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 Lead Technician Intern 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 from start date

Location: Catalina Island, CA

Intern 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 $600-700/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.* The Invasive Plant Lead Technician Intern is a lead worker in providing necessary support and day-today implementation of assigned Conservation Department invasive plant programs, projects, activities and/or facilities with specific duties focused in three broad programs: 1) Invasive plant management, horticultural and restoration and/or 2) Vegetation monitoring, depending on the Conservation Department needs and incumbent's skills and training 3) Field Crew lead. Duties will involve significant fieldwork and assigned office support and administrative duties. 

Project Background and Objectives: Act as crew lead in providing necessary support and day-to-day implementation of assigned Conservation Department plant programs, projects, activities and/or facilities, including but not limited to, the following: 

  • Crew Lead for The Conservancy's invasive plant management project.
  • Directly oversee field staff in the absence of Plant Conservation Manager.
  • Assist with training field staff, interns and volunteers on standard operating procedures for all programmatic operations.
  • Assist with the completion of administrative (e.g., scheduling, correspondence, filing, purchasing, billing) and logistical (e.g., vehicle and equipment maintenance) tasks.
  • Conduct field inventories and monitor plant populations.
  • Collect field observations of natural resources conditions.
  • Map native and non-native plant populations by operating a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit or phone.
  • Input and update data and produce maps and other materials to guide daily field activities.
  • Keep accurate and detailed records of management work.
  • Assist in overseeing the maintenance of equipment/field gear, vehicles, and project base yard, including proper storage of herbicides.
  • Administer quality control for operations and provide constructive feedback to staff and supervisor.
  • Contribute to creating and preserving a positive work environment and serve as a valued member of the field team.
  • Conduct literature reviews, which may include gathering data and generating summaries or reports.
  • Assist with the production of grant and funding proposals.
  • Perform other duties as needed or assigned. Management reserves the right to assign and reassign work at its discretion.


  • Possession of a State of California qualified applicator certification
  • Experience with invasive plant management; and/or nursery management, horticultural and restoration; and/or vegetation monitoring.
  • Familiarity with field-based ecological sampling especially plant-based methods.
  • Knowledge of the Microsoft office suite, including Access, and ArcGIS.
  • Aptitude to construct and produce reports, input data and conduct basic analysis of data.
  • Acquaintance with being a member of or leading field crews with an understanding of basic leadership principles and techniques for motivating and providing feedback to others.
  • Knowledge of mechanical/chemical control techniques of invasive plant species and/or common horticultural practices relating to the propagation and maintenance of plants in a greenhouse environment.
  • Skill with operating and maintaining small, mechanized equipment (chain saws, power sprayers, weed whackers, etc.).
  • Ability to identify common native and alien plants/animals.
  • Competency with interpreting maps and aerial photographs and using a GPS unit for navigation.
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational, and oral and written skills.
  • Background in conducting or an ability to quickly learn administrative operations tasks and procedures. 


  • Strong analytical problem solving ability.
  • Flexibility, willingness and ability to learn new tasks and take on new projects.
  • Familiarity with basic principles of plant ecology and ecosystem science.
  • Aptitude to balance a mix of office-based and field-based tasks.
  • Capacity to design, implement and coordinate multiple projects.
  • Ability to think creatively to solve problems or improve program efficiency.
  • Able to work independently to achieve project goals.


  • Ability to work with and communicate with a wide range of people including staff, vendors, outside researchers, permit applicants, volunteers and the public.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure with frequent interruptions.
  • Ability to consistently demonstrate professional, positive, and approachable attitude/demeanor, and discretion and sensitivity in handling confidential information.


  • Bachelor degree in botany, plant ecology or other related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • One to three (1-3) years of experience in field activities related to natural resources management, including the use of pesticides and/or horticultural practices.
  • Experience using basic GPS (such as Trimble GeoXT) units and ArcGIS software.
  • Familiarity with the Microsoft office suite (Access, PowerPoint, Excel).
  • Must possess a valid California Driver's License and be able to operate a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Secondary Qualifications:

  • Experience in conducting research and office administration; ability to identify a wide variety of native and alien plants/animal.
  • Familiarity with California natural communities, ecology and natural history.
  • Working in and around helicopters.

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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