Biological Support Member – Erie National Wildlife Refuge
American Conservation Experience (ACE), a non-profit conservation corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking ONE Biological Support Member to contribute to the biology program alongside
Erie National Wildlife Refuge Staff.
For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: March 2023
Estimated End Date: September 2023
*26 week commitment is required - start date may have 1 to 2 week flexibility*
Location Details/Description: Erie National Wildlife Refuge; Guys Mills, PA
Erie National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1959. The first lands for the refuge were purchased with funds
provided from the sale of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (also known as Duck stamps). Erie
refuge is a namesake of the Erie Indians, a Native American tribe that resided in the area. The refuge is not on the
shores of Lake Erie, but lies in Crawford County, 35 miles south of the city of Erie and Lake Erie in northwestern
Erie is the only refuge in the nation protecting endangered northern riffleshell and clubshell mussels. French Creek,
the most biologically diverse stream in Pennsylvania, flows near the Refuge where over 80 species of native fish are
found. The refuge is designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society and attracts more than
230 species of birds.
For more information about Erie National Wildlife Refuge, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/erie/
Position Overview: During this term, the ACE member will support a variety of projects and contribute to various
conservation-based goals throughout the refuge. The member will provide support and assistance under the
guidance and direction of FWS staff to:
● Conduct various biological inventories/surveys of plant and wildlife species, including breeding landbirds,
vernal pool amphibians, freshwater mussels, migratory waterbirds, and wetland plants
● Monitoring of invasive terrestrial and aquatic plants
● Monitoring of forest regeneration in old fields
● Mechanical, chemical, and biological control of invasive plants
● Conduct water quality monitoring in streams and creeks
● Monitoring of managed wetland impoundments (including monitoring water levels, water control
structures, culverts, and nuisance beaver issues)
● Conduct bat acoustic monitoring
● Ensure the quality of the data being collected.
● Collect biological data in digital format with handheld GPS unit.
● Analyze field data and trends over time, to use for report writing
● Accept guidance and direction from supervisor and other permanent and temporary refuge staff as
designated by supervisor.
● Invasives management assistance as needed.
● Assist with other refuge projects as assigned, such as other biological surveys, visitor services,
maintenance, refuge festivals, and other outreach events.
This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land
management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different
conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.
Schedule: Duties will often be carried out between 8 am - 4:30 pm, typically 5 days/week. (5-8s). Work hours may
vary. Some surveys will require work at dusk and dawn. 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
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.
AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for an 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award
while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $3,247.50 upon successful completion.
Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for federal loan forbearance. Additional enrollment
steps are required.
Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring
authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such
as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online
Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency dormitory-style housing at no cost for the
duration of the term. Some may travel to a nearby refuge to assist or work with another team. Travel costs such as
gas, tolls, food during travel can be reimbursed.
Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position specific training and an orientation outlining
ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support.
● Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts
● Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic
● Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
● A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
● Willing to undergo and must pass the required three-part criminal history check.
● Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
● 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.
● ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning of term feedback forms, end of term
evaluations and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation.
● Work safely at all times and use appropriate PPE.
● Ability to work well in a team, which will usually consist of 2 ACE members but may also include other
seasonal and refuge staff on occasion.
● Ability to work independently a majority of the time, maintaining a good work ethic and attention to detail
for the entire length of the internship.
● Ability to work under adverse conditions, including rain, mosquitoes, deer flies, and ticks.
● Members may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement.
● To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website:
● Prior experience in biological field work. Training in activities and equipment will be provided.
● Experience conducting bird point counts/breeding bird surveys in different environments, such as
forests, wetlands, and shrublands, and experience identifying birds of the Northeast by sight and sound.
● Ability and willingness to work with the public in a professional manner, work independently and as part
of a team, work in challenging field conditions, learn new field techniques, and maintaining a positive
● Ability and willingness to be flexible and adaptable to changing field conditions, schedules, and priorities.
● Deep interest in applied conservation management and collaborative work with conservation partners.
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/. 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 Member Manager, Claire Barnwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 484-7626.
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.
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