Southeast Coast Invasive Plant Management Team Members - Congaree National Park
American Conservation Experience
Location: Hopkins, South Carolina
Salary: $450/week living allowance
Area of Focus:
2 openings available.
Internal Number: SE-IPMT
Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking TWO Members for the Southeast Coast Invasive Plant Management Team (SEC-IPMT) to contribute to invasive plant management projects alongside the SEC-IPMT Staff.
Location Details/Description: Congaree National Park, Hopkins, South Carolina
Congaree National Park is a stunningly beautiful and very special place. This park protects the largest contiguous tract of old-growth floodplain hardwood forest in the southeast. Our boundaries encompass approximately 27,000 acres, the majority of which is designated wilderness. In general, the climate is mild with very, very hot and humid summers. Columbia is the closest major city to the Park. It is a very nice city with much to keep you busy and entertained. There are many hiking opportunities within a short drive of the city and this is a wonderful place to be if you are a paddler. Columbia is also only about 2 hours from the mountains and 1.5 hours from the ocean.
Position Overview:This placement is a 36-week opportunity to be a part of a traveling team that will focus on invasive plant management at 13 parks in the Southeast Region. These include national parks in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. The team will visit several, not all, of these parks during the term.
Members will control non-native plants using both manual and chemical methods (75%), perform distribution mapping of non-native plants using GPS (10%), and assist with additional resource management field, GIS, and data management projects (15%). Because of the travel intensive nature of this position, we are looking for adaptable applicants willing to work in an environment requiring a lot of flexibility. At times our travel plans change suddenly due to unforeseen weather or training opportunities.
The team will be manually removing exotic invasive vegetation in both urban and rural NPS sites. The team will live together while in travel status, so the ability to get along with others is vital. The housing accommodations will vary from rustic park housing to hotels, but while traveling camping will not be required. The program is interested in crewmembers with initiative, leadership ability, patience, and an intense work ethic who have a desire to expand their resumes.
This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to NPS land management and networking with professionals at various parks. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups. Members will potentially receive training on chainsaw and brushcutter use, herbicide safety and handling, truck and trailer driving, hand tool use, GIS skills, and see a variety of beautiful parks located in the Southeast.
Schedule: The team will be based at Congaree National Park near Columbia, SC; however, will periodically travel on a work schedule of eight consecutive ten hour working days, then return to Congaree for six scheduled days off before traveling to the next park or site for eight, ten-hour days.
Position Benefits: Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $450/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.
AmeriCorps Education Award Program:This position may be eligible for a 1200-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $4,546.50 upon successful completion of a complete service term. This is dependent upon AmeriCorps slot availability.
Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for federal loan forbearance. Additional enrollment steps are required.
Qualifying Child Care Coverage: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for qualifying child care coverage. 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 onlinehttps://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.
Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided park dormitory style housing at no cost for the duration of the term.
The team will live together while in travel status, so the ability to get along with others is vital. The housing accommodations will vary from rustic park housing to hotels, but while traveling camping will not be required.
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 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 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 or as defined by AmeriCorps.
A personal vehicle is required for the duration of the position for personal transportation.
Must be able and willing to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, and capable of participating in physical labor.
This position is physically demanding and will require walking up hills and through dense vegetation in varying weather conditions. These individuals must at times work in poison ivy infested landscapes.
Must be comfortable living in tight quarters with small group of people, possibly sharing a room on your off days
Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as botany, ecology, biology, wildlife, natural resources, environmental science, entomology, or a related field.
Experience with invasive plant management or restoration.
Experience operating a vehicle while pulling a trailer.
Experience identifying and managing native and non-native plants.
Experience using GPS and GIS software
An ability to use power equipment and 4WD vehicles.
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. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. 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: Must be physically able to hike while carrying up to 40 pounds of gear on uneven and steep terrain, on and off trail, in a variety of weather conditions. Must be able to hike up to 5 miles over steep terrain for up to 8 hours/day.
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 as gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools.
Travel: This position involves intensive travel to parks in the Southeast.
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 partner or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the partner. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the partner, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to partner and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.
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 Recruitment Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.