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Biological Support Member – Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee NWR

Biological Support Member – Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee NWR

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:

Summary:  American Conservation Experience (ACE), a non-profit conservation corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking 1 Biological Support Member to contribute to alongside Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge Staff. During this term, the ACE member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the accomplishment of diverse management activities on various wildlife habitats, forested wetlands, upland and riverine habitats for the improvement and/or maintenance of these habitats for the benefit of a wide variety of plant and animal species.

Start Date: Spring 2023
End Date: Fall 2023
**26-week commitment required, approximately 1040 hours**

Location: Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee NWR, Starkville, MS

Approximately 42,500 acres of the refuge is forested composed of bottomland hardwoods,
upland hardwood, mixed pine-hardwood, and pine species. These forested lands are
occupied by a variety of upland species including turkey, deer, and quail. The endangered
red-cockaded woodpecker relies on the refuge for its existence in eastern central
Mississippi. In addition, many neotropical migratory bird species greatly benefit from
Noxubee's forests. Four green-timber reservoirs (GTR), two major lakes, many small
ponds, and sixteen impoundments provide important habitat for wintering waterfowl and
bald eagles.

For more information about Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee NWR, please 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 $550/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no or low 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 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award 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. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility.

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 following tasks:
  • Assists the wildlife biologist in the management and monitoring of endangered/threatened species and/or species with sensitive management implications utilizing Service lands.

  • Conducts migratory bird and waterfowl surveys in accordance with station objectives.

  • Conducts maintenance of the biological program equipment, supplies, and field areas.

  • Operates refuge equipment including boats, kayaks, canoes, outboard motors, all-terrain vehicles, trucks and farm and heavy equipment.

  • Assists with the control of invasive and nuisance species. Identifies, maps, and treats areas with invasive plant species such as Chinese tallow tree, Japanese Climbing Fern etc. Carriers out beaver and feral hog control activities, including removal of beaver dams to protect valuable timber/wildlife resources.

  • Assists with the preparation of plans and reports on endangered species, migratory species and other wildlife population surveys.

  • Assists with public use programs, which include fishing, wildlife observation, environmental education and recreation

  • Assists with maintaining grounds to include mowing grass, weed-eating, cleaning restrooms, and minor maintenance to boardwalks/signs etc.

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 biological support member may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources.

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 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.  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.
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • Ability to use computer technology to maintain and retrieve information from automated data systems, develop spreadsheets, and use word processing and statistical software programs in order to develop reports.
  • Familiarity with geographic information system (GIS), aerial photography and survey techniques, and global positioning systems (GPS).
  • Ability to communicate in writing in order to assist in the preparation of wildlife management survey summaries
  • Knowledge of the USFWS mission

Preferred Qualifications
  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies, Wildlife Biology, Forestry, Natural Resource Management, or other related field of study appropriate to this position.
  • Experience in biological fieldwork, equipment maintenance
  • Education and/or experience using Geographic Information Systems, mapping, GPS

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 Member Manager, Johannah McCollum,, (701)389-2152.

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.