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14 Nov 2022

Internship Fisheries Support Members – Connecticut River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, MA

American Conservation Experience – Posted by cbarnwell Hadley, Massachusetts, United States

Job Description

ACE EPIC placements provide young adults 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. 


Funding for ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults. 


For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.


Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking 2 Fisheries Support Members to help with a variety of migratory fish studies and monitoring projects at the Connecticut River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office located in Sunderland, Massachusetts. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic young professionals with a passion for natural resource management and an enthusiasm for fisheries management.


During this 24-week term, the ACE member will work alongside US Fish and Wildlife staff on a number of projects ranging from fish population surveys, laboratory work, fish handling and equipment maintenance. 


Start Date: April 3, 2023

End Date:  September 15, 2023

**24-week commitment required**


Location: Connecticut River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office – Sunderland, MA

Connecticut River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office protects, restores, and helps manage migratory fish and their habitats in the Connecticut River Basin. In particular, restoring river herring, American shad, American eel, Atlantic sturgeon, and shortnose sturgeon are priorities, however all migratory and resident aquatic species benefit from the work conducted. The Connecticut River is the longest river in New England, stretching over 400 miles from the Long Island Sound to the Canadian Border. Over 142 species of fish, 14 of which are migratory, call the Connecticut River and its tributary streams home.

For more information about the Connecticut River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/r5crc/ , there you can click on “library”, and then see the Annual Report 2021, that describes work activities of the office.


Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday – Friday.  Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours.  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 to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.


Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or the FWS station. Local candidates are encouraged to apply.


AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($3,172.50) upon successful completion of 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. 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.


The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff with the following duties: 

  • Assist spring River Herring Population Assessment using boat electrofishing, a ten year ongoing monitoring program;
  • Assist Wild Fish Health Program (process American Shad and river herring);
  • Assist Sea Lamprey nest counts and with eDNA sampling for Sea Lamprey and American Eel in study areas;
  • Field and lab gear preparation and organization;
  • General equipment maintenance including net repair, water quality meters, trailers (training will occur);
  • Capture and field processing fish via electrofishing;
  • Clean/mount fish scales on microscope slides;
  • Read/evaluate mounted fish scales (for spawning history);
  • Fish dissection, to remove otolith (ear bones for aging), scale samples, and gonad samples;
  • Collect accurate field data, lab data, and others.
  • Enter and summarize data, produse summary stats, figures and table for FWS use;
  • Support FWS partners such as the USGS Conte Lab and assist in partnering research work, including Shortnose Sturgeon research..


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: Duties are performed both indoors and outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources. Field work is on boats and instream in all safe weather operating conditions, from April (may be cold, raining) to July (hot, humid). 


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. Training to operate a government vehicle will be provided along with other trainings (electrofishing, lab etc.).  Any gear (rain gear, boots, gloves, polarized glasses, bug sun spray, etc…) 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.
  • Strong communication and organizational skills;
  • Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time; 
  • Ability to complete tasks independently and work well in a team;
  • Commitment to adhere to scientific integrity in data gathering and processing;
  • Ability and interest in working in the field with variable weather conditions and ability to lift 40 lbs. and walk long distances over uneven, wet surfaces; 
  • Passion for natural resource and fisheries management.



  • Competitive applicants for this position will be hold or be pursuing a Bachelor’s degree
  • Consideration will be given to education and/or experience in natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject


Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of aquatic, fisheries and/or natural resource related laboratory and fieldwork approaches from school or work.
  • Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions
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How to Apply

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: https://usaconservation.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 USFWS Division Support Specialist, Claire Barnwell, cbarnwell@usaconservation.org, (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.

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Internship. Job Tags: environment and Fisheries. Salaries: Less than 20,000.

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