American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • National Park Service
  • Asheville, NC, USA
  • Individual Placement
  • EPIC

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is seeking ONE Vegetation Monitoring Member to monitor and protect significant natural resources in National Parks as part of the NPS Appalachian Highlands Inventory and Monitoring Network (APHN) and the Cumberland Piedmont I&M Network (CUPN).

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: Flexible, with a preference for as soon as possible

End Date: 26 weeks after start date

* A 26-week minimum commitment is required *

Location: Stationed at Blue Ridge Parkway Office in Asheville, NC

Appalachian Highlands Network parks vary in size from 5,174 acres to 521,490 acres, and include two of the most-visited units in the National Park system (Great Smoky Mountains & Blue Ridge Parkway). The network parks are divided between two ecologically distinct physiographic regions: the Cumberland Plateau of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The natural beauty of Appalachian mountain country and Cumberland Plateau regions, lush with vegetation, old growth forest, rocky ridges and deep gorges are characterized by high levels of biological diversity and endemism.

The nation-wide NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program was created to acquire the information and expertise needed by park managers to protect park resources and maintain ecosystem integrity in the face of multiple threats. The primary goals of the NPS I & M program are to inventory NPS natural resources to determine their nature and status; Monitor park ecosystems to better understand their dynamic nature and condition and provide reference points in comparison to other environments; to establish baseline inventory and monitoring practices throughout Nation Park systems.

For more information regarding the Appalachian Highlands Inventory & Monitoring Network please visit the NPS website at:

Living Allowance: ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $420/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the intern and not provided by ACE or NPS.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($3,097.50) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment and volunteer service is required.

Position Description: This is a 26-week position, working with the NPS Appalachian Highlands and Cumberland Piedmont Inventory and Monitoring Networks (APHN and CUPN, respectively) as a member of a team that conducts field-oriented natural resources monitoring.

Primary duties include assisting APHN staff with a variety of field-oriented projects, including:

  • Vegetation monitoring projects, including exploited and rare plants (APHN), and forest health monitoring (CUPN)
  • Water quality sampling in CUPN and APHN parks
  • Entering and quality checking monitoring data and species occurrence information in databases and spreadsheets, using Microsoft Access and Excel
  • Occasionally providing field and data management assistance for other long-term monitoring projects, including early detection of invasive plants, air quality, freshwater mussels and cave resources
  • Field operation and basic management of Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments and data, including uploading and downloading GPS data
  • Organizing and carrying out field logistics to support monitoring teams of two or more people
  • Occasionally assisting with formatting and editing technical reports produced by the Networks, using Microsoft Word
  • Depending on the interests and background of the intern, occasionally assisting with creating Geographic Information System maps (with ESRI's ArcInfo software) to be used for natural resources inventory and monitoring projects.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours and utilize their certificate before the age of 31.



  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • This position is funded through the Public Land Corps Act which 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.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • 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 to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.


  • Interest and knowledge of botany, hydrology, and ecology
  • Knowledge, interest and/or experience conducting vegetation sampling and monitoring and aquatic field work
  • Experience in various field data collection methods using standard protocols
  • Experience in backcountry hiking and navigation in steep terrain
  • Interest and ability to work in remote field areas
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Access, Garmin GPS units, and/or ESRI's ArcGIS

Suggested: a personal vehicle is recommended for the duration of the internship as not having a vehicle can be detrimental to the member's experience.

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 NPS Member Manager, Bianca Wahkinney at (405) 595-8070 or

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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