American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • US Forest Service
  • CA, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary:  American Conservation Experience (ACE), a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, Arizona, in partnership with the United States Forest Service (USFS) Eldorado National Forest, is seeking THREE Botany InternsThis opportunity is intended for enthusiastic young professionals with a deep interest in advancing their career goals in natural resource management and conservation. 

Start Date:  April 2nd, 2018 (May be flexible up to 1-2 weeks for the right candidates)

End Date:  
Sept. 22nd, 2018 (25-week term)

Location: Pacific Ranger District, 7867 Highway 50, Pollock Pines, CA

Housing is available. Pollock Pines is located along Highway 50 and is within 15 minutes of larger communities offering typical amenities, restaurants, and entertainment opportunities. There are numerous opportunities for camping, hiking, fishing, and backpacking near Pollock Pines. Lake Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness are only an hour away and offer numerous opportunities for recreation. 

Project Partner Websites:
  For more information regarding Eldorado National Forest, please Visit: For more information on ACE, please visit:

The Interns should anticipate serving 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $693/week for food and incidentals, dispersed bi-weekly. 

Position Description:  
The Eldorado National Forest is looking to fill a total of three positions split between a rare plant and invasive plant crew for the 2018 field season. Work for the rare plant crew would include conducting rare plant surveys, assisting with restoration projects, and monitoring rare plant populations for various landscape fuels/vegetation projects on the Eldorado National Forest. The invasive plant crew would focus on surveying and treating invasive plant populations using integrated pest management including the use of herbicides. Crews primarily focus on either rare plant work or invasive plant work but there will be crossover between the invasive and rare plant programs. Work schedule typically consists of a 4-10 schedule. 

Specific Tasks Include:

Plant Surveys

  • Participates and conducts a variety of routine and often complex field studies of native and non-native botanical species and their habitats.
  • Collects data for use in habitat and species condition analyses.
  • Collects survey and inventory data to determine species identity, population characteristics, environmental conditions, and factors affecting the vigor and extent of the species and their habitat.
  • Keeps records of all data and produces maps of survey areas.
  • Lays out monitoring plots by taking measurements and marking corners and boundaries.
  • Uses botanical key to identify plants encountered during field trips or surveys of forest areas.
  • Compiles and summarizes the vegetation types obtained from aerial and ground surveys including forest health monitoring, biological evaluations, and pilot tests conducted as part of the project.
  • Compiles and summarizes the data obtained from surveys, inventories, biological evaluations, and monitoring.
  • Uses computer systems and associated software for recording, organizing, storing, and analyzing data.

Invasive Plants

  • Performs the full range of standard technical assignments consisting of a variety of routine and frequently complex tasks involving invasive non-native plant treatment, management, inventory, and monitoring.
  • Assignments involve the performance of a series of basic related technical tasks, which must be completed according to a predetermined and established routine.
  • May also perform a variety of nonstandard tasks related to invasive non-native plant treatment, management, inventory, and monitoring.
  • Identifies invasive non-native plants using various field guides or botanical keys, surveys for target plants, collects and assesses data on infestation location and status, and treats invasive plant infestations.
  • Treatments primarily involve using herbicides, but may also be accomplished by hand-pulling, or using hand tools, power tools, mowers, and other standard control methods.
  • Collects and records data related to infestation location and status.
  • Responsible for ensuring that data related to invasive non-native plant treatments is recorded accurately and legibly, and according to specific protocols.
  • Performs highly physical labor and daily hiking often to remote locations in rugged terrain under possible adverse weather conditions.
  • Uses global positioning systems, aerial photographs, topographic maps, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), or compass in navigation.
  • A portion of time may be dedicated to data entry and other duties in a laboratory or office setting.
  • Applies herbicides using backpack sprayers or other equipment on a regular basis according to specific guidelines.


 Training Provided: The Forest Service will strive to provide the interns opportunities to shadow conservation professionals to learn about botanical disciplines (e.g., invasive plant removal techniques, GIS mapping, qualitative and quantitative plant monitoring, plant systematics and taxonomy, seed collection, and restoration techniques), but a foundational knowledge of botany and plant identification is required for these positions.

Project Environment: This will primarily be an outdoors experience (95% outdoor/5% indoor) and mostly be conducted in a team or small group setting (80% group/20% independent). During this position one can expect to face extreme weather, long days, be physically challenged, and face the mental challenge of repetitive, sometime monotonous duties that are crucial for success in conservation efforts.

Qualifications: Qualified applicants will hold (or be pursuing) a bachelor's degree a natural resource field, and have experience with plants, either in the field or through coursework. This is a highly demanding outdoor job that requires substantial physical fitness and mobility, participate in the field, and a tolerance for extreme weather and demanding conditions.


  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. 
  • Must be 21 years or older in order to drive an agency work vehicle.
  • Must have particular botany and plant identification skills outlined above, and be willing to learn additional key skills as part of the internship.
  • A working knowledge of basic taxonomic principles and characteristics of major plant families and experience using taxonomic keys.
  • Ability to use GPS equipment and read/navigate with topographic maps.
  • A valid driver's license and a clean driving record are required (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Must be willing and able to perform the above fieldwork in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Must be physically fit and able to hike off trail in the backcountry.
  • English proficiency required.
  • Ability to undergo a federal criminal background check is required.

The ACE Intern must be willing and able 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 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 position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact the ACE EPIC USFS National Division Director, George Grygar at

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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