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ACE: Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Restoration Fellows (2) – Kern National Wildlife Refuge

ACE: Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Restoration Fellows (2) – Kern National Wildlife Refuge

ACE EPIC placements provide young adults with focused, hands-on opportunities to work alongside and under the guidance of agency mentors as they apply their knowledge of resource management on their path to becoming the next generation of resource and land managers.

Funding for ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults. 

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking 2 Restoration/Invasive Species Fellows to help with a large invasive plant removal and habitat restoration project in the upland units of the Kern National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The fellows will be led by a team lead to remove the invasive species using various mechanical and chemical methods, conduct biological monitoring, and help with endangered species trapping. Once the treatment of the invasive species has been conducted, the fellows will plant native seeds to restore the vegetation.

Start Date: 12/12/2022
End Date:  35 weeks later

**35-week commitment required**

Location: Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Delano, CA

For more information about Kern National Wildlife Refuge, please visit:

Kern National Wildlife Refuge was established on November 18, 1960 and consists of 11,249-acres of natural desert uplands, a relict riparian corridor, and developed marsh. The visitor center and office complex opened in late 1999. The refuge headquarters is at the junction of Garces Highway and Corcoran Road. Situated on the southern margin of what was once the largest freshwater wetland complex in the western United States, Kern Refuge provides optimum wintering habitat for migratory birds with an emphasis on waterfowl and water birds.

Through restoration and maintenance of native habitat diversity, the refuge also provides suitable habitat for several endangered species as well as preserving a remnant example of the historic valley uplands in the San Joaquin Desert. Approximately 8,200 visitors annually participate in refuge programs ranging from wildlife viewing to waterfowl hunting.

For more information about Kern National Wildlife Refuge, please visit:

Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday - Friday.  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.

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $680/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term. When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required.  The fellow will be sharing common areas with other crew members.

Public Land Corps (PLC) Non-competitive Hiring Authority: Members serving on this project may be eligible to receive a Department of the Interior (DOI) PLC non-competitive hiring authority certificate upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours (16 weeks at 40 hours/week) and utilize their certificate when applying for qualifying federal positions within 2 years of receipt. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility

Position Description:
This individual placement is meant to facilitate personal growth and professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with agency professionals. This could include gaining experience in a variety of conservation fields and/or shadowing different work groups.
Primary Duties include:

●  Physical removal of invasive plants including hand pulling or with tools (including chainsaws, loppers, and hand saw).
●  Spot application of General Use Pesticides (with oversight by refuge staff)
●  Assist with other biological work, and other Refuge work (e.g. maintenance) as opportunities and interest allows.
●  Operation of Refuge vehicle, skid-steer, ATV, UTV, and other small equipment.
●  Other duties as assigned

Physical Requirements: This position requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over hot, dry, and rough surfaces while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards: Duties are performed primarily outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources. The member will be working outdoors and may be exposed to heat or cold, high humidity, stinging and biting insects, and inclement weather.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: The Refuge will provide a vehicle and the tools required to accomplish the tasks the member is asked to do. Training will be provided for all equipment that the member is asked to use, such as ATV/UTV and skid-steer. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. A valid state driver's license is required. Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.  


  • 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.
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo a criminal history check.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • A personal vehicle is required for off-duty hours due to the distance of housing to office and stores;
  • Strong writing, communication and organizational skills;
  • Ability to follow biological protocols and procedures
  • Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions.
  • Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time.
  • Ability to complete tasks independently and work well in a team
  • Ability and interest in working in the field with mostly hot but variable weather conditions and ability to lift 40 lbs. and walk long distances over uneven, dry surfaces.
  • Skills and abilities to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in a field or office setting.

Preferred (choose one):
  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject.
  • Prior experience and certification in herbicide application;
  • Experience using hand tools for physical removal of invasive species
  • Experience and certification with: UTV/ATV and skid-steer or similar heavy equipment;
  • Experience and certification using chainsaws;
  • Workplace experience following protocols in support of biological surveys

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:

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC USFWS Member Manager, Nich Jackosky,, (928) 699-6041.

Vaccination Requirement: 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.

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.