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Invasive Species & Wildlife Biology Members - Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Invasive Species & Wildlife Biology Members - Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is seeking (3) Members to contribute to invasive species management and mountain camera trap surveys under the guidance of USFWS Staff.
For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: 05/08/2023
Estimated End Date: 09/30/2023
*a 21-week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description: Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, MT

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is in southwest Montana along the Montana-Idaho border in the Centennial Mountain Valley approximately 50 miles west of Yellowstone National Park. The Refuge comprises the largest wetland complex in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem at an approximate valley elevation of 6700 feet. It resides in a wilderness area and is bordered on one side by the Centennial Mountains leveling out onto a mosaic of wetlands, and then into semi-arid grasslands and sagebrush. Grizzly bears are present on the landscape at the Refuge, along with elk, deer, wolves, mountain lions, pronghorn, moose, swans, and numerous waterfowl species. Summers are short and generally mild, with temperatures rarely exceeding the mid-80s, but with very chilly mornings sometimes dipping below freezing - it can snow during any month at the Refuge. Mosquitos are also abound during spring and summer months.

For more information, please visit:

Position Overview: Members will support the USFWS on two main projects: invasive species management and mountain camera trap surveys.

The invasive species management project is designed to manage and prevent spread of invasives on the Refuge and inform the management team of problem areas. Duties for this project will include:
  • taking daily detailed notes and inventorying daily herbicide use
  • properly recording data sheets and incorporating into GIS mapping
  • overseeing the safe and proper mixing and application of different herbicides for different weed species
  • using a 4 gallon (45lb) backpack sprayer and traversing uneven and steep terrain 8+ hours a day
  • using an ATV/UTV to haul a pull-behind sprayer for herbicide application along roadsides
  • plotting points w/ GPS and uploading points into GIS
  • regularly coordinating work logistics with the Refuge NGO partner
  • cleaning, organizing, and properly storing all chemicals and equipment
  • completing a highly detailed end of year report outlining areas sprayed, herbicides used and amounts, area-type, weed type, next year's recommendations, leftover herbicide inventory, and all things associated with herbicide application

The mountain camera trap surveys are designed to inventory forest megafauna with an emphasis on capturing carnivores - specifically: black and grizzly bears, wolves, mountain lions, lynx, pine martens, and wolverines. Duties for this project will include very rewarding but arduous mountain tasks such as:
  • camera placement, checking, and baiting 13 cameras once a month
  • categorization by species for each camera for each monthly check
  • organizing data by factors such as time of day, number of distinct individuals of each species, number of same individuals on same and different cameras, number of visits of distinct and new individuals, sex of animals captured, weather/temperature conditions corresponding to captures
  • submitting an end of year report for this project which will contain all categorized data for each camera in and incorporating data from previous years

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 primarily be carried out Monday - Friday and days/hours may vary throughout the position. Weekly schedules may fluctuate between five 8-hour days/week or four 10-hour days/week depending on work progress, the project timeline, and weather. 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.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~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 675-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $2,626.27 upon successful completion of the term and program requirements.

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 at

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided housing at no cost for the duration of the term.

Relocation Allowance: ACE members will have access to up to $750 to be used for eligible relocation expenses. Further details regarding the distribution of these funds will be provided during the interview process.

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. Specific trainings will include bear spray training, wilderness first aid, herbicide applicator training and UTV/ATV training. Members will be equipped with all tools necessary for safe work performance in the field.


  • 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 manner.
  • 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.
  • Member may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement or as defined by AmeriCorps.
  • Ability to positively identify invasive plant species.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website at

  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a Bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resource management, ecology, wildlife biology, or a related subject.
  • Knowledge and proficiency with a GPS and GIS map-making for onsite navigation, Avenza, Microsoft Excel, Survey 123, and experience working with iPads, which will be used for data collection.
  • Ability and willingness to working in warm temperatures with biting mosquitos.
  • Comfortability with remote locations and working and living near grizzly bears. Shopping for groceries and immediate medical care are upwards of two hours away, with the closest communities being Idaho Falls, Idaho (110 miles), Rexburg, ID (102 miles), Dillon, Montana (84 Miles), and West Yellowstone, Montana (50 miles).
  • Deep interest in invasive species management, wildlife surveying and monitoring, and ecology.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: Requires standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talking and hearing. Manual dexterity required for the use of various tools. Required to stoop, kneel, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain under field conditions.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Ability to move up to 40 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Travel: This position may require domestic travel.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife such as grizzly bears. 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.

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: 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 Member Manager, Andrew Garcia, at 928-419-7035 or

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.