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Aquatic Ecology Member - New River Gorge National Park and Preserve - AmeriCorps Eligible

Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit Conservation Corps, partnership with NPS, is seeking ONE Aquatic Ecology Member to assist New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (NERI) staff with water quality monitoring, laboratory analyses, and collection of dragonfly nymphs for mercury analysis.

Start Date: April 26, 2021 (flexible by 1-2 weeks)
End Date: July 16, 2020
* A 12-week commitment is required *

Location: New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Glen Jean, West Virginia.
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is located in southern West Virginia and encompasses 70,000 acres and 53 miles of one of the oldest rivers on the continent. NERI is home to a vast array of natural and cultural resources. Renowned for its recreational opportunities, NERI host miles of hiking and biking trails, premiere whitewater rafting, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, bird watching, and camping.
Park staff also manages nearby Bluestone National Scenic River (BLUE) and Gauley River National Recreation Area (GARI). BLUE protects 10.5 miles of free-flowing river and offers a rich variety of natural resources and history along the Bluestone Turnpike Trail. GARI protects 25 miles of the Gauley River and 6 miles of Meadow River. Known for its multiple class V rapids, GARI is one of the most adventurous rivers in the east.

Project Website: For more information about the park, please visit their website at:,,
For more information about ACE, please visit:

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $462/week to offset the costs of food, housing, and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. The member will have use of a government vehicle for project-related travel, though a personal vehicle is required for time off and transportation to/from the park.

Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or NPS.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 450-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($1,638.89) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment and volunteer service is required.

Position Description: The ACE member will learn about natural resource management issues through interactive experiences and assignments at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation Area. They will assist Natural Resource Management staff and partners with water quality field monitoring, laboratory analyses, and data management, as well as monitoring aquatic organisms. The member will interact with the public and share information on park resources and issues, including challenges such as water pollution.

Training: This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. NPS will provide training on protocols for safe and valid field sampling, laboratory analyses, and safety techniques such as CPR and first aid. Cross-training opportunities are encouraged and can include amphibian surveys, bird netting, invasive species management, vegetation management, native seed collection, GIS, and interpretive programs/education.

Physical Demands: The environment for the collection of aquatic samples requires physical demands of walking on uneven, rocky, and slippery surfaces; standing, bending, stretching and stooping; lifting and carrying equipment; wading in ankle to chest deep water; and exposure to hot, humid, and rainy conditions.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours and utilize their certificate before the age of 30.

  • 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.
  • This position is funded through the Public Land Corps Act which has specific program requirements.
  • Must be 21-30 years of age to apply (members must be 21+ to apply for an ACE position that requires or anticipates operation of agency or ACE vehicles for duties).
  • Military Veterans up to 35 are encouraged to apply.
  • US 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.
  • A personal vehicle
  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to safely follow procedures used in the field
  • Desire to learn and apply new concepts
  • Must be able and willing to serve outdoors, in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in physical labor
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Degree or coursework in aquatic ecology, fishery biology, ichthyology, biology, zoology, physiology, entomology, ecology, environmental science, natural resource management, conservation, or hydrology
  • Experience with field data collection and laboratory procedures
Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties or while on federal property, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.

To Apply: Please submit a resume, cover letter, and 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing by clicking on the green Apply Externally button. 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 NPS Eastern Member Coordinator, Madison Douthitt at

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.