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ACE: Facilities and Management - Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, NJ

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking ONE Facilities and Management Emerging Professional to help with a diversity of maintenance and resource management projects at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge located along the Atlantic coast in southern New Jersey.
During this 26-week ACE internship work experience opportunity, the ACE member will work on a variety of facilities, maintenance, habitat restoration, and trail projects to improve access, maintain building function, protect nesting piping plover populations, and ensure a positive and safe experience for visitors. Additionally, this position will assist with the mentorship and leadership of the ACE youth summer program engaging local high school teens in conservation field projects within the Refuge.
This is a rare opportunity to challenge and enhance both your communication skills and conservation training by gaining practical experience in a variety of program areas on a national wildlife refuge. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic young professionals with a background in maintenance, natural resource management, facility operations, outdoor leadership and a deep interest in advancing their career goals in conservation and land stewardship. Working as a member of the refuge team, the member will help with a diversity of projects ranging from facilities and trail maintenance to endangered species management to youth outdoor leadership. The position involves both group and independent work, including leading a local high school group on stewardship projects for several weeks on site, help with Interpretation signs, plant inventories, maintenance work, invasive species management. This will allow for an all-around view of the work the US Fish and Wildlife Service does for wildlife and people in the Northeast.   
Start Date:  May 3rd 2020
End Date:  26 weeks later
Location: Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey
The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats which is actively managed for migratory birds. The refuge’s location in one of the Atlantic Flyway’s most active flight paths makes it an important link in seasonal bird migration.
Project Website: For more information about Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, please visit: more information regarding ACE, please visit
Housing: Shared Refuge housing is available on site in a bunkhouse

Compensation: The ACE Member will complete 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $600/week paid out biweekly. On site housing is available at no cost to the member.   
PLC Competitive Hiring Authority: This position is authorized by the Public Land Corps (PLC) Act of 1993 and expanded by the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2013. Individual placements who meet basic requirements during their term of service may be eligible to receive their Noncompetitive Hiring Eligibility Certificate to be used when applying to future federal jobs. Requirements are: (1) Individual placement must be between the ages of 18 to 30 and (2) Individual placement must complete at least 640 hours on a federally approved PLC Project. More information can be provided upon request. 
Position Description:
Primary duties will include:
  • Assist with conducting and monitoring of habitat restoration work; 
  • Participating in special events to promote the refuge and its mission;
  • Perform light maintenance (painting, trail clearing, boardwalk repair, lawncare, spreading gravel/stone dust, etc.) and assist maintenance staff with larger scale projects as needed;
  • Assist with various trail maintenance and restoration projects throughout the Refuge
  • Assist with biological work (plover and shorebird management), Salt Marsh monitoring and other Refuge work (e.g. public outreach and visitor service program) as opportunities and interest allows;
  • Safely mentoring and leading summer conservation stewardship field project programming for local high school students
  • Collect accurate and detailed project data as required
  • FWS certification on operating agricultural tractor, UTV, and small boats as opportunities and interest allows.
For 15 weeks of this opportunity, the ACE member will focus on facilities and field maintenance with the Refuge with 11 weeks of this position focused on assisting with the facilitation and leadership of the Refuge’s local summer high school stewardship program in partnership with ACE.
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.
Work ScheduleDuties will primarily be carried out Monday-Friday, but may include some Saturday and holiday work during the summer. This member may have projects that begin very early and/or go late into the day and may have weekend duties as well. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. Time off will be granted on an as-needed basis.
Equipment Use: ACE and the Refuge will provide a vehicle and the tools required to accomplish the tasks the member is asked to do. Training will be provided for all equipment that the member is asked to work with. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. A valid state driver's license is required.
Position Environment: 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. The member will be working outdoors and may be exposed to heat or cold, high humidity, stinging and biting insects, and inclement weather.
QualificationsApplicants must have a degree (or be pursuing towards a degree) in ecology, natural history, outdoor recreation, natural resource management, or other related disciplines appropriate to the position. A combination of relevant education and appropriate experience is also acceptable. Resumes must contain enough information to show that the applicant meets the experience as defined in the ACE Emerging Professional announcement. 
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident;
  • At least 21 years of age (as required to operate ACE or Agency vehicles). PLC eligibility for those 30 years of age and under 
  • A valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide such documentation; 
  • A personal vehicle is required for off-duty hours due to the distance of housing to office and stores
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Enthusiasm for interacting with people and learning how to assist visitors to enjoy refuge resources responsibly through interpretation, customer service, and facility maintenance
  • Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions
  • Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time. 
  • Ability to complete tasks independently and work well in a team
  • 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. 
  • Must have or be willing to receive a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training and certification
  • Must be willing to submit to a federal background check
  • The ACE member must be willing to represent ACE and the USFWS in a professional, positive and enthusiastic manner. 
ACE Emerging Professionals must be willing to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. 
Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties or while on federal property, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.
To Apply: Please submit your resume, thoughtful cover letter, and contact for three professional/academic references to the online application page, found through the external application link on Handshake.
NOTE: Early consideration will be given as resumes 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, Dave Hecker, 801.386.1629, or
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.