Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Restoration Fellow – Kern National Wildlife Refuge
Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is seeking ONE Restoration/Invasive Species Fellow to help with a large invasive plant removal and habitat restoration project alongside Kern National Wildlife Refuge Complex staff.
Start Date: December 18, 2023
End Date: December 14, 2024
**52 week commitment required**
Location: Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Delano, CA
Kern National Wildlife Refuge was established on November 18, 1960 and consists of 11,249-acres of natural desert uplands, a relict riparian corridor, and developed marsh. The visitor center and office complex opened in late 1999. The refuge headquarters is at the junction of Garces Highway and Corcoran Road. Situated on the southern margin of what was once the largest freshwater wetland complex in the western United States, Kern Refuge provides optimum wintering habitat for migratory birds with an emphasis on waterfowl and waterbirds.
Through restoration and maintenance of native habitat diversity, the refuge preserves a remnant of the historic valley uplands in the San Joaquin Desert, an ecosystem known to provide habitat for several endangered species. Approximately 8,200 visitors annually participate in refuge programs ranging from wildlife viewing to waterfowl hunting.
For more information about Kern National Wildlife Refuge, please visit:
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 Kern National Wildlife Refuge through invasive plant removal and habitat restoration projects in the upland units of the Kern National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Under the guidance of a team leader,the fellow will remove the invasive species using primarily chemical methods, and then evaluate the efficacy of treatment through biological monitoring of endangered wildlife. Following treatment phases, the fellow may assist with habitat restoration by planting native seeds.
This individual placement is meant to facilitate personal growth and professional development. The fellow will become familiar with land management agencies and have the opportunity to network with agency professionals. Position responsibilities will likely involve exposure to a variety of conservation fields and the ability to shadow different work groups.
The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the following tasks:
- Chemical treatment of invasive plants using spot application of General Use Pesticides (with oversight by refuge staff).
- Geospatial documentation of herbicide treatments using GPS and Avenza.
- Operation of 4WD vehicles, ATVs, UTVs, and other small equipment.
- Assistance with biological surveys (e.g., wildlife camera surveys, den/burrow searches, transect surveys, waterfowl counts, live trapping, habitat assessments) and other Refuge work (e.g., maintenance) as opportunities and interest allow.
Schedule: Duties will typically be carried out between 7am and 4:30pm PST, Monday – Friday. Work hours may vary due to extreme heat. 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 approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $680/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.
Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online here.
Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term.
Gear Reimbursement: ACE members will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear for this position must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase.
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.
Grant Funding Opportunity: The selected candidate(s) for this position will be eligible to apply for ACE’s Access and Inclusion Grant. This is a $500 grant which is intended to make participation in ACE positions more accessible to individuals who are underrepresented in the conservation field. Grant recipients will be able to allocate this funding to financial need(s) of their choosing. A limited number of grants are available.
- 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 two-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.
- A personal vehicle is required for off-duty hours due to the distance of housing to office and stores;
- Member may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement.
- To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website here https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.
- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of an associate’s degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related discipline;
- Strong writing, communication and organizational skills;
- Ability to follow biological protocols and procedures;
- Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions;
- Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time;
- Skills and abilities to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in a field or office setting;
- Prior experience and certification in herbicide application, including the use of backpack sprayers;
- Experience and certification with: UTV/ATV or similar heavy equipment;
- Experience with geospatial technologies such as GPS and Avenza;
- Experience following protocols in support of biological surveys.
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: Primarily outdoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
- Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as hand and power tools.
- Travel: This position may require domestic travel.
The ACE member may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, biting insects, high humidity, 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. Duties are performed primarily outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties.
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 USFWS Program Manager, Nich Jackosky, at email@example.com.
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.