American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking TWO Natural Resource Members to assist with a variety of ongoing resource management projects alongside Cumberland Gap National Historical Park staff.
The ACE member will assist the Cumberland Gap’s Resource Management staff in accomplishing a variety of tasks. The member will spend the majority of their time in the field performing physically demanding tasks as assigned. Approximately 75 – 80% of the fieldwork will be Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) control; duties will also include exotic plant management and other invasive species work.
This project is very physically demanding. In order to perform Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) control, the ACE member must be very comfortable navigating off trail in the backcountry using GPS. Backcountry camping in a team of two will be required. This treatment is performed off-trail and requires bushwhacking through rhododendron, mountain laurel, and greenbrier up-and-down steep slopes, crossing streams, carrying 2.5-gallon jugs of insecticide, measuring trees, applying chemical at the base of the tree, marking treated trees, and moving onto the next tree. The Member must be able to hike up to 8 miles a day carrying up to 40 lbs of gear in all weather conditions and in steep terrain.
Another duty would be exotic plant control. Exotic plant control at Cumberland Gap is almost always accomplished by spraying herbicides. There are two primary methods of exotic plant control performed:
The first is foliar treatment with a backpack sprayer that carries 2 – 3 gallons of herbicide. Foliar spraying large areas of exotic plants require members to carry this heavy load of herbicide, often in full sun, on slopes in difficult terrain.
The second method requires cutting down shrubs and small trees with hand tools and then spraying the stumps with concentrated herbicide solution.
The member will spend the remainder of their time performing other relevant tasks as assigned. Examples of other duties include bat monitoring, wildlife surveys, and ginseng surveys.
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.
- Must be US Citizen or Permanent Resident to comply with US government contracts
- Willing to represent ACE and partner organization in professional manner
- Ability to be both self-directed and be a contributing member of a group
- Have a valid driver's license and insurable driving record
- Willing to undergo and pass a criminal history check
- Ability to perform essential duties with or without accommodations
- Ability to communicate clearly
- A personal vehicle is required
- Able to hike 5-10 miles per day while carrying up to 40 lbs of gear
- Willing to perform fieldwork, including backcountry camping
- Comfortable navigating off-trail using a map and GPS unit
- Willing to serve in all weather conditions
- Willing to use herbicide and insecticide and pass KY pesticide certification test
- Able to serve in a small group setting while staying positive
- Ability to serve independently in remote areas
- Must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or request an exemption
- Hold or pursuing a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in natural resource management or related discipline
- Knowledge of the interrelationships of various natural and cultural resources
- Ability to identify plants on sight or using a dichotomous key
- Interest in the National Park Service
About American Conservation Experience
American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities for youth of all backgrounds to explore and improve public lands while gaining practical professional experience.