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Pollinator Survey Field Member - Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is seeking One Pollinator Survey Field Member to contribute to monarch, plant, and native bee monitoring at National Wildlife Refuges throughout the Southwest and Midwest Regions.

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: May 2023
Estimated End Date: November 2023 (28 weeks later)
*a 28-week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description: Neal Smith NWR near Prairie City, IA

The member will travel throughout their terms to National Wildlife Refuges in the Southwest and Midwest, spending approximately one week at each location. 

For more information about the US Fish and Wildlife Services’ contributions to pollinator conservation, please visit:

Position Overview: Monarch populations have decreased precipitously since the late 1980’s. Beginning in 2014, the US the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has focused work on several fronts to define threats and strategies to minimize the decline and reduce the risk of extirpation. In partnership with other agencies and organizations, this work led to the development of the The Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program (IMMP). The IMMP is a national program to collect milkweed, nectar plant, and monarch use data from a variety of land-use types and regions. This information is vital to shaping our understanding of how monarchs interact with their environment, documenting conservation efforts, and tracking the population and its habitat as they change over time. 

Primary Duties include:
  • Conducting monarch, plant, and native bee surveys according to USFWS protocols and field methods
  • Traveling to a wide variety of National Wildlife Refuges to conduct surveys
  • Performing quality control on collected data at regular intervals throughout the term
  • Data entry and management

Please Note: The primary method for conducting bee surveys on this project involves euthanizing bees by setting out colored soapy bowls of water for capture. This method is required in order to identify the species under a microscope (the bee specimens will be shipped to the lab for identification). This survey method is used later in the season so as not to capture queen bees; studies have been done which found that this method does not negatively impact bee populations. The member must be willing to conduct these surveys along with their other primary duties.

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.  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 $700/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

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: The ACE member will be accommodated in provided housing at no cost for the duration of the term. As members travel to different sites, the provided housing may be on the refuge, or at nearby hotels/airbnbs.

Provided Training/Orientation: The ACE member 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 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 two-part criminal history check.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • 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. 
  • 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
  • Members must be willing to conduct the bee surveys, and other duties as described in the position overview.

  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as biology, ecology, botany, natural resource management, parks and recreation, rangeland management, or other related disciplines appropriate to the position.
  • Experience with plant identification
  • Strong attention to detail, can ensure the quality of collected data
  • Ability to work in a team and accept guidance from supervisor and other refuge staff
  • Ability to live communally in a clean and respectful manner
  • Willingness to work in field conditions which will include insects, heat, humidity, rain, etc.
  • Effective communication and organizational skills
  • Knowledge of the mission of the USFWS and other federal land management agencies

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:
  • Physical Demands: This position requires physical exertion such as hiking long distances over hot, wet and rough terrain while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching, talking and hearing. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment and may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 40 lbs., ability to move up to 40 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.
  • Travel: This position requires domestic travel.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards:  The ACE 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 Fish and Wildlife Service.  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 EPIC FWS Member Manager Danielle Ramsden at or (986) 217-2977.

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.