American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • Catalina Island Conservancy
  • Avalon, CA, USA
  • Individual Placement

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Catalina Island Conservancy, is seeking 1 Invasive Plant Conservation Management Fellow to assist in implementing management activities to eradicate and/or control targeted invasive plant populations on Catalina Island.  

For more information about ACE, please visit:

For more information about the Catalina Island Conservancy, please visit:

Start Date: ASAP

End Date: 6 months to 12 months from start date

Location: Catalina Island, CA

Fellow must desire to live and work on Catalina Island and be comfortable with the major aspects of island life. There is limited to no cell phone reception at housing and worksite.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The office environment has moderate noise levels and is a non-smoking environment. Smoking is allowed only at limited designated field sites. Field conditions are strongly weather-dependent and may be hot, dusty, cold, muddy, and/or wet depending on season and degree of exposure. Work may be conducted independently or with groups of staff and/or volunteers. Hiking conditions include steep, rugged terrain with occasionally encountering unstable rocky substrate, dense stands of poison oak and cactus and/or wild animals, such as bison and rattlesnakes.

Living Allowance: ACE Fellow is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $800-1000/week to cover the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: Accommodations will be provided by the Catalina Island Conservancy or a cost/day paid by member. TBD. 

Position Description: *Must possess a State of California qualified applicator certification.* An Invasive Plant Conservation Management Fellow plans, prioritizes, and implements management activities to eradicate and/or control targeted invasive plant populations, and conducts small- and large-scale restoration projects, vegetation monitoring, and/or other habitat restoration projects related broadly to the natural vegetation of Santa Catalina Island, other Channel Islands and Southern California. The position will oversee the work of field crew-members, contract labor and/or volunteers.  The position is also expected to interact with staff at all levels within the organization and partner organizations, including land owners, contractors, volunteers, and the community.

Project Background and Objectives: An Invasive Plant Conservation Management Fellow will perform any combination of the duties listed below as needed or assigned:

  • Develop and/or implement an invasive plant management program with a focus on ecological processes, invasive plant management and/or restoration techniques that facilitate the maintenance and recovery of plant communities, especially chaparral, coastal sage scrub, grassland, endemic oak and Catalina ironwood communities, on Santa Catalina Island.
  • Formulates annual goals for invasive species control to assure implementation and achievement of the Catalina Island Conservancy's Invasive Plant Management Plan. Provides goals, direction and delegates responsibility to team members for supervision and quality control of day-to-day activities and project completion.
  • Recommend appropriate resource management practices to improve the ability of the Conservancy to accomplish its mission. Effectively communicate progress and results through professional organizations and publications, staff training, presentations to general public, internal/external media.
  • Identifies and pursues funding opportunities from foundations and government agencies to finance monitoring and restoration projects.
  • Coordinates with government agencies, NGOs, universities, and colleges in the conservation of natural areas and open space in the Channel Islands and Southern California.
  • Obtains and maintains permissions and agreements with landowners to allow access and management of invasive plant target species on private lands.
  • Performs essential administrative functions including, but not limited to, the following:develop and manage operating and capital budgets; purchase services and materials; maintain and care for equipment and tools; maintain payroll and human resource records; conduct performance evaluations for assigned employees; implement safety policy and procedures for assigned areas. 
  • Manages Conservation Department staff, interns and volunteers involved with plant conservation program activities and conducts programmatic outreach with island stakeholders.
  • Provides manages and oversight to facilities including but not limited to: Catalina Island Conservancy Herbarium, and the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden.
  • Performs duties in a safe and efficient manner to maintain a safe work environment.Responds to hazardous situations/potentially unsafe conditions by taking corrective action and notifies supervisor.
  • Updates and enhances knowledge by continuing education for professional growth, i.e., attends relevant conferences, seminars and certification programs.
  • Submits an annual work plan and performs other duties as needed or assigned.



  • Possession of a State of California qualified applicator certification
  • Knowledge of Southern California native plant communities and natural history, and island invasion biology strongly desired.
  • Experience in implementing restoration projects and managing work crews, including planning, scheduling, contracting, hiring, supervision and evaluation.
  • Ability to design and implement applied habitat restoration projects.
  • Ability to manage and/or analyze of invasive plant or plant community monitoring data.
  • Ability to schedule, coordinate, organize and manage diverse activities in a dependable manner. Meet deadlines.
  • Experience with and the ability to supervise safe use of a variety of field tools and equipment used in implementing habitat restoration projects, including chain saws, mowers, weed eaters, and herbicide application equipment (including backpack sprayers and power sprayers). Implement protocols to prevent seed dispersal, follow decontamination protocols, and conduct all operations according to accepted safety standards and established protocols.
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Access, Trimble/Garmin Global Position Systems (GPS) and ArcView Global Information System (GIS), ARC/INFO software.
  • Demonstrated skills in budget management and proposal/grant/report writing.
  • Strong applied plant ecology and botanical skills.Ability to become quickly proficient in the flora, ecology and natural history of Santa Catalina Island.


  • Able to think critically and creatively to develop solutions to complex conservation, facility operations and land use problems..
  • Ability to adapt and respond to unexpected or unplanned ecological (e.g. fire, drought, new invasions) or programmatic (e.g. changes in organizational priorities or funding) circumstances while still progressing towards core program objectives.
  • Ability to work effectively on an interdisciplinary team balancing conservation, recreation and education organizational goals.


  • Strong management experience in supervising full-time staff, contractors, and volunteers required.
  • Strong organizational, coordination, and project management skills.
  • Ability to function and thrive within a complex, multi-goal (conservation, education, recreation) organization with diverse professional staff (scientists, operations professionals, guest experience managers, marketing and public relations) is crucial.

Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to work both independently and as a part of a team is essential; strong team building and relationship building skills critical. Positive attitude, sense of humor, energetic, creative and transparent, focused on strategic goals of the Conservancy.


  • Master's Degree preferred, but not required;Bachelor's Degree in Natural Resource Management, Botany, Biology, Environmental Studies or related field.
  • Knowledge of threats from non-native species invasions in California or elsewhere.
  • Experience preparing funding proposals and knowledge of funding sources in California and nationally.
  • Five (5) or more years of supervisory and applied conservation management experience.
  • Experience working with manual and chemical control of invasive species in California or elsewhere.
  • Experience with financial administration.
  • Demonstrated experience with various regional, state and federal agencies (e.g. CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and National Park Service) with regards to plant, animal and environmental concerns, protocols and procedures. A familiarity with CEQA, NEPA and CA Coastal Commission and SEA programs preferred.
  • Possession of a State of California Qualified Applicator License (QAL) or certificate.
  • Must possess a valid California Driver's License and be able to operate a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

ACE Requirements:

  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record with ability to provide required documentation; (Driving record checks will be completed during on-boarding process. (Members must be 21+ to drive ACE/Agency vehicles)
    • Ability to drive an Agency vehicle is required for this position. ACE will conduct a driving record check upon on-boarding and member must be cleared by ACE to drive.
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Proven ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals
  • ACE is a drug free workplace and reserves the right to drug test at any time

To Apply: Please submit a resume, cover letter, and 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 Michelle Badders, the Catalina Island Conservancy HR Manager, or 310-510-2595, ext 110, or ACE Member Manager, Erin Mounce, at

EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.

American Conservation Experience - EPIC
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