American Conservation Experience - Member
  • National Park Service
  • Wellfleet, MA, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking ONE Aquatic Ecology Monitoring Intern to dedicate 16 weeks in support of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The main duties will be assisting with aquatic ecology monitoring projects in estuaries and salt marshes, specifically focused on water quality, and coastal fish, invertebrates, and vegetation monitoring. This opportunity is intended for conscientious, enthusiastic, individuals with an interest in developing their field skills in water quality monitoring and marine ecology.



Start Date: June 12, 2017 (some flexibility may exist for right candidate)

End Date: September 30, 2017 (or 16 weeks from start date)

* A 16-week commitment is required * 


Location: The Cape Cod National Seashore is located in Wellfleet, MA.

Cape Cod is a large peninsula extending 60 miles into the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Massachusetts. Located on the outer portion of the Cape, Cape Cod National Seashore's 44,600 acres encompass a rich mosaic of marine, estuarine, fresh water, and terrestrial ecosystems. These systems and their associated habitats reflect the Cape's glacial origin, dynamic natural processes, and at least 9,000 years of human activity. Geomorphic shoreline change, ground water fluctuations, tidal dynamics including rising sea level, and atmospheric deposition are among the many physical processes that continue to shape the Seashore's ecosystems. Marine and estuarine systems include beaches, sand spits, tidal flats, salt marshes, and soft-bottom benthos. Freshwater ecosystems include kettle ponds, vernal pools, sphagnum bogs, and swamps. Terrestrial systems include pitch pine and scrub oak forests, heathlands, dunes, and sandplain grasslands. Many of these habitats are globally uncommon and the species that occupy them are correspondingly rare.


Project Partner Website:  For more information regarding the Cape Cod National Seashore, please visit the NPS website at: For more information on the ACE Internship Program, please visit:


Compensation:  The ACE intern will receive a living allowance of $165/week for food and incidental expenses, paid bi-weekly. ACE interns will be accommodated in park housing at no cost for the duration of the internship.

Also, a $1000 travel allowance will be distributed evenly throughout the internship's 16 weeks to aid in the costs of relocation and any commuting to/from the duty station.

AmeriCorps: The 16-week intern position may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award of ($1,527.45) upon successful completion of the term. Additional enrollment is required.


Position Description: The main duties will be assisting with aquatic ecology monitoring projects in estuaries and coastal wetlands focused on water quality and ecosystem monitoring and will include serving in the field, lab, and on computers. 

A rough breakdown of the intern's time is 30% field, 30% lab, 20% data entry/management and 10% other duties as assigned. The duties are critical to management and protection of pond and coastal water resources that are heavily impacted by human activities. The ACE intern will serve as part of a team with interns, volunteers, biological technicians, and the Aquatic Ecologist.

Duties and projects include:

  • Monitoring activities in the field as well as processing and analyzing samples in the laboratory.
  • Assist with pond shoreline restoration projects.
  • Science communication activities to promote pond stewardship and science literacy.
  • Involvement in both the field and lab for a variety of natural resource projects, including the Inventory and Monitoring program, and applied research to inform salt marsh restoration and coastal management.
  • Gain experience in a range of coastal environments, on various monitoring to management-oriented projects, with a range of field and laboratory methods and equipment.
  • Field duties will involve some wading in muddy and shrubby conditions. 
  • Use of non-motorized (canoe/kayak) and motorized watercraft to assist with coastal resource monitoring projects, and provide laboratory analysis and written documentation of field sampling.

Training: NPS training will be provided for non-motorized (canoe/kayak) and motorized watercraft to assist with coastal resource monitoring projects.


Qualifications:  Applicants for the position must hold or be pursuing a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as ecology, marine biology, botany, wildlife sciences, biology, natural resources management, environmental science, or related disciplines.


  • Must be a US Citizen and Permanent Resident
  • Must be between the ages of 18 to 35
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing, with NPS resource professionals and their partners
  • Must be able to complete tasks well independently and on a team
  • Ability to use field guides and dichotomous keys for plant and fish ID
  • Physically able to conduct field surveys under demanding weather in rough terrain and in water
  • Must know how to swim
  • Must have a valid driver's license, provide documentation of a clean driving record, and have a personal vehicle
  • Must have a deep interest in aquatic ecology/water quality and a respect for nature
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
  • Proficiency in English is required

This position will likely have recurring (regular, scheduled or anticipated) access to vulnerable populations.  State and Federal Criminal History Checks will be required for participation.


  • Experience in water quality monitoring and instrumentation
  • Experience in laboratory analysis
  • Previous experience, or willingness to learn how operate small water craft in these settings is desired
  • Knowledge of the natural history and scientific processes of the Northeastern United States; for example: ecology of marine ecosystems, dune and barrier beach ecosystems, coastal geologic processes, freshwater ecosystems, marine biology
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome

The intern must be willing to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.


To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with three professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on the ACE website:

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This posting may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact ACE EPIC Program Manager, Peter Woodruff at (801) 989-7069 or

American Conservation Experience - Member
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