American Conservation Experience - Member
  • National Park Service
  • Gunnison, CO, USA
  • Fellowship
  • EPIC

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking ONE Native Vegetation Fellow to dedicate 13 weeks working directly with the Resource Stewardship and Science staff at Curecanti National Recreation Area and Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP in western Colorado, exploring the field of vegetation and natural resource management.

These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic, beginning professionals with a background in ecology, botany, biology, natural resource management, or a closely related field, who possess a deep interest in advancing their career goals through hard work and commitment to the professional staff and amazing biological resources of these national parks.

Start Date:  ASAP (July) 2017

End Date:    October 13, 2017

 *A 13-week commitment is required*

Location: Black Canyon of the Gunnison Nat'l Park, Gunnison, CO

Project Background:  The duty station for one position is Curecanti National Recreation Area, located 16 miles west of Gunnison, Colorado.   The recreation area encompasses three reservoirs, including Blue Mesa Reservoir, the largest body of water in Colorado.  The two lower reservoirs are within the spectacular Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  The park is at over 7,000 feet in elevation, and has sagebrush hills, deep forested canyons, and high desert plateaus. The recreation area is home to a variety of plants and abundant wildlife, including mule deer, elk, and big horn sheep. There are abundant recreational opportunities in the area, including camping, biking, water activities, fishing, and hiking. Summer temperatures range between 60 to 100 F in the summer and 40 to -20 F in the winter.  Gunnison has a population of approximately 5,000 and offers a variety of grocery and retail stores and medical services. For more information on the Gunnison and Crested Butte area, see the Chamber of Commerce website:


Project Website:  For more information on Curecanti National Recreation Area, see the website:  And for more info on Black Canyon of the Gunnison:  For more details regarding American Conservation Experience, visit:

Compensation: The ACE Fellow is anticipated to be serving 40 hours/week and will receive a $480/week stipend for food and incidental expenses. Housing is provided within the Recreation Area at no cost to the intern, and is shared occupancy.  Pets are strictly prohibited.

Position Description:  The ACE Native Plant Intern will work collaboratively with the National Park Service staff as part of the native plant vegetation team to accomplish a variety of ecological field projects relating to native plant management. Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Identifying vascular plants using a taxonomic key
  • Monitoring and surveying vegetation
  • Collecting vegetation data in the parks
  • Revegetating disturbed areas
  • Eradicating invasive plants by using chemical, manual, and mechanical techniques in both front-and-backcountry locations, usually in challenging and rugged terrain
  • Collecting native plant seeds in the field
  • Compile and report vegetation data using a daily logs
  • Orienteering and mapping

The use of GPS units, computers, digital camera, and government vehicles will be required to accomplish these projects. Projects will include long periods of time standing, bending over and hiking in developed, remote backcountry, and wilderness areas of the parks. The ACE Intern will be required to be physically able to hike one-to-ten miles (round-trip) in rough terrain carrying a three-gallon (25lbs.) backpack.

Work Environment:  This internship is primarily a field (outdoor) position. When in the field, weather conditions may vary and will include potential for fast-moving lightning storms and temperatures varying between 60 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Projects will be performed at altitudes ranging from 5,000 to 8,600 ft. Work will also include heavy lifting and carrying three-gallon (25lbs.) backpack applicator, as well as bending and stooping for long periods of time. Indoor work will include at a desk in the in park resource offices.

Qualifications: Applicants for the position must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in environmental science, botany, ecosystem restoration, biological sciences, natural resource management, park management, landscape architecture, forestry, or a related discipline. The fellow must be resourceful, adaptable, and able to work comfortably alone or in a group. 


  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Permanent Residents only
  • Ages 18 - 35
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS
  • Must have a valid driver's license; clean driving record, and the ability to provide documentation
  • Deep interest in ecology and respect for nature
  • Must have a desire to gain a deeper understanding and relationship with the Southwest and understand what it takes to manage our country's most revered natural places
  • Must be physically fit for outdoor work in all types of inclement weather
  • Must be able to carry and lift up to 25-50 pounds and work on steep and rough terrain in the backcountry of the park
  • English proficiency required


  • Effective communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences
  • Ability and comfort leading Youth Conservation Corp teams and volunteers
  • Knowledge and understanding of botany and plant taxonomy, including plant identification and use of dichotomous keys
  • Knowledge and ability using GIS/GPS equipment in the field
  • Ability to work alone or in a group, at times with limited supervision
  • Ability to operate a 4-wheel drive vehicle on steep, rough terrain, possibly pulling a trailer
  • Degree or significant coursework in botany, ecology, natural resource management, environmental science, geography, or closely related field as they relate to the position noted
  • It is highly desirable to have a personal vehicle, as it is difficult to secure reliable rides for groceries or other activities that you wish to engage in during off hours

The ACE fellow must be willing and able to represent ACE and the NPS 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 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section, located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on our website here:

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received; this application may close at any time.  If you have any questions regarding the 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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