Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a nonprofit Conservation Corps that is currently seeking energetic, ambitious individuals who are interested in the outdoors, to participate as Crew Members in a 5 week program (1 week of training and 4 weeks field experience) of outdoor skills training/experience focused on Habitat Restoration.
The primary focus of this position will be vegetation management (non-native invasive vs. native) and habitat restoration. Crew Members should have energy, enthusiasm, are able to work in adverse weather conditions, and should be able to do work that is not always glamorous. This opportunity is intended for environmental stewards who are eager to give back to their local public lands.
ACE's mission is to introduce and prepare Crew Members for careers in resource management with ACE, with other conservation corps, or with public land management agencies such as the National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife, State Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, as well as state and local government. For this position, an interest in natural resource careers is not a requirement, however, you will gain various skills that can apply to different professional careers.
- A 5 week commitment is required.
Start Date: July 25th (first day or 5 day orientation)
First day in Field: August 1st, 2022
Estimated End Date: August 26th, 2022
Location: Walnut Creek Wetland Park, Raleigh NC
Schedule: Project schedules can vary depending on the weather and logistics. Typically the work week will be Monday-Friday from 8:00AM-4:30PM with a half hour lunch break and two 15 minute breaks.
Benefits: Members will receive a Living Allowance Stipend of $600/week, paid bi-weekly.
Training: ACE's orientation will cover the following topics:
- Introduction to ACE
- Safety and Operational Leadership
- Leave No Trace (Environmental Ethics)
- Restoration Training
- Workers Protection Standard Training
- Brush cutter training
- Harassment and Discrimination Discussion
- Other Trainings to be facilitated by organizations: History of the SE Raleigh neighborhoods and wetlands; Environmental Justice in NC and Raleigh; Green Stormwater Infrastructure training.
StepUp Ministry Training: Crew members will participate in training with StepUp Ministries.
Job and Life Skills Training: Orientation, goal development, resume building, networking, communication skills, professional development, and mock interviews. ACE provides Corps Members with lunch and snacks on project days; Crew Members are responsible for providing their own food on off-days.
Gear: ACE provides each member with their work shirts and any Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) the member might need (helmet, safety glasses, gloves, herbicide PPE, cloth masks and hand sanitizer. The Conservation Fund will purchase work pants, rain gear and hiking boots for the members. Upon acceptance to the program, Corps Members will receive a more extensive packing list. Weather during this time of year can be highly variable, bring layers and adequate rain gear.
Travel: ACE can help provide transportation to and from the worksite if a designated meeting place can be agreed upon that is acceptable; personal vehicles are not necessary throughout the member's term of service. There is also public transportation available to Walnut Creek Wetland Park.
Walnut Creek Wetland Park is a diverse ecosystem in Raleigh, NC. The mission of Walnut Creek Wetland Park is to make people aware of the importance of wetlands for clean water, habitat, and recreation while emphasizing the importance of human interaction with nature.
This summer ACE is helping with an environmental improvement/restoration project, controlling non-native invasive (unwanted) plant species in the approximately 10-acre Bailey Drive Gateway location of the Walnut Creek Wetland Park. The ACE crew will utilize power tools (brushcutters, and mowers), hand tools (loppers, handsaws, hatchets, pruners) and herbicide application equipment (spray bottles, backpack sprayers) to control and remove a variety of invasive plant species. The primary target species include Japanese Stiltgrass, Air Potato, and other woody invasive species such as Privet and Autumn Olive. These invasive species grow aggressively, and their seed production is prolific. The invasive species take resources (water, sunlight, nutrients) from the native (wanted) plants, harming the health of the natural environment. These plants tend to grow and spread along vectors like roads, trails, and waterways. When left unchecked these infestations can become extremely dense and reduce sight lines on the edges of the parks. Removing these species will not only improve the health of the environment but will also improve the park's aesthetics for park neighbors sharing boundaries with the park. To control the invasive species, the crew will use these methods: cut-stump and hack & squirt application methods. The terrain is relatively flat but expect for the soil to be occasionally saturated and muddy.
Crew Members will also gain leadership skills while implementing field safety principles in a team environment. Leadership, responsibility, and professionalism are expected.
All ACE field work is physically demanding, often requiring extended stays in the field. This position requires hiking, lifting heavy equipment, and being outside in adverse weather conditions.
Field work and other duties might include but are not limited to:
- Invasive species removal
- Habitat restoration
- Wetland restoration
- Inventory and monitoring
- Grid walk surveys
- Plant identification
Common Activities, Tools and Gear that you will find on ACE restoration projects: Handsaws, Loppers, Backpack sprayers, Chainsaws, Dobber bottles, GPS units, Biltmore sticks, Hatchets, Brush cutters, Hand-weeding, Native Species Planting, Live Staking, Erosion control, Spill kit expertise, Hand wash station set up, Wind meter, Pesticide label literate.
Qualifications: Applicants must be capable of performing physically demanding labor on projects for up to 10 hours a day. Applicants should expect to walk extended distances on rough terrain carrying 40 lbs. Crew Members will work in a variety of weather conditions such as temperatures below freezing, high winds, intense sunshine, rain, and snow. Crew Members serving with ACE should have an interest in topics like biology, botany (both native and invasive), wildlife ecology, forestry, biodiversity, and habitat restoration are a must. The desire to constantly stay educated and informed about the pesticides and methods we use. We are looking for Crew Members that finish tasks thoroughly and will triple check areas for invasives. Preference will be given to residents who live in nearby communities.
ACE's Conservation Corps program is a professional development program and is meant as a stepping stone to environmental careers. The opportunity will also give you skills that can be applied in different professions.
U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
Must be between the ages of 18 and 35
Able and willing to work in a group
Positivity + Attention to detail + Unwavering work ethic and drive.
Able and willing to work outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of hiking moderate distances in somewhat rough terrain during inclement weather conditions
Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check
The member must be willing to represent ACE in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. ACE has a zero tolerance policy for illegal drugs (including recreational use of Marijuana) and underage drinking. ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.
Experience in hiking and navigation in varied terrain
Strong desire to enter the conservation field as a natural resource professional
Experience or interest in volunteering in local communities
To Apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter along with 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on our website.
NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time, and is open until filled. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact Hallie Kellerman, Associate Director of Member Programs at [email protected]
Also, consider checking out our Facebook page and social media for more details about ACE!