ACE: Wildlife Biology Member – Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, TX – AmeriCorps Eligible

American Conservation Experience
Eagle Lake, TX
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Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking 1 Wildlife Biology Member to commit 52-weeks assisting the USFWS in preventing the extinction and aiding in the recovery of the Attwater's prairie chicken (APC) at Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in southeast Texas. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic young professionals with a deep interest in advancing their career goals in wildlife, natural resources and/or vegetation management on our public lands. The purpose of the individual placement is to perform a variety of biological technical duties in support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) field projects pertaining to the critically endangered APC. For more information about ACE, please visit: Start Date: October 4th, 2021 End Date: September 30, 2022 *A 52-week commitment is required for this position* Location: Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Texas. The Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, located approximately 60 miles west of Houston, Texas, is home to one of the last populations of the critically endangered Attwater's prairie-chicken, a ground-dwelling grouse of the coastal prairie ecosystem. The refuge is one of a handful of national wildlife refuges managed specifically for an endangered species; however, many recovery activities for this imperiled bird and management of its declining ecosystem go beyond the Refuge's boundaries. Project Website: For more information about the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, and its diverse resources please visit the website at: Compensation: The ACE Member is anticipated to contribute 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $450/week distributed biweekly for food and incidental costs. On site housing is provided at no cost to the member. AmeriCorps: This 52-week position may be eligible for a 1700 hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($6,195.00) upon successful completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required. Project Background: Formerly occupying some 6 million acres of coastal prairie habitat, the Attwater Prairie Chicken (APC) was once one of the most abundant resident birds of the Texas and Louisiana tall grass prairie landscape, though currently only about 180 birds exist in the wild. Efforts to propagate and release APCs into the wild have been ongoing since 1992 and 1995, respectively. Monitoring of released birds is critical to understanding recovery limitations and in managing the species in the wild. Less than 200,000 fragmented acres of coastal prairie habitat remain, leaving the birds scattered in solely two Texas counties. Recovery activities for this imperiled bird and management of its rapidly declining ecosystem go beyond the refuge's boundaries. Position Description: The ACE Member will serve directly with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on varied ecological projects and programs within the refuge supporting the management and stewardship of the refuge's resources; protecting and ensuring the survival of the APC and its habitat, allowing the population to eventually reach a measurable level of ecological and genetic stability so that it can be reclassified to threatened status (downlist) and ultimately removed from the endangered species list (delist). Specific duties include but are not limited to: Assist in APC recovery efforts by building predator deterrent fences around nests and removing them after nesting season Monitoring APC broods Building acclimation pens and caring for the birds in the pens Monitoring prairie chicken movements and survival using radio telemetry Assisting with night captures of adults and chicks to put radio collars on the birds and to assess body condition and survivorship Maintaining thorough records of project activities and assisting with computer data entry and summarization Assist with research orientated tasks such as observation and data collection Assist the refuge by accomplishing clerical, visitor service and maintenance tasks as necessary Physical Requirements: This position requires physical exertion such as walking over wet and rough surfaces, bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements. Position Environment: Duties are performed both indoors and outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties, and isolated sites may require camping and extended periods away from station. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/interns or resources. Equipment Use and Training: The Refuge 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 used. Any use of chemicals will require pesticide use training, as well as review of the label and material safety data sheet (MSDS) for every chemical used. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Heavy equipment (tractors, dozers, graders, backhoes, front-end loaders, etc.) may not be used by members unless the Official U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service training and certification process is completed. Local training is allowed for small equipment such as lawn mowers, weedeaters, ATVs and UTVs. A valid state driver's license is required for any (highway legal) vehicle use.
Qualifications: 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. U.S. Citizens or Permanent Resident 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 (required) Must take all measures possible to ensure the safety of yourself and others and understand all safety precautions involved Must be willing and able to obtain ATV/UTV and tractor operation training (will be provided by FWS) Effective communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences Able and willing to serve independently and in a group Able and willing to perform duties outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in sustained physical labor Ability to operate independently and in remote areas Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check Preferred: Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology, botany, natural resource management, or other related discipline appropriate to this position. Knowledge of the basic procedure and technical terminology used in the field of avian ecology and wildlife management Previous experience utilizing radio telemetry Ability to follow assigned protocols to perform tasks with many steps Skills and ability to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in the field or office setting Knowledge and skill in taking exact measurements, performing mathematics, some of which may be complicated, and keeping detailed and precise records to collect and assemble data Skill in maintaining and safely operating motorized vehicles and specialized equipment including: highway vehicles, farm tractors, ATVs, UTVs, chainsaws, weedeaters, etc. Experience and/or knowledge with GPS equipment Strong desire to enter the public service field as a natural resource professional Experience and/or knowledge in the mission of the USFWS and other federal land management agencies. 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 Recruitment and Member Manager, Dave Hecker, or (801) 386-1629. 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.
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Dave Hecker
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