Change Your Future & Restore Our Lands
- Entry level
- Start Date:
Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a national non-profit Conservation Corps in Asheville NC, in partnership with AmeriCorps.
ACE is seeking Corps Members dedicated to serving 12 or 24 weeks on conservation projects, including habitat restoration and trail construction & maintenance. This opportunity is intended for young individuals (18-25) with a deep interest in advancing their environmental career and enthusiastic to receive Saw Training.
Start Dates: July 20, August 3, August 10, August 17
Estimated End Date: 12 or 24 weeks after Start Date
*All ACE branches have a 4-week furlough from mid-December to mid-January. This winter break is unpaid, and housing is not provided during this time.
Location: Asheville, NC
The July 20 Start Date comes with a Saw Training: Trainees will receive a Wilderness First Aid course, learn basic felling theory and technique, bucking and limbing technique, and maintenance of professional grade chainsaws. Participating in this training requires a 25-week commitment. This training is not available for the August Start Dates.
Schedule: Project schedules vary greatly, but typically Corps Members work 4 days on/ 3 days off. For remote projects, Corps Members spend off-days nearer to their project location, away from Asheville. Remote projects typically last about three weeks, with the 4 days on/3 days off schedule.
Projects take place throughout the East. Frequently, teams work in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pisgah National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway, Congaree National Forest, and Daniel Boone National Forest.
Benefits: Members will receive a Living Allowance Stipend of $110/week, paid bi-weekly.
Corps Members obtain an Education Award for the amount of $1,527.45 (450 AmeriCorps Hours - about 12 weeks) OR $2,887.50 (900 AmeriCorps Hours - about 24 weeks). The Education Award is contingent on successful completion of service.
ACE provides Corps Members with food during all project days; Corps Members are responsible for providing their own food on off-days.
ACE provides Corps Members with housing during their term of service. When working in or near North Carolina, Corps Members spend off-days in our hostel-style housing in Asheville. When working remotely, Corps Members will be provided housing in those remote locations or will camp on their off-days. The member will provide his or her own blankets/pillow/sleeping bag/towels.
Gear: ACE provides each member their own tent. The member will provide his or her own sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rain gear, hiking boots. Upon acceptance to the program, Corps Members will receive a more extensive packing list. Weather up and down the East can be highly variable so plan on bringing layers of warm clothing and adequate rain gear.
Travel: ACE provides transportation to and from worksites; personal vehicles are not necessary throughout the member's term of service. ACE does not provide relocation assistance.
Corps Members serve in professionally supervised teams as they explore future outdoor careers, learn practical field skills, and develop confidence as emerging leaders in the field of conservation. Members are afforded opportunities to learn and train under the guidance of professional mentors within ACE, while gaining invaluable career perspectives working alongside staff from the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and many other stewards of our nation's public lands.
Field work and other duties might include but are not limited to:
- Habitat restoration
- Trail construction and maintenance
- Dry and wet stone masonry
- Forest thinning
- Plant identification
- Seed collection
- Invasive species removal
Corps Members get experience working with or in conjunction with the following tools and equipment, depending on their level of training:
- Power Tools and Gas Powered Equipment: Chainsaws, brush-cutters, drills, saws, and compressors
- Trail Maintenance: Pick mattocks, Pulaskis, shovels, single/double jacks, McLeods, single bit axes, rock bars, chisels, crosscut saws, and griphoists
- Restoration Equipment: Herbicide backpack sprayers, spray bottles, GPS units, and measuring tools
Qualifications: Applicants must be capable of performing physically demanding labor on environmental and conservation projects for 10 hours a day. Applicants should expect to hike extended distances on rough terrain carrying 60 lbs, and be prepared to spend 8 consecutive days in the field, on one project. Corps Members will work and operate chainsaws in a variety of weather conditions such as temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, high winds, intense sunshine, rain, and snow.
- U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
- Must be between the ages of 18 and 35
- Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check
- Perform duties in inclement weather on steep terrain without access to restrooms or developed sanitation facilities.
- Possess a team-first, positive mindset, strong and proactive work ethic, and professional demeanor.
- Experience in hiking and navigation in steep terrain
- Strong desire to enter the conservation field as a natural resource professional
- Experience or interest in volunteering in local communities
The member must be willing to represent ACE and AmeriCorps in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. ACE has a zero tolerance policy for illegal drugs (including recreational pot-smoking) and underage drinking. ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.