American Conservation Experience - Member
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • CO, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC


American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking TWO Individual or One Team National Visitor Survey Interns to provide onsite support in the implementation of a multi-year nationwide survey of visitors to national wildlife refuges. The primary responsibility of the interns is to travel to selected national wildlife refuges to recruit visitors for participation in a post-trip survey about their visit. Individuals and teams are both encouraged to apply, as interns will travel in pairs.


Start Date: Can range between January & May 2018 (TBD) Depending on team

End Date: 45 weeks from the start date

*A 45-week commitment is required for this position*


Position Location:   Nationwide; 3 different teams will be distributed in various regions, and will be generally located in either the East Coast, Mid-west, Central, or West coast.



The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System) is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. More than 560 national wildlife refuges exist across the country, with at least one in every U.S. state and territory, and receive more than 50 million visitors annually. Understanding and characterizing visitors and their experiences on refuges is a critical element of managing Refuge System lands and waters.


The National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Survey effort is led by the Service's Human Dimensions (HD) Branch, and will provide the Service with information regarding visitors' recreational, educational, and informational experiences, as well as visitors' levels of satisfaction with current services and facilities. Ultimately, the collection of information from refuge visitors will help the Service to track and understand how some of the complex changes occurring within American society (e.g., demographic changes, stakeholder preferences) are likely to affect the future of the Refuge System. Refuges that have at least 50,000 visits will be surveyed on a rotating basis every five years beginning in 2018 (approximately 35 refuges/year).


Compensation: The National Visitor Survey Interns will contribute ~40 hours/week and receive a $1000/month per intern (teams would receive $2000/month) living allowance paid out biweekly to cover all food and incidental living expenses.


This position involves extended months of travel to different national wildlife refuge units. Housing, and occasionally camping, will be provided by FWS for the duration of the project. 


AmeriCorps Education Award Program (EAP): Intern MAY be eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award for up to $5500 upon the successful completion of 1700 hours of service.


 Position Description:

The primary responsibility of the interns is to travel to selected national wildlife refuges to recruit visitors for participation in a post-trip survey about their visit. Specific work will entail approaching visitors in a manner that ensures an adequate sample for each individual participating refuge.


Duties for this position will include:

  • Participate in pre-sampling visitor recruitment training.
  • Travel consecutively to national wildlife refuges across the nation. Projects could potentially be located in any Region of the continental US.
  • Contact visitors following protocols, resulting in the collection of approximately 300 visitor contact names and addresses per refuge.
  • Participate in daily check-in calls with the National Visitor Survey Fellow to report progress and discuss obstacles for completing the tasks.
  • Provide appropriate field documentation (e.g., photos, reports) of the sampling process.
  • Assist with other projects specific to their assigned refuges as time permits (e.g., visitor estimation counts, mapping visitor services features, helping on other monitoring projects).
  • Write blog posts about their experiences, as requested.



Applicants must have a degree (or be pursuing a degree) in environmental science, natural resource management, geography, parks & recreation management, biology, ecology, public affairs, or other related disciplines appropriate to the position. A combination of relevant education and appropriate experience is also acceptable.



  • Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Must be between the ages of 21 and 30 (35 if military service)
  • Must be over 21 and have a valid driver's license and ability to provide documentation of a clean driving record; No personal vehicle is necessary as all travel between refuges, and on site, will be in the ACE project vehicle.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively on projects
  • Ability and willingness to represent ACE and FWS in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner
  • Successful completion of a Federal criminal background check
  • Ability to remain positive & focused while relocating to a new refuge approximately every two weeks and dealing with the uncertainty of complex project logistics.



  • Experience and/or knowledge in the mission of the USFWS and other federal land management agencies
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate orally in an individual and group setting
  • Experience identifying and addressing risks/challenges on a project before they become issues and addressing them
  • Knowledge of survey sampling techniques and methods
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field as a natural/cultural/social resource professional


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.  If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact the ACE Recruitment Specialist, Melissa Early at 801-573-8984 or

American Conservation Experience - Member
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