Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Shenandoah National Park, is seeking ONE Assistant Coordinator of Volunteer Field Projects to dedicate 18 weeks in support of the National Park Service. The ACE Member will serve with the Vegetation Monitoring Program Volunteer Coordinator to plan, run, and support long and short-term volunteer projects related to meadow, rock outcrop, and forest vegetation management and protection throughout the Park.
This excellent opportunity is ideal for an enthusiastic individual who is deeply committed to the preservation of our national parks. Applicants must have a strong interest in biology, botany, volunteer coordination, natural resource management, ecology, forestry, or a related discipline.
Start Date: May 11, 2020
End Date: September 11, 2020
Location: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park contains 196,000 forested acres along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia. The Park's backcountry of steep rugged terrain contains 500 miles of trails, including 95 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and nearly 80,000 acres of federally designated wilderness.
Skyline Drive, the famous scenic tour road through the Park, follows the ridge crest for 105 miles and connects to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nearly two million people visit the Park each year to enjoy views from the Skyline Drive, hike trails, rock climb, enjoy nature study, camp, or stay overnight in one of the Park's rustic lodges or backcountry cabins. The Park supports approximately 1,400 vascular plant species, numerous state-rare plant species, and a variety of forest community types. The mountain streams are inhabited by 39 species of fishes, over 230 species of aquatic invertebrates and provide some of the best protected strongholds for native eastern brook trout south of Maine.
Project Website: For more information regarding Shenandoah National Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: www.nps.gov/shen.
For more information on American Conservation Experience, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $170/week to cover the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. Also, a $500 travel allowance will be provided to aid in the cost of relocation.
Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in housing provided by the park at no cost for the duration of the term.
Housing consists of several homes with double occupancy bedrooms. Housing will most likely be in Luray, VA or within 10 miles.
If housing is located further than 10 miles from Luray, VA, a government vehicle is intended to be provided for transportation to and from work site. If one is not available, there will be a travel allowance provided. Luray, VA is 5 miles from Park Headquarters and has all of the standard amenities (Grocery stores, movie theater, shops, restaurants, library etc.). Laundry facilities are also available at park housing locations.
Cell phone reception is not always reliable. A personal vehicle is required for transportation related to personal needs (e.g., food shopping). The site is remote and there is no reliable public transportation. Members will have use of a government vehicle for work related travel.
AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 675-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($2,321.90) upon successful completion of membership service hours. Additional enrollment is required.
Position Description: The member will work as a team with the Vegetation Projects Volunteer Coordinator to manage multiple long and short-term vegetation management and protection volunteer projects in meadow, forest, and rock outcrop/cliff edge areas of the Park. Tasks will include assisting with volunteer field work day preparation, management and participation (60%); citizen science program data summarization (15%); planning, supply and equipment, and volunteer management (10%); assist with other ongoing vegetation monitoring projects (5%); receive training for plant identification, sampling methods, and field safety (5%); and cross-train with other natural resource management operations (5%).
Physical Demands: An excellent level of physical fitness is required.
Member must have the ability to carry a heavy 30-lb pack on and off trails, and to hike and serve outside away from bathrooms and the shelter of buildings for 10 or more hours per day in hot and humid weather, and at times while hiking off trail on steep and rocky terrain. Must have the ability to tolerate extended periods of bending, stooping and crawling. Must have a strong willingness to be exposed to the daily hazards of the field environment including heights and cliff edges, stormy weather, deep mud, thick thorny vegetation, disease carrying ticks, stinging insects, bears, snakes, and spiders.
Member will routinely see black bears, serve in venomous snake habitat, be exposed to bugs and ticks (may not be safe for someone with insect sting allergies as ground nesting hornets are abundant in summer), and get many bruises/scratches from bushwhacking off-trail through thick vegetation. Substantial time will also be spent completing necessary office tasks in support of volunteer projects. It is essential that the member also possess the mental and physical ability to tolerate extended periods of sitting and working at a computer work station.
Educational and Training Opportunities: The staff at Shenandoah National Park will coordinate with the member to set up at least four educational cross-training days.
Topics may include plant restoration, invasive plant control, wildlife, trail work, interpretation, or student education. Training opportunities include plant identification; use of GPS equipment; off-trail field navigation; photo documentation; vegetation sampling methods; field safety, first aid / CPR.
Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in biology, botany, forestry, natural resource management, environmental science or a related discipline.
Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
This position is physically demanding. The member must be physically able to serve outdoors for long hours in intense weather conditions and walk steep, rugged, wet terrain with packs up to 30 pounds on a daily basis.
Must be 21-35 years of age (This position's age limitations are a requirement of the Public Land Corps Act. Additionally, 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
Must have a valid driver's license and an insurable driving record.
A personal vehicle is required for transportation related to personal needs.
US Citizen or Permanent Resident
Willing to undergo and must pass a federal criminal background check
Ability to communicate effectively and work well in a team setting
Must be able to withstand repetitive tasks such as counting and measuring plants
Must be willing to use chemical tick bite protection measures (Permanone) on exterior of clothing and gear.
Deep interest in botany, biology, and strong desire to learn and serve outdoors
Backpacking experience (competent with supervision)
Field research experience
Plant identification skills
To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with three (3) professional/academic references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on our website here: https://usaconservationepic.applicantpool.com/jobs/
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 Eastern Recruitment Specialist, Madison Douthitt, (828) 329-4793, email@example.com
EOE: 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