American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Alturas, CA, USA
  • $400/week
  • Individual Placement
  • EPIC


ACE: Invasive Species Specialists (2) - Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, CA - AmeriCorps Eligible

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking TWO Invasive Species Specialists to assist the USFWS with invasive plant management duties. The positions will be stationed at Modoc National Wildlife Refuge in California. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic young professionals with a deep interest in advancing their career goals in natural resources and/or wildlife management on our public lands.

Start Date: May 3, 2021

End Date: August 21, 2021

Location: Stationed at Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, Alturas, California

Modoc Refuge is located along the South Fork of the Pit River in Modoc County, southeast of the town of Alturas, in extreme northeastern California. The Refuge is located on the western edge of the Great Basin, a high elevation, cold desert environment. The Refuge consists of wetland, reservoir, riparian, sagebrush-steppe, and cropland habitats.

The Refuge is part of a larger complex of mid-elevation wetlands and lakes of northeastern California and is strategically situated to meet the needs of waterfowl and other migratory birds of the Pacific Flyway. Modoc Refuge acts as a migration and staging area for ducks, geese, and other wetland birds on the southward migration funnel into this region. After feeding and resting on the Refuge, they continue to the Central and Imperial Valleys of California and other wintering areas. This pattern is reversed in the spring. The Refuge's wetlands and adjacent uplands are also an important nesting area for ducks, geese, greater sandhill cranes, and several other species of marsh birds.

Project Websites: For more information about Modoc National Wildlife Refuge and their resources visit: or

To learn more about the ACE EPIC Program, please visit:

Compensation: The ACE Members will complete 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $400/week paid out biweekly for food and incidentals. On site housing is provided at no cost to the members.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1,638.89) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment and volunteer service is required.

PLC Competitive Hiring Authority: This position is authorized by the Public Land Corps (PLC) Act of 1993 and expanded by the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2013. Members who meet basic requirements during their term of service may be eligible to receive their Noncompetitive Hiring Eligibility Certificate to be used when applying to future federal jobs. Requirements are: (1) Member must be between the ages of 18 to 30 and (2) Member must complete at least 640 hours on a federally approved PLC Project. More information can be provided upon request.

Position Description: The Member will perform a variety of duties, including but not limited to:

  • Invasive Plant Management: Use mechanical and chemical treatments to treat invasive plants including perennial pepperweed, hoary cress, poison hemlock, Mediterranean sage, scotch thistle, canada thistle, and others.
  • Chemical herbicide application using various methods including handheld sprayers, backpack sprayers, and ATV sprayers.
  • Tracking and documenting herbicide use
  • Invasive Plant Surveying: Surveying areas for invasive species
  • Operate iPads and ArcCollector to document plants sprayed and surveyed
  • Use GIS in the office to produce maps for the field and reports
  • Contribute to written invasive plant management reports
  • Assist with other biological duties including biological surveys, bird banding, and other duties as assigned
  • Operate 4WD trucks and ATV's

Equipment Use and Training: The Refuge will provide a government vehicle and the tools required to accomplish the tasks the selected candidate is asked to accomplish. Training will be provided for all equipment that the member is asked to use such as UTVs/ATVs. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. A valid state driver's license is required for any (highway legal) vehicle use.

Work Environment: Modoc National Wildlife Refuge is a wetland oasis situated in a high and dry climate on the edge of the Great Basin. Summer temperatures can vary between high 90's to 50's during the summer days. The heat and humidity around California can be intense. If you have had heat stroke, please do not apply for this position for health reasons.



  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • This position has specific program requirements:
    • Must be 18-30 years of age to apply (members must be 21+ to apply for an ACE position that requires or anticipates operation of agency or ACE vehicles for duties).
    • Military Veterans up to 35 are encouraged to apply.
  • A personal vehicle is required for personal time off and getting to-and-from the internship
  • High level of physical fitness. Ability to hike several miles in hot conditions on rough, uneven terrain. No history of heat stroke.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences
  • Able and willing to work independently in remote areas and in a group
  • Able and willing to perform duties outdoors in varying weather conditions, especially hot, humid outdoor conditions
  • Capable of participating in sustained physical labor including ability to frequently push, pull, and lift 40 lbs
  • Competent in Microsoft Office
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
  • Ability and willingness to undergo medical monitoring before and after position
  • Ability to complete US Fish and Wildlife Service ATV/UTV training (can be completed after selection)
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold a minimum of a high school diploma or GED and/or have interest in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject.
  • Ability and willingness to apply herbicide treatment for invasive plant control.
  • Ability to follow assigned protocols to perform tasks with many steps
  • Skills and ability to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in the field or office setting
  • Skill in maintaining and safely operating motorized vehicles and specialized equipment including: highway vehicles, backpack sprayers, weed eaters, ATV's, etc
  • Experience and/or knowledge with plant identification
  • Experience and/or knowledge with GIS equipment
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field as a natural resource professional
  • Deep interest in the field of natural resources and conservation
  • Ability to embrace travel opportunities as they arise to other nearby Refuges

Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties or while on federal property, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.

To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC Recruitment and Member Manager, Dave Hecker at or (801) 386-1629.

EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) 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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