then spraying the stumps with concentrated herbicide solution.
The member will spend the remainder of their time performing other relevant tasks as assigned. Examples of other duties include bat monitoring, wildlife surveys, and ginseng surveys.
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.
Your health is important to us! Please note that duties may shift in order to prevent and reduce transmission of COVID-19. Visit the CDC website for further resources: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours and utilize their certificate before the age of 30.
- Members must be US citizen or Permanent Resident, as required to comply with 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 required criminal history checks.
- Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Ability to communicate clearly with peer professionals, volunteers, and NPS staff.
- A personal vehicle is required.
- The member will be required to hike 5-10 miles per day while carrying up to 40 lbs of gear on uneven and steep terrain, on and off trail, bushwhacking in some cases through rhododendron, mountain laurel, and greenbrier.
- Must be willing and able to perform the above fieldwork, including backcountry camping.
- Must be able and comfortable with navigating off-trail by maps and GPS units in the mountains.
- Must be willing and able to serve in all weather conditions, from 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 90% humidity in full sun in the summer, to freezing temperatures in winter.
- Must be willing to use herbicides and insecticides, and pass the Kentucky pesticide certification test to apply pesticides in forestry situations.
- Must be able to serve in small a group setting, performing strenuous duties, while maintaining a positive attitude.
- Ability to serve independently in remote areas.
- ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the time they start their term or request a medical or religious exemption.
- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and/or have relevant experience in natural resource management or other related disciplines.
- Knowledge of the interrelationships of various natural and cultural resources; for example: range, wildlife, soil, water, and minerals.
- Ability to identification plants on sight or by using a dichotomous key.
- Interest in the National Park Service.
To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position.
NOTE: 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 EPIC NPS National Recruitment Specialist, Madison Ficca, at email@example.com.
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.