ACE/NPS West Virginia: New River Gorge Aquatic Ecology Internship – AmeriCorps

American Conservation Experience
Glen Jean, WV
Job Category
$250/week, eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1,538.36)
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with New River Gorge (NERI) National River in West Virginia is seeking ONE Aquatic Ecology Intern to dedicate 12 weeks to the NERI Natural Resource Management staff mainly to assist with water quality monitoring, laboratory analyses, and long-term ecological monitoring of riverine biota. These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic, emerging professionals with a background in aquatic ecology, fishery biology, biology, zoology, natural resource management, or environmental science. Applicants must possess a deep interest in advancing their career goals through learning and commitment to the New River Gorge National Rivers' professional staff and resources.

Start Date: June 18, 2017 (flexible by 1-2 weeks)

End Date: September 2, 2017

* A 12-week commitment is required *

Location: New River Gorge National River, Glen Jean, West Virginia.

New River Gorge National River is located in southern West Virginia and encompasses 70,000 acres and 53 miles of one of the oldest rivers on the continent. NERI is home to a vast array of natural and cultural resources. Renowned for its recreational opportunities, NERI host miles of hiking and biking trails, premiere white water rafting, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, bird watching, and camping.

Park staff also manages nearby Bluestone National Scenic River (BLUE) and Gauley River National Recreation Area (GARI). BLUE protects 10.5 miles of free flowing river and offers a rich variety of natural resources and history along the Bluestone Turnpike Trail. GARI protects 25 miles of the Gauley River and 6 miles of Meadow River. Known for its multiple class V rapids, GARI is one of the most adventurous rivers in the east.

Project Website: For more information about the park, please visit their website at:,, For more information regarding American Conservation Experience:

Compensation: The ACE intern will be expected to serve 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $250/week. The intern will have use of a government vehicle for project-related travel, though a personal vehicle is required for time off and transportation to/from the park. Housing is provided at no cost to the intern by the park and consists of a furnished house located 6 miles from park headquarters and 13 miles to the nearest grocery store. Absolutely no pets are permitted in government housing.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1,538.36) upon successful completion of internship hours. Additional enrollment is required.

Position Description: The intern will learn about complex natural and cultural resource throughout New River Gorge through interactive experience and assignments. The intern will be involved with assisting Natural Resource Management staff with water quality sampling and analyses throughout New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation Area. Water samples are collected for fecal coliform analysis and the following parameters are measured at the site: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity, and other visuals (stream condition and weather).

Long-term ecological monitoring of riverine biota will be conducted throughout four locations on the New River. This monitoring consists of electrofishing, identification and measurements of fish, invertebrate sampling, algae and aquatic plant sampling, and water chemistry.

The intern will interact with the public and share information on the park's resources, including challenges such as water pollution. The opportunity to be involved with educational programs aimed at school aged kids up to adults is possible.

Training: The intern will be trained in using the proper protocols for safe and valid field sampling and laboratory analyses of water quality parameters, sampling and handling of fish, CPR and first aid, and other safety techniques. Cross-training opportunities are encouraged and can include: amphibian surveys, bird netting, mine portal surveys for bats, invasive species management, vegetation management, GIS, and interpretive programs/education.

Physical Demands: The environment for the collection of aquatic samples requires physical demands of walking on uneven, rocky, and slippery surfaces; standing, bending, stretching and stooping; lifting and carrying equipment; wading in ankle to chest deep water; exposure to hot, humid, and rainy conditions.

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This posting may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact ACE EPIC Program Manager, Peter Woodruff at (801) 989-7069 or
Qualifications: Applicants for the position must hold or be pursuing a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as ecology, marine biology, botany, wildlife sciences, biology, natural resources management, environmental science, or related disciplines.

Must be a US Citizen and Permanent Resident
Between the ages of 18 and 35
Must have a valid driver's license; clean driving record and the ability to provide documentation, personal vehicle is required
English proficiency required
Effective communication skills
Ability to safely follow procedures used in the field
Desire to learn and apply new concepts
Ability to complete tasks well with others and individually
Must be able and willing to serve outdoors, in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in physical labor
Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required

Degree or coursework in aquatic ecology, fishery biology, ichthyology, biology, zoology, physiology, entomology, ecology, environmental science, natural resource management, conservation, or hydrology
Experience with field data collection and laboratory procedures
The interns must be willing to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.

To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with three professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on the ACE website:
Contact Person
Peter Woodruff
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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