Wilderness Vegetation Technician Member

American Conservation Experience

John Day, OR

Job Type: Full Time (Seasonal)

Salary: $660/week

Start / End Dates: 05-20-2024 to 10-05-2024

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the Pacfish Infish Biological Opinion (PIBO) Monitoring Program, is seeking six Wilderness Aquatic Technician Members.

For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.

Start Date: May 20th, 2024

Estimated End Date: October 5th, 2024

Location Details/Description: Selected applicants will be placed in one of the three following locations

  • John Day, OR
  • Leadore, ID
  • St. Regis, MT

Members will report to one of three remote duty stations in ID, OR, or MT. Field projects will take place in various locations on Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (NPS) lands in OR and WA (east of the Cascade Mountains), ID, MT, and northern NV.

For more information about the PacFish Infish Biology Opinion (PIBO) monitoring program, please click here.

Position Overview:

The PIBO Monitoring Program is seeking to fill multiple positions to conduct riparian habitat and vegetation monitoring on streams located in the Columbia and Missouri river basins. These monitoring efforts are used to help guide management on federal lands to conserve bull trout and anadromous fishes. The PIBO program collects data on approximately 450 streams each year.

This is a field-based job. Members will spend 95% of their time living, hiking, and working in remote areas with uneven terrain and inclement weather conditions.

In this field position, the members will work with Forest Service Fish Biologists and Biological Technicians to monitor watershed conditions on USFS, BLM, and NPS lands. This is accomplished by conducting riparian vegetation surveys including green-line and riparian sampling transects, species-specific ground cover estimation, plant identification, repeating long-term photo points, identifying native and invasive species, and potentially measuring stream gradient or collecting environmental DNA (eDNA). Members will make extensive use of regional dichotomous keys for plant identification. Members will work on a crew with two to three Biological Technicians and/or members. Members may also have the opportunity to deploy/retrieve in-stream temperature sensors in watersheds and assist with extensive planning and logistics which involves mapping routes, finding campsites, navigating to remote sites and on regular backpacking trips.

Highly qualified applicants will have course work or experience in using dichotomous keys for plant identification and coursework in botany. This is a field-based job. Members will spend 95% of their time living, hiking, and working in remote areas with uneven terrain and inclement weather conditions.

Crews will work 8 consecutive 10-hour days (Tuesday to Tuesday) to conduct surveys, followed by 6 days off. During this time crews will camp in rustic dispersed campsites (no bathrooms or running water) in remote areas. Many sites will require backpacking into watersheds to set up a remote camp where surveys will be conducted. Field surveys will involve extensive hiking and bushwhacking off-trail on steep slopes to reach survey sites in streams. Hiking to sites may involve hiking up to 10 miles in a day. Once at the stream, members will work in cold water, walk on uneven surfaces, and climb over logs while carrying field equipment. Members can expect to work in variable weather conditions including cold, rain and 90+ degree days throughout the summer and may even see some snow at the end of the season. This is a physically demanding position.

While working, members will be provided with camping gear including tents and cooking gear. Members will be responsible for providing their own sleeping bag, rain gear, and other personal gear. Wading boots and waders will be provided. Members will be responsible for buying their own food prior to leaving for field stints.

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.

For further information on the position, please review this Powerpoint. It provides an in depth look into the day to day of the position.

Schedule: The member should anticipate serving eight 10-hr days for each work hitch (6 subsequent days off), with potential to work holidays.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $660/week, dispersed bi-weekly, and a field stipend of $33/day while in the field for food and incidentals.

Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or PIBO. Government housing is not available. Members will camp during their 8 days while conducting field surveys.

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. Members will receive four weeks of training prior to heading out into the field to conduct surveys including technical aspects of completing PIBO surveys and comprehensive safety training. You will learn to use data tablets, survey equipment, GPS units, and satellite communication devices.

Qualifications / Experience Level Required:

  • 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. To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.

  • Experience identifying plants using a dichotomous key.

  • Experience driving 4×4 and/or all-wheel drive vehicles safely in off-road conditions.

  • Experience hiking over remote, steep, and rocky terrain in adverse weather conditions (cold/hot temps, light rain, etc.).

  • Ability to navigate in remote areas using GPS, mobile devices as well as map and compass.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:
  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent sitting, standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talking and hearing. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and camp overnight under field conditions.

  • 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 25 lbs., ability to move up to 50 pounds.

  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.

  • Noise Environment: [Moderate to high noise such gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools.

  • 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. 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 Pacfish Infish Biological Opinion (PIBO) Monitoring Program. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the Pacfish Infish Biological Opinion (PIBO) Monitoring Program. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the Pacfish Infish Biological Opinion (PIBO) Monitoring Program, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to Pacfish Infish Biological Opinion (PIBO) Monitoring Program 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: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. 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 Sheana Ward, ACE EPIC Recruitment and Member Support Coordinator, at sward@usaconservation.org.

EEO: Employment with ACE is based upon ability, qualifications, attitude, and job-related factors. Every qualified employee or applicant has the same opportunity for recruitment, hire, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, demotion, termination, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information (including of a family member), veteran or military status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition, marital or parental status, political affiliation, ethnicity, hair texture or style, arrest record, caste, hereditary status, endogamy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.


Sheana Ward

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