ACE: Science Rapid Response Team Member USFWS North Atlantic-Appalachian Region

American Conservation Experience EPIC
Hadley, Kentucky, US
Jun 04, 2021
Jun 13, 2021
Employment Type
Salary Type
Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking Three Science Rapid Response Team Members to contribute to some of the Northeast region's greatest At-Risk species conservation opportunities in 2021.

The North Atlantic-Appalachian Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is implementing a program to conserve At-Risk species before it becomes necessary to invoke regulatory protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service and States have prioritized species that can benefit from immediate coordinated action to address emerging science and conservation needs. This season, our projects include the frosted elfin butterfly, saltmarsh sparrow, Northern bog lemming, Arogos skipper, Bethany Beach firefly, and many others. To expedite surveys and conservation action for these species, close coordination among Service programs, National Wildlife Refuges (NWR), state wildlife agencies, and other conservation partners is essential. The Service is addressing these needs by creating 3 seasonal Rapid Response Team positions, who will join an existing team of 5 members. The Service is seeking the highest caliber candidates who are committed to careers in conservation science. Rapid Response Team positions are not internships designed for the inexperienced. Team members will be expected to have experience, to learn independently, and to provide problem solving and leadership to address the region's top conservation challenges. In return, they will be exposed to high-profile conservation projects, seasoned conservation scientists, and leading organizations.

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: May or early June, 2021

End Date: September, 2021

*16-week commitment required**

Location: Rapid Response Team members will conduct field work in multiple locations across the Northeast (Maine to Virginia). The possibility also exists for work in the southeast (North Carolina to Florida). The average length of stay in any one location is 2-4 weeks (range of 1 to 6 weeks), depending on the project. Housing will be provided during field work, following approved Covid-19 health and safety protocols. Outside of field season, team members will work remotely from the location of their choice.

To learn more about the USFWS Northeast Region, please visit:

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. However, a flexible work schedule may be required, which could involve work performed 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 anticipated 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.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided housing at no cost during field season. When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required. Outside of field season, team members will work remotely from the location of their choice.

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.

Position Duties: Rapid Response Team members will conduct surveys and engage in diverse conservation efforts to benefit At-Risk species in the Northeastern (and possibly Southeastern) United States. Team members will work on a diversity of habitats and land-ownership types, including Federal, State, and private, in coordination with conservation partners.

Although team members will be expected to operate independently throughout the season, and to independently study the identification and biology of target species, they will receive valuable field training and guidance throughout the season from a team of the region's top wildlife biologists. They may also engage in restoration activities, such as establishing plantings, clearing vegetation with hand tools, and providing assistance to partners engaged in restoration. Specific field work activities may include butterfly and habitat surveys, tidal marsh bird point count surveys, and small mammal pellet counts. In the field, team members should expect to encounter a variety of challenging environmental conditions, including temperature extremes, challenging vegetation (thorns, poison ivy, mucky wetlands), biting insects, and high elevations.

After field season or if local Covid-19 conditions necessitate a pause in field work, team members may transition to a work-from-home arrangement (telework) to conduct remote assessments of At-Risk species and sites. During telework, team members may work from the location of their choice, but must provide a personal computer and internet access.

To help ensure team safety and productivity during the Covid-19 pandemic, team members will be required to enter into "Covid pods" with 1-2 other team members during field work. They will observe a code of conduct to minimize potential exposure to Covid-19. In the unlikely case of exposure requiring quarantine, we will support the team member's needs during that time (separate bed and bath facilities, food delivery, etc).

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. In some cases, team members may work at high elevations, hiking over extremely rugged terrain.

Position Environment: Duties are performed both indoors and outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff or resources.

Equipment Use and Training: USFWS will provide a government vehicle and the tools required to accomplish the tasks the Member is asked to do. Training will be provided for all equipment that the Member is asked to use. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. A valid state driver's license is required for any (highway legal) vehicle use.

Qualifications: Rapid Response Team member positions require a higher level of independence and leadership than typical seasonal positions due to the complexity of working with numerous conservation partners, diverse field methodologies, multiple properties, independent learning and navigation, and responsibility for remote activities. Team members will be required to solve problems independently in the field and quickly adapt to changing circumstances. Through independent study, applicants should be familiar with the biology and identification of the species described here. Team members are expected to be prepared for inclement weather at all times.

  • Individual placement is available to US Citizens and Permanent Residents only
  • Must have a valid driver's license, be 21 years of age to drive a vehicle, provide documentation of a clean driving record; and have a personal vehicle (recommended)
  • Must take all measures possible to ensure the safety of yourself and others and understand all safety precautions involved
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills (e.g. structured decision making and issues identification skills)
  • Strong organizational skills (e.g. data management, files management) and time management
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check
  • Experience conducting independent field work outdoors in varied weather conditions
  • Basic knowledge of Northeast wildlife and habitats, including pine barrens, riparian habitats, and salt marsh.
  • Knowledge of the anatomical features of butterflies, birds, and other taxa
  • Required coursework includes GIS, ecology, botany, and/or zoology with a field practicum component.
  • Experience using handheld GPS devices, familiarity with GPS applications accessible on smartphones, navigation to remote sites, and documenting coordinates
  • Adept at using spreadsheets to enter data
  • Willing to travel and work long days in hot sun and/or wet conditions

  • Strong desire to enter the public service field as a conservation professional
  • Experience and/or knowledge in the mission of the USFWS and other federal land management agencies
  • Bachelor's strongly preferred; Ongoing or completed Master's level education desired
  • Ability to begin work within the stated range of start dates (May 1 - June 14) will be strongly 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, cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: ***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, Cody Dems, or (435) 315-7067.

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.