Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a nonprofit Conservation Corps that is currently seeking energetic, ambitious emerging conservation and restoration professionals to participate as AmeriCorps members in a 450 hour program of outdoor skills training focused on Habitat Restoration.
A 15 week (450 Hour) commitment is required. There may be opportunities available to continue with ACE after your term for the best performing crew members. Extensions of service are also dependent on merit, available projects in the field and seasonal constraints. It is a 6 member crew (including one Crew Leader).
Start Date: August 10th (first day (of 4 day) virtual orientation)
First day in Field: August 23rd, 2021
Estimated End Date: November 20th, 2021
Location: Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge & Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge
Schedule: All participants must be flexible and willing to be assigned to a variety of locations and for multiple agencies, wherever the community needs are the highest. Project schedules vary greatly, but typically habitat restoration Corps Members will be assigned to a long-term project. Long-term project assignments are necessary to extend advanced training to crew members, as well as invest your skills and commitment to see a project through to completion.
Crew Members' project schedule consists of multiple short-term "hitches" on average 4-5 days long. ACE provides a schedule to active members clearly detailing your service days, days off, location, and more.
Members will receive a Living Allowance Stipend of $200/week, paid bi-weekly.
Corps Members obtain an Education Award for the amount of $1,538.36 (450 hour) upon successful completion of service.
ACE provides Corps Members with food on project days; Corps Members are responsible for providing their own food on off-days.
ACE provides Corps Members with housing on and off project.
Gear: ACE provides each member with their own tent. The member will provide his or her own sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rain gear, and hiking boots. Upon acceptance to the program, Corps Members will receive a more extensive packing list. Weather during this time of year can be highly variable, bring layers and adequate rain gear, but expect hot midwest summer heat.
Travel: ACE provides transportation to and from worksites; personal vehicles are not necessary throughout the member's term of service. ACE does not provide relocation assistance.
Position Description: Kirwin NWR is 10,778 acres of prairie grasslands, wetlands, stream corridors located around a large irrigation and flood control reservoir in north central Kansas. The primary purpose of this refuge is to conserve, maintain and manage wildlife and habitat for migratory and grassland birds. Due to the somewhat frequent rise and fall of the reservoir water levels and the large amounts of farming that historically took place on and around the property, the refuge must be conducive to invasive plant species. Removing invasive species will create canopy openings to benefit a variety of migratory and grassland birds along with maintaining the restorative historical prairie habitat for this location. Many of the species removed would have provided seed sources for more aggressive invasion in the prairie habitat.
Flint Hills NWR is 18,463 acres of a diverse assortment of wetlands, bottomland hardwood forest, grassland, and riparian areas located in southeast Kansas. By mimicking natural wet and dry cycles on the restored wetland habitat, the refuge can accommodate both food and shelter to migrating and wintering waterfowl. The loss of the native prairie and wetland habitats are due to agriculture prior to establishment and are subject to "wind-row" trees. By removing invasive species the refuge can encourage desirable tree species that were historically present in the woodlands by thinning to meet habitat objectives for migratory species. One third of the work will be at Kirwin NWR followed by two thirds of the work will be done at Flint Hills NWR.
AmeriCorps Members will also gain leadership skills while implementing field safety principles in a team environment. Leadership, responsibility, and professionalism are not only encouraged they are expected on off-days and at ACE housing. Each member is required to participate in at least one environmental volunteer event (Volunteer Service Project VSP). The goal is to represent AmeriCorps, inspire service, and complete environmental volunteer service alongside local residents for the common good.
All ACE field work is physically demanding, often requiring extended stays in the field. This position requires hiking, backpacking, camping and cooking outdoors while at front country.
Field work and other duties might include but are not limited to:
Invasive species removal
Inventory and monitoring
Grid walk surveys
Common Activities, Tools and Gear that you will find on ACE restoration projects: Handsaws, Loppers, Backpack sprayers, Chainsaws, Dobber bottles, GPS units, Biltmore sticks, Hatchets, Brush cutters, Hand-weeding, Native Species Planting, Live Staking, Erosion control, Spill kit expertise, Hand wash station set up, Wind meter, Pesticide label literate.
Qualifications: Applicants must be capable of performing physically demanding labor on environmental and conservation projects for 10 hours a day. Applicants should expect to hike extended distances on rough terrain carrying 40 lbs, and be prepared to spend 8 consecutive days in the field, on one project. Corps Members will work in a variety of weather conditions such as temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, high winds, intense sunshine, rain, and snow. AmeriCorps Members serving with ACE should have an interest in topics like biology, botany (both native and invasive), wildlife ecology, forestry, biodiversity, and habitat restoration are a must. The desire to constantly stay educated and informed about the pesticides and methods we use. We are looking for Corps Members that finish tasks thoroughly and will triple check areas for invasives.
ACE's Conservation Corps program is meant as a stepping stone to environmental careers and as a gateway to potential advancement within ACE, not only as an interesting and rewarding way to spend several weeks working in beautiful locations.
U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
Must be between the ages of 18 and 30 or up to 35 for veterans
Able and willing to work in a group
Positivity + Attention to detail + Unwavering work ethic and drive.
Able and willing to work outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of hiking moderate distances in somewhat rough terrain during inclement weather conditions
Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check
The member must be willing to represent ACE and AmeriCorps in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. ACE has a zero tolerance policy for illegal drugs (including recreational use of Marijuana) and underage drinking. ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.
Experience in hiking and navigation in steep terrain
Strong desire to enter the conservation field as a natural resource professional
Experience or interest in volunteering in local communities
To Apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter along with 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on our website here: https://usaconservationepic.applicantpool.com/jobs/