Job Type: Paid Internship
Salary Details: $450/week
Start Date: 04/3/2023
Estimated End Date: 9/30/2023
*a 26-week minimum commitment is required*

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is seeking 1 Member to contribute to the red imported fire ant project alongside USFWS Staff.

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Position Overview
The member will assist USFWS biologists monitoring the effectiveness of fire ant management at Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (APCNWR). Red imported fire ants decrease brood survival of Attwater prairie-chickens, a critically endangered grouse, by reducing the abundance of native arthropods that constitute the majority of chicks’ diet. Implementation of broadcast fire ant pesticide treatment at APCNWR has resulted in higher nesting success and survival of wild-hatched broods. USFWS biologists will use the results of this project to inform future management decisions in the recovery of this endangered species. Supportive duties of this monitoring and assessment position will include:

  • Following established survey and field work protocols to determine arthropod and ant abundance (and potentially diversity) including sweep netting, fatty-lure (hot dog) surveys, and others as necessary.
  • Lab processing of field collected samples including counting, weighing, and identification of arthropods.
  • Accurate and complete recording of collected data.
  • Daily communication with staff to determine day-to-day work plans and writing of brief summaries of project accomplishments.
  • Assisting in other environmental and wildlife surveys to support USFWS management objectives at APCNWR.
  • Assisting with other biological operations at APCNWR as required including activities associated with Attwater prairie-chicken recovery and invasive species management.

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.

Location Details/Description
Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge – Eagle Lake, TX

Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1972 to provide habitat for one of the last populations of the critically endangered Attwater’s Prairie-Chicken, a ground-dwelling grouse of the coastal prairie ecosystem. This habitat once spanned over 6 million acres from Corpus Christi to southwest Louisiana, but now less than 1% of this fragmented coastal prairie remains. With so little of its home left, the Attwater’s Prairie-Chicken has become one of the most endangered birds in North America. The 10,541-acre refuge offers one of the last hopes for survival of this charismatic bird. Located approximately 60 miles west of Houston, Texas, this refuge is home to one of the largest remnants of native coastal prairie remaining in southeast Texas.

Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge is one of a handful of national wildlife refuges established specifically for an endangered species. The refuge is managed to maintain or improve native coastal prairie communities for Attwater’s Prairie-Chicken reintroduction and survival. Management of this bird’s habitat benefits all native wildlife that inhabits this coastal prairie habitat. The refuge is one of the few places to get a glimpse into the past of what the Houston area used to look like before European settlement, where spring wildflowers bloomed, deer pranced, and prairie-chickens danced through the tall-grass prairie. 

For more information, please visit:

Duties will primarily be carried out Monday – Friday (730 AM – 4 PM). 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 $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 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $3,447.50 upon successful completion of 900 hours of service.

AmeriCorps Provided Childcare Coverage & Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for qualifying child care coverage and federal loan forbearance. 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 online here.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided housing at no cost for the duration of the term.

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. Additional FWS training opportunities may be available at the Refuge contingent upon factors such as the time of year, staff availability, etc.


  • 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 must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.
  • 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.
  • Member may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement or as defined by AmeriCorps.


  • Competitive applicants for this position will be holding a Bachelor’s degree, and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject.
  • Knowledge of taxonomic principles.
  • Experience using dichotomous keys.
  • Deep interest in ecology and understanding the natural world.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools. Required to stoop, kneel, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain.
  • 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 15 lbs., ability to move up to 40 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise at times.
  • 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 FWS or ACE. 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 Member Manager, Andrew Garcia, at 928-419-7035 or