American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Vero Beach, FL, USA
  • $250/week
  • Individual Placement
  • EPIC

Refuge housing is provided at no cost for the duration of the position.

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with USFWS - Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge Complex is seeking 1 National Wildlife Refuge Assistant to work directly with the management and biology staff and assist with wildlife refuge projects and operations.

This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic individuals with a background in natural resources who possess an interest in gaining experience in the field of biology, visitor services, maintenance and management.

Start Date: March 2022 (start date is flexible)

End Date: 24 weeks later

*24 week commitment required*

Location: Everglades Headwaters, Pelican Island, Archie Carr, and Lake Wales Ridge NWRs. Based at Pelican Island NWR in Vero Beach, FL.

For more information about Pelican Island, and additional National Wildlife Refuges in the Complex, please visit:

Age Requirements: Funding for many ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults and therefore is subject to minimum and maximum age requirements of 18-30 (35 for veterans).

This position requires ACE or FWS vehicle operation in the performance of the duties and therefore the minimum age to be considered is 21.

Work Schedule: The ACE Member is expected to work approximately 40 hours a week. Schedule is Monday through Friday normal business hours. The member will be expected to work 1-2 Saturdays per month (in exchange for a weekday to maintain ~40 hours per week).

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $250/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in refuge housing at no cost for the duration of the position. All utilities are included. Housing is a 4 bedroom and 3 bathroom building and a maximum capacity of 3 people. Housing is within walking distance to the main office.

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

Public Land Corps (PLC) Non-competitive Hiring Authority: Members serving on this project may be eligible to receive a Department of the Interior (DOI) PLC non-competitive hiring authority certificate upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours (16 weeks at 40 hours/week) and utilize their certificate when applying for qualifying federal positions within 2 years of receipt and before the age of 31. More information can be provided upon request.

Position Description: The position at the Everglades Headwaters NWRC will provide a well-rounded experience in the natural resource field. The member will work as part of a small team to help manage the Refuge completing such tasks as biological surveys, routine maintenance, public programs, and administrative tasks.

Primary Duties include:

  • Participate in habitat management and monitoring including invasive plant control and mapping, mechanical treatment of woody vegetation, vegetation surveys, and prescribed burns.
  • Organize and conduct monthly public lands cleanups
  • Maintain accurate and detailed field records and enter data promptly and accurately
  • Assist with public outreach including visitor contact and environmental education
  • Assist with general facilities and grounds maintenance to include trail clearing
  • Manage Refuge social media accounts under the supervision of the Refuge Manager
  • Work with volunteers on a regular basis
  • Other duties as assigned

Physical Requirements: This position requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over wet and rough surfaces while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards: South Florida has average temperatures in the 80's-90's during the summer months, with rainfall almost daily. This position will require extended time outdoors, in hot, humid, and buggy conditions. Field work is often done in remote areas, including wetlands. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the FWS. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the FWS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the FWS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.



  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Must be 21-30 years of age (up to 35 for veterans). This position requires ACE or FWS vehicle operation in the performance of the duties and therefore the minimum age to be considered is 21
  • A valid driver's license and a clean driving record are required (documentation to be provided upon request)
  • Ability to work alone and in a group
  • Proficient in English
  • Ability to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
  • Knowledge of natural sciences
  • Ability to work in very hot, humid, and buggy conditions
  • Willingness to work varying hours including weekends


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology, environmental science, natural resource management, forestry, or other related discipline appropriate to this position
  • Knowledge of USFWS mission
  • Experience, professional or personal, with hand tools used for landscape and trail maintenance
  • Experience conducting invasive plant management
  • Basic GPS and GIS skills
  • Basic plant identification skills
  • Deep interest in public relations and conservation education

To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume, cover letter, and unofficial academic transcripts along with 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on our website here: ***Academic transcripts are required for verification of related coursework and professional development purposes, as opposed to evaluating prior academic performance.

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact ACE EPIC USFWS Division Support Specialist, Nich Jackosky at (928) 699-6041.

Vaccination Requirement: ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.

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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