American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • Southeast Region
  • Asheville, NC, USA
  • Corps Member

Education Award; living stipend; housing on off-days; food on project-days


Summary:  American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a nonprofit Conservation Corps that is currently seeking energetic, ambitious emerging conservation and restoration professionals to participate as AmeriCorps members in 13/24 week outdoor skills training program focused on Habitat Restoration.

The primary focus of this position will be vegetation management (invasive vs. native) and habitat restoration, but other tasks such as historical trail preservation and trail work may be required. Corps Members volunteer their energy, enthusiasm, and working long hours in adverse weather conditions, to do work that is not always glamorous. This opportunity is intended for environmental stewards who are eager to give back to our public lands.

Our mission is to introduce and prepare Corps 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, or the Bureau of Land Management, along with others. The South East Region encompasses a vast area ranging from New Jersey to Florida, the Outer Banks to the Mississippi, and then everywhere in between.

*A 450 (13 week) or 900-hour (24 week), commitment is required. An early arrival of (start dates) would be expected.  There may be opportunities available to continue with ACE after your term for the best performing crew members. Extensions of service are also dependent on merit, available projects in the field and seasonal constraints.


Start Date: June 14th or 28th


Estimated End Date for June 14th :  September 15th (13 weeks) or December 1st (24 weeks)

Estimated End Date for June 28th : September 29th (13 weeks) or December 15th (24 weeks


Location: Asheville, NC


Projects take place throughout the East. Some of the projects on the horizon include:

  • Pisgah National Forest (North Carolina)
  • Nantahala National Forest (North Carolina)
  • Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania)
  • Conserving Carolina (North Carolina)
  • Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (New Jersey)

***(This is not an exhaustive list, we may secure more restoration projects in the future but they are some of our long term projects that will continue into the foreseeable future.)


Schedule: All participants must be flexible and willing to be assigned to a variety of locations and for multiple agencies, wherever community need is the highest. Project schedules vary greatly, but typically habitat restoration Corps Members will be assigned to a long-term project. Long-term project assignments are necessary to extend advanced training to crew members, as well as invest your skills and commitment to see a project through to completion.

Crew Members' project schedule is comprised of multiple short-term "hitches" on average 4-8 days long. For remote projects, Corps Members spend off-days nearer to their project location, away from Asheville. Remote projects typically last about three weeks. Members return to the same project until completion, or to other projects in motion. Flexibility is required. ACE provides a schedule to active members clearly detailing your service days, days off, location, and more.


Benefits:  Members will receive a Living Allowance Stipend of $110/week, paid bi-weekly.


Corps Members obtain an Education Award for the amount of $1,538.36 (450 hour position/13 weeks) or $2,907.50 (900 hour position/24 weeks) upon successful completion of service.


ACE provides Corps Members with food on project days; Corps Members are responsible for providing their own food on off-days.


ACE provides Corps Members housing on off-days during their term of service. When working in or near North Carolina, Corps Members spend off-days in our hostel-style housing in Asheville. When working remotely, Corps Members will be provided housing/camping in those remote locations. The member will provide his or her own blankets/pillow/sleeping bag/towels.


Gear: ACE provides each member with their own tent. The member will provide his or her own sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rain gear, and hiking boots. Upon acceptance to the program, Corps Members will receive a more extensive packing list. Weather during this time of year can be highly variable so plan on bringing layers of warm clothing and adequate rain gear.


Travel: ACE provides transportation to and from worksites; personal vehicles are not necessary throughout the member's term of service. ACE does not provide relocation assistance.


Position Description: AmeriCorps Members in the South-East ACE program will spend 3 to 6 months learning techniques of forest restoration and land management. They will receive training for complex invasive species removal, habitat restoration, and environmental restoration projects under the guidance of ACE's most highly skilled staff members and industry professionals.

 Control techniques will be both by mechanical (using hand tools) and chemical means. You will be going off trail, at times using herbicide, in all sorts of terrain. Restoration, especially invasive species management is a long-term, multi-faceted, multi-year endeavor. Crew Members are afforded opportunities to learn and train under the guidance of professional mentors within ACE, while gaining invaluable career perspectives working alongside staff for the duration of a project from the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and many other stewards of our nation's public lands.

AmeriCorps Members will also gain leadership skills while implementing field safety principles in a team environment. Leadership, responsibility, and professionalism are not only encouraged they are expected on off-days and at ACE housing.  Each member is required to participate in at least one environmental volunteer event (Volunteer Service Project VSP). The goal is to represent AmeriCorps, inspire service, and complete environmental volunteer service alongside local residents for the common good.

All ACE field work is physically demanding, often requiring stints in the backcountry and extended stays in the field. This position requires hiking, backpacking, camping and cooking outdoors while at front country and wilderness spike camps.


Field work and other duties might include but are not limited to:

  • Invasive species removal
  • Habitat restoration
  • Wetland restoration
  • Reforestation
  • Plant identification
  • Historical preservation
  • Fencing

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.

Species in our Branch region that have directly benefitted from our ACE restoration efforts:

  • Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) - endangered
  • Carolina and Eastern Hemlock Trees (Tsuga Canadensis and Tsuga caroliniana)
  • Native Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinali)
  • Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
  • Long Leaf Pine (Pinus palustris)
  • Green Salamander (Aneides aeneus) -species of concern
  • Broad leaf tick seed (Coreopsis latifolia) rare
  • And so many more!



Qualifications:  Applicants must be capable of performing physically demanding labor on environmental and conservation projects for 10 hours a day. Applicants should expect to hike extended distances on rough terrain carrying 40 lbs, and be prepared to spend 8 consecutive days in the field, on one project. Corps Members will work in a variety of weather conditions such as temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, high winds, intense sunshine, rain, and snow. AmeriCorps 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 Corps Members that finish tasks thoroughly and will triple check areas for invasives.

ACE's Conservation Corps program is meant as a stepping stone to environmental careers and as a gateway to potential advancement within ACE, not only as an interesting and rewarding way to spend several weeks working in beautiful locations.



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 and AmeriCorps 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 steep 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 here:


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 Kelly Waldron, the North Carolina Outreach Coordinator, at


Also, consider checking out our Facebook page and social media for more details about ACE!

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)  To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.




American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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