Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking ONE Imperiled Shorebird Nesting Surveyor and Management Assistant to provide assistance during the peak activity of shorebird breeding season, alongside Gulf Islands National Seashore staff.
For more information on ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: February 14, 2022 (somewhat flexible for right candidate)
End Date: August 12, 2022 (or 26 weeks after start date)
*a 26-week minimum commitment is required*
Location: Gulf Islands National Seashore - Gulf Breeze, FL
The Florida District of Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS) contains sparkling blue waters and sugar white sandy beaches. The largest of the National Seashores, GUIS stretches for 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, bayous, and marine habitat. The Seashore provides suitable habitat to over 300 species of birds and four species of nesting sea turtles. GUIS is also comprised of several historic coastal fortifications and batteries dating back to the early 19th century. Weather conditions can change from sunny skies to severe thunderstorms with little to no warning. All units within GUIS are relatively close to civilization (within 15 miles) and large city services are within a 30-minute drive.
For more information regarding Gulf Islands National Seashore, or the National Park Service, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/guis/index.htm.
Living Allowance: ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $580/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.
Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or the NPS.
AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($3,097.50) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment steps are required.
Scheduling: The ACE Member will work Mondays-Fridays, 6:00am-2:30pm or 7:00am-3:30pm, depending on the time of sunrise and the day's high temperature. This includes a 30-minute lunch and two 15-minute breaks. The ACE Member may be asked, but is not required, to work outside of these hours.
Natural Resource monitoring activities will be conducted to determine the status and trends of imperiled shorebird species and to evaluate the efficacy of current management practices. The ACE Member will assist park staff with monitoring and management activities related (but not limited to) Snowy Plovers, Wilson's Plovers, Least Terns, Black Skimmers, and Piping Plovers. This position requires contact with volunteers and the public to enhance the understanding of natural resources within the park. The ACE Member is expected to positively represent the NPS at all times. The ACE Member will be responsible for collecting accurate data by adhering to established protocols. Field training will be provided to identify shorebird species by sight and sound, locate and monitor nests of multiple bird species, install symbolic fencing around nesting habitat to minimize disturbance, re-sight banded adults and family groups, and to observe and document behavior. Additional duties may include data entry, routine park upkeep of supplies and equipment, shorebird road mortality surveys, stewarding, and opportunistic involvement with other park natural resource projects and activities. The ACE Member will also become involved with community outreach events promoting the conservation and management of natural resources.
The ACE Member will be responsible for entry of shorebird nesting data into the Florida Shorebird Database and Nest Story, compiling field notes including completed data sheets, conducting QA/QC for nonbreeding bird data, and updating predator occurrence and nesting maps within Arc Collector and ArcGIS. The ACE Member will also present information related to park natural resources at workshops and local outreach events.
The ACE Member may have the opportunity to attend and even present at the Fall Florida Panhandle Shorebird Working Group meeting, depending on scheduling. The working group is a partnership among multiple organizations involved in shorebird conservation throughout the Florida Panhandle, including NPS, USFWS, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Audubon FL.
Environmental Considerations: Approximately 75% of work will be performed outside on soft sandy beaches. Field work requires walking, bending and lifting 25+ pounds on a regular basis. Participants may be subject to biting insects, venomous snakes, and inclement weather including extreme heat, humidity, lightning, wind, and rain. ACE Members will be required to traverse several miles in soft sand while carrying a backpack and equipment. The remaining 25% of duties will be performed in an office setting. ACE Member will be required to sit for extended periods of time while performing repetitive manual tasks.
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
- Members must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents, 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 independently 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).
- A personal vehicle is required for this position.
- 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 and willingness to work outdoors for long hours every day, with possible exposure to biting insects, venomous snakes, and inclement weather, including (but not limited to) extreme summer heat, humidity, lightning, wind, and rain.
- Ability and willingness to traverse several miles in soft sand while carrying backpack and equipment.
- Must demonstrate an understanding of basic scientific principles, data collection, and analysis.
- Ability to follow precise procedures and established protocols with close attention to detail.
- Strong oral and written communication skills.
- ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have requested (and been granted) a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.
- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as wildlife sciences, coastal ecology, imperiled species conservation, environmental studies, natural resources, wildlife management, or a related field.
- Knowledge of native Florida bird species.
- Deep interest in working with the National Park Service.