American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • National Park Service
  • Glen Jean, WV, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary:American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with New River Gorge National River (NERI) in West Virginia is seeking 2 Forest Health Protection Interns to dedicate 12 weeks working directly with NERI Natural Resource Management staff with resource conservation through forest pest management for hemlock woolly adelgid. These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic, emerging professionals with a background in ecology, botany, biology, invasive species management, forestry or natural resource management who possess a deep interest in advancing their career goals through hard work and commitment to the New River Gorge National Rivers' professional staff and resources.


Start Date: May 26 ,2019

End Date: August 17, 2019

* A 12-week commitment is required *  


Location:  New River Gorge National River, Glen Jean, West Virginia.

New River Gorge National River (NERI) is located in southern West Virginia and encompasses 70,000 acres and 53 miles of one of the oldest rivers on the continent. NERI is home to a vast array of natural and cultural resources. Renowned for its recreational opportunities, NERI host miles of hiking and biking trails, premiere white water rafting, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, bird watching, and camping.  

Park staff also manages nearby Bluestone National Scenic River (BLUE) and Gauley River National Recreation Area (GARI). BLUE protects 10.5 miles of free flowing river and offers a rich variety of natural resources and history along the Bluestone Turnpike Trail. GARI protects 25 miles of the Gauley River and 6 miles of Meadow River. Known for its multiple class V rapids, GARI is one of the most adventurous rivers in the east.


Project Website:  For more information about the park, please visit their website at:,, For more information regarding American Conservation Experience:


Compensation: The ACE intern will be expected to serve 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $250/week. Additionally, there is a $175/week housing stipend. Government housing will not be available. The intern will have use of a government vehicle for project-related travel, though a personal vehicle is required for time off and transportation to/from the park.


AmeriCorps:  This position may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1566.14) upon successful completion of internship hours. Additional enrollment is required.


Project Background: New River Gorge is home to 1,400 species of plants and 40 different vegetation communities, making it the most botanically diverse river gorge in the central and southern Appalachians. Invasive species threaten these important resources and resource managers at NERI focus on the hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer, and exotic invasive plants including: Japanese knotweed, kudzu, tree-of-heaven, Japanese barberry, autumn olive, multiflora rose, Japanese and bush honeysuckles, wineberry, etc.


Position Description:  Since 2006 NERI has been managing hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) by insecticides, biocontrols, and monitoring. The Forest Health Protection interns will help conserve hemlock trees in globally rare vegetation communities and ecologically significant locations in NERI and GARI by applying insecticides to individual trees. Different application techniques including soil application and basal bark spray of insecticides will be used. Data for each individual tree is taken and daily totals are entered into pesticide use logs. Most work is accomplished off trail in rugged terrain. Maps, GPS units, and iPads are used to track location and treatment acres. 

Training:  Safety and pesticide training will be provided and the intern will be registered as a technician with the state of West Virginia. Cross training opportunities are encouraged and could include: amphibian surveys, mine portal surveys for bats, water quality collection and analyses, interpretation and public education.

Physical Demands: Duties will be conducted in the field, sometimes over rough, steep, and uneven terrain. Hiking for long periods of time carrying weight will occur. Intern must be willing to work in adverse weather conditions such as heat, humidity, cold, and rain. Encounters with biting or stinging insects, poison ivy, and venomous snakes are possible.




  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Permanent Residents only
  • Between the ages of 18 and 35
  • Must have a valid driver's license; clean driving record and the ability to provide documentation
  • A personal vehicle is required for transportation to/from the park
  • English proficiency required
  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to safely follow procedures used in the field
  • Must be able and willing to serve outdoors, in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in physical labor
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
  • Desire to learn and apply new concepts
  • Ability to work well with others and individually


  • Degree or coursework in ecology, botany, biology, invasive species management, forestry, natural resource management, entomology, zoology, conservation, environmental sciences or related discipline.
  • Experience with hand tools and power drill
  • Plant identification skills including taxonomy and use of dichotomous key

The interns 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 Recruitment Team Lead and NPS Division Specialist, Tori Klotz, at (385) 522-3171or

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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