Invasive Species Members (2) – Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge
American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking 2 invasive species Members to contribute to invasive plant management projects alongside Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge Staff. During this term, the ACE member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the management of salt cedar, pampas grass, johnson grass, and other invasive plants.
For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: 6/5/23
Estimated End Date: 8/11/23
*a 10-week minimum commitment is required, approximately 400 hours*
Location Details/Description: Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma
Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge covers 32,197 acres including an 11,200-acre salt flat designated as the “largest such saline flat in the lowlands of North America.” The refuge was established in 1930 as a sanctuary for breeding and migratory birds. The entire refuge is designated as critical whooping crane habitat, an Important Bird Area, and a member of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
For more information about Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/salt-plains
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 that mission at Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.
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 members will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the accomplishment of:
- Invasive Plant Management: applying herbicide to treat invasive plants including salt cedar, pampass grass, johnson grass and others
- Invasive Plant Surveying: Surveying areas for invasive species
- Operating GPS units and ArcCollector for monitoring purposes
- Driving 4WD government trucks
- Educating the public on invasive and native plant and animal species; excellent opportunities exist to engage and inform the local community on resource management issues at the Refuge
Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday – Friday. 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 $600/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.
AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for a 300-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $1,374.60 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 300 hours.
Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for federal loan forbearance. Additional enrollment steps are required.
Qualifying Child Care Coverage: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for qualifying child care coverage. Additional enrollment steps are required.
Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided FWS housing at no cost for the duration of the term.
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.
- 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 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.
- Ability to speak to the public.
- Effective oral and written communication skills with all ages and audiences
- Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions.
- Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time.
- Ability to complete tasks independently and work well in a team
- Attend USFWS ATV/UTV training after hiring, or have previous USFWS ATV/UTV certificate.
- Ability and interest in working in the field with variable weather conditions and ability to lift 40 lbs and walk long distances over uneven, wet surfaces.
- Skills and abilities to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in a field or office setting.
- A personal vehicle for off-duty hours due to the distance of housing to office and stores.
- To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.
- Competitive applicants for this position will be holding or pursuing a Bachelor’s degree (education or experience in natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject preferred).
- 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 maintaining and safely operating motorized vehicles and specialized equipment including: highway vehicles, backpack sprayers, weed eaters, 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.
- Ability to embrace travel opportunities as they arise to other nearby Refuges.
Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:
- Physical Demands: Requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over wet and rough surfaces while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination 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 25 lbs., ability to move up to 40 pounds.
- Environmental: Outdoor work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
- Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools.
- Travel: This position does not require unique travel.
Environmental Conditions/Hazards: Duties are performed both indoors and outdoors. The invasive species 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. The heat and humidity around Oklahoma can be intense. If you have had heat stroke, please consider whether this is a good position for you to apply for due to health risks.
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, Andrew Garcia, at email@example.com or 928-419-7035.
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.