American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Folkston, GA, USA
  • $600/week
  • Individual Placement
  • EPIC


ACE: Biotech Member at USFWS Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, GA

ACE EPIC placements provide recent young adult graduates with focused, hands-on opportunities to work alongside and under the guidance of agency mentors as they apply their knowledge of resource management on their path to becoming the next generation of resource and land managers.

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a non-profit youth and young adult conservation corps in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking 1 Biotech Member at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Folkson, Georgia. The selected member will primarily work with the refuge biologist on management of red-cockaded woodpecker populations. The related duties include but are not limited to installing artificial cavities, banding adults and chicks, determining success of breeding groups, and completing the annual cavity assessment. The biotech will also contribute technical support by performing assignments critical to the success of wildlife surveys, studies, and investigations that are incorporated into on-going projects or program operations.

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: March 2022

End Date: March 2023 (52 weeks later)

*52 week commitment required

Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge - Folkston, GA

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge conserves the unique qualities of the Okefenokee Swamp for future generations to enjoy. The swamp is considered the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Mary's Rivers. Habitats provide for threatened and endangered species, such as red-cockaded woodpecker, wood storks, indigo snakes, and a wide variety of other wildlife species. It is world renowned for its amphibian populations that are bio-indicators of global health. More than 600 plant species have been identified on refuge lands. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has 353,981 acres of National Wilderness Area within the refuge boundaries. In addition, the refuge is a Wetland of International Importance because it is one of the world's largest intact freshwater ecosystems.

Click for more information about Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday through Thursday (10 hours/day). A flexible work schedule may be required, which could involve work performed outside of normal work hours including on weekends and/or holidays. Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $600/week and a housing allowance of $400/week to offset the costs of food, housing and incidental expenses. These funds will be dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

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. More information can be provided upon request.

Position Description:

This individual placement is meant to facilitate personal growth and professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with agency professionals. This could include gaining experience in a variety of conservation fields and/or shadowing different work groups.

Primary Duties include:

  • Works with the refuge biologist to conduct surveys for wildlife species.
  • Compiles and summarizes data from surveys and biological evaluations.
  • Performs quality control on survey data, checking resulting data for inconsistencies.
  • Assists the refuge biologist in preparation of reports when needed.
  • Ability to operate and maintain ATV/UTVs for field work.
  • Utilizes various specialized tools and equipment required to manage wildlife species, including but not limited to Swedish sectional climbing ladders, chain saws, climbing tree stands, treetop peeper camera system, and gopher tortoise burrow camera system.
  • Uses field equipment including cameras, GPS equipment, binoculars, spotting scopes and computers (ipads) in order to capture wildlife survey data or for other records.
  • Ability to communicate orally in order to meet and exchange information with refuge staff and volunteers.
  • Ability to work with staff from other refuge programs (visitor services, maintenance or fire management) to complete special projects.
  • Works with the refuge biologist to control exotic and invasive species.

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. Should be comfortable with climbing trees using a lineman's belt and sectional ladder system.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE Biotech member is likely to encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat and humidity, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. 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 or ACE. 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.



  • 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.
  • U.S. 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, including being able to climb trees up to 50 ft with sectional ladder system and hike up to 10 miles in varied terrain and environmental conditions.

Preferred (choose one):

  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a Bachelor's of Science degree in wildlife biology, botany, natural resource management, or other related discipline appropriate to this position
  • ATV/UTV certified (training may be available)
  • Chainsaw use certified (training may be available)
  • Ability and willingness to work 10 hours in a day with flexibility in start and end times
  • Deep interest in management of wildlife populations

To Apply: Please submit your resume, unofficial academic transcripts, 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:

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 ACE EPIC USFWS Division Support Specialist, Claire Barnwell,, (585) 484-7626.

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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