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21 Apr 2022

Internship Invasive Species Member – Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience – Posted by agarcia Austwell, Texas, United States

Job Description

Invasive Species Member – Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

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.

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:

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is seeking ONE Invasive Species Member to assist the USFWS with invasive plant management duties at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Austwell, TX. During this term, the ACE member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the accomplishment of invasive plant surveying, monitoring, and management.

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:

Start Date: May 16, 2022

End Date: August 5, 2022*

**12-week commitment required**


Location: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, on the Gulf Coast of Texas

What is today known as Aransas National Wildlife Refuge first emerged 120,000 years ago during the Pleistocene era when a barrier island was born. The Pleistocene era passed into geological history; behind it was left the land and a few mementos of that era, including fossilized teeth and alligators.

Today, this landscape is best known for its prominent place in the American wildlife conservation movement. In 1941, when only 15 whooping cranes survived in the wild, the iconic bird became an emblem of alarm and concern for all endangered and threatened species. Aransas became a focal point of the national and worldwide effort to rescue the species from extinction.

Thankfully, due to the foresight of others, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 to serve as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife and as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds. The Matagorda Island Unit of the refuge is a 56,683-acre natural area that was established to support the national migratory bird management program and to conserve endangered species. The island has no public means of access. Its isolation provides an unparalleled opportunity for protection of its bountiful natural resources.

For more information about Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and their resources visit:


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 $400/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. Also, a $1,000 moving bonus will be provided.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term. When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1,678.57) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment is required.

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 in the accomplishment of:

  • Invasive Plant Management: Via herbicide treatment and chainsaws. Species include: Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), saltcedar (Tamarix spp.), common reed (Phragmites australis), cattail (Typha spp.), live oak (Quercus virginiana), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), water hyacinth (Pontederia crassipes), and feral hogs (Sus scrofa).
  • Operate herbicide application related equipment including backpack sprayers, handheld sprayers, UTV mounted sprayers, and chainsaws
  • Invasive Plant Surveying: Surveying areas for non-native and invasive plant species
  • Operate hand-held smart devices using ArcGIS FieldMaps for monitoring purposes
  • Drive 4WD government trucks and UTVs

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: The heat and humidity in the Texas coastal bend can be intense. If you have had heat stroke, please do not apply for this position for health reasons. Daytime summer temperatures are generally between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, with temperatures occasionally rising over 95 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity reaching 100%. Local hazards include several species of venomous snakes, bees, wasps, mosquitoes, ticks, alligators, feral hogs, and uneven terrain.

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 training or 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, especially while handling, mixing, and applying pesticides. 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 Citizen
  • 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 (i.e., able and willing to hike several miles and perform physical duties outdoors in varying weather conditions, especially hot, humid outdoor conditions, for extended periods of time)
  • Effective oral and written communication skills with the public of all ages and diverse audiences
  • Ability to operate independently and in remote areas
  • Competent in Microsoft Office


  • Competitive applicants will hold or be pursuing an Associate’s degree or higher level degree in ecology, wildlife management, natural resource management, parks and recreation, rangeland management, or other related disciplines appropriate to the position. Experience will also be considered.
  • Prior experience in invasive species management and safely applying herbicides to minimize risk to applicators and non-target species
  • Ability to follow assigned protocols to perform tasks with many steps
  • Skills and ability to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in the field or office setting
  • Skill in inspecting, maintaining, and safely operating motorized vehicles and specialized equipment including UTVs, backpack sprayers, chainsaws, etc
  • High level of physical fitness, ability to hike in hot/humid conditions on rough, uneven terrain. No history of heat stroke
  • Knowledge of local plant communities including native and invasive species
  • Experience and/or knowledge with GPS equipment
  • Experience working with chainsaws
  • Experience driving off road utility vehicles
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field as a natural resource professional
  • Experience and/or knowledge in the mission of the USFWS and other federal land management agencies
  • A personal vehicle is recommended for personal time off and getting to-and-from their station
  • Ability to embrace travel opportunities as they arise to other nearby Refuges


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: 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, Andrew Garcia, 928-419-7035. 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: conservation, Habitat, nature, plant, and wildlife. Salaries: Less than 20,000.

Job expires in 7 days.

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