Invasive Species Members- Modoc National Wildlife Refuge
American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking TWO Invasive Species Members to contribute to invasive plant management projects alongside Modoc NWR staff.
For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: May 8th, 2023
Estimated End Date: 14 weeks later
**14 week commitment required, some start date flexibility
Location Details/Description: Stationed at Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, Alturas, California
The 7,021-acre Modoc NWR is located along the South Fork of the Pit River in Modoc County, southeast of the town of Alturas, in extreme northeastern California.The refuge is located on the western edge of the Great Basin, a high elevation, cold desert environment. The refuge consists of wetland, reservoir, riparian , sagebrush -steppe, and cropland habitats.
The refuge is part of a larger complex of mid-elevation wetlands and lakes of northeastern California and is strategically situated to meet the needs of waterfowl and other migratory birds of the Pacific Flyway. Modoc NWR acts as a migration and staging area for ducks, geese, and other wetland birds on the southward migration funnel into this region. After feeding and resting on the refuge, they continue to the Central and Imperial Valleys of California and other wintering areas. This pattern is reversed in the spring. The refuge’s wetlands and adjacent uplands are also an important nesting area for ducks, geese, greater sandhill cranes, and several other species of marsh birds.
For more information about Modoc National Wildlife Refuge and their resources visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/modoc/ or https://www.facebook.com/ModocNWR/
Position Overview: The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. This position will help FWS realize the mission at Modoc NWR as management of invasive species is essential to maintaining quality habitat for a variety of wildlife species that depend on Modoc NWR.
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.
The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the following tasks:
Invasive Plant Management: Use mechanical and chemical treatments to treat invasive plants including perennial pepperweed, hoary cress, poison hemlock, Mediterranean sage, scotch thistle, Canada thistle, and others
Chemical herbicide application using various methods including handheld sprayers, backpack sprayers and ATV sprayers.
Tracking and documenting herbicide use
Invasive Plant Surveying: Surveying areas for invasive species
Operate iPads and FIeld Maps or ArcPro to document plants sprayed and surveyed
Use GIS in the office to produce maps for the field and reports
Contribute to written invasive plant management reports
Assist with other biological duties such as biological surveys and bird banding
Operate 4WD trucks and ATV’s
Schedule: Duties will typically be carried out between 7:00am and 3:30pm Pacific, Monday - Friday, typically 5 days/week (5/8s). Work hours may vary. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. A flexible work schedule may be required, which could involve work performed outside of normal work hours including 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 expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $400/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.
AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $1,718.25 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 450 hrs.
Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for federal loan forbearance. Additional enrollment steps are required.
Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided FWS housing at no cost for the duration of the term. The Modoc National Wildlife Refuge is located in remote Northeast California off of Highway 395. It is near the town of Alturas, where basic amenities can be accessed.
Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support. Specific training may include USFWS ATV/UTV training.
Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:
Physical Demands: This position requires physical exertion such as hiking long distances over hot, wet and rough terrain while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching, talking and hearing. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment and may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.
Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.
Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 40 lbs., ability to move up to 40 lbs.
Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates. When indoor, office environment conditions; indoor air quality is good and temperature is controlled.
Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as hand and power tools. Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.
Travel: This position may require domestic travel.
Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE members may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources. Modoc National Wildlife Refuge is a wetland oasis situated in a high and dry climate on the edge of the Great Basin. Summer temperatures can vary between high 90’s to 50’s during the summer days. The heat and humidity around California can be intense and hot, humid outdoor conditions can be expected.
Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the FWS or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the FWS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the FWS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.
To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here:https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC FWS Member Manager Nich Jackosky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 628-888-9336.
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.
Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by 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 alone, 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).
Willing to undergo and must pass the required three-part criminal history check
Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
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.
ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning of term feedback forms, end of term evaluations and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation.
Member may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement [or as defined by AmeriCorps
Must take all measures possible to ensure the safety of yourself and others and understand all safety precautions involved
Effective oral and written communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences
Ability to speak to the public
Ability to operate independently and in remote areas
Competent in Microsoft Office
To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website here.
Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology, wildlife management, natural resource management, parks and recreation, rangeland management, or other related disciplines appropriate to the position.
Ability and willingness to apply herbicide treatment for invasive plant control.
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
Skill in safely operating motorized vehicles and specialized equipment including: highway vehicles, backpack sprayers, weed eaters, ATVs etc.
Experience and/or knowledge with GIS equipment
Experience and/or knowledge with plant identification
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
Ability to embrace travel opportunities as they arise to other nearby Refuges