Natural and Cultural Resource Management Member - Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking ONE Natural and Cultural Resource Management Member to assist with a variety of ongoing resource management projects alongside Cumberland Gap National Historical Park staff.
For more information on ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: Summer 2023 - start date flexible for right candidate
End Date: 48 weeks after start date
*a 48-week minimum commitment is required*
Location Details/Description: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (CUGA) - Middlesboro, KY
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (CUGA) is located at the corners of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Park contains 24,000 acres of which 14,000 acres are proposed wilderness. The natural beauty of Appalachian mountain country, lush with vegetation, supports a diverse flora and fauna. Cumberland Gap has 85 miles of hiking trails, mountains, streams, and caves. Middlesboro, Kentucky is the nearest town and is large enough to accommodate three grocery stores, fast food, several restaurants, and a movie theater. Knoxville, Tennessee is approximately 1.5 hours away and has many amenities of a large city.
For more information regarding Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: www.nps.gov/cuga.
Position Overview: The ACE member will assist the Park's Resource Management staff, with a majority of their time spent in the field performing physically demanding tasks as assigned.
Natural resource management duties will include:
- exotic plant control
- hemlock wooly adelgid control
- bat monitoring
- other wildlife monitoring
- ginseng monitoring as season allows
Cultural projects may include:
- transcription of oral histories
- assistance with archival backlog and compliance work
The member must be physically able to handle the demands of the work. Field work requires willingness and ability to work in all types of weather conditions year-round, hiking up to 8 miles a day carrying up to 40 pounds of gear on steep uneven terrain on and off trail. The majority of this work will be off trail in the backcountry.
The members will be trained in the specific projects, methods and protocol and will be expected to work as a team to continue work on their own. Preference will be given to individuals with plant identification skills and/or experience in vegetation monitoring and data collection. See additional requirements below.
Much of the fieldwork will be Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) control. The ACE member must be very comfortable navigating off trail in the backcountry using GPS. Backcountry camping will be required. This treatment is performed off-trail and requires bushwhacking through rhododendron, mountain laurel, and greenbrier along steep slopes, often crossing streams, all while carrying 2.5-gallon jugs of insecticide to apply the chemicals at the base of trees, marking treated trees, measuring the trees, and moving on to the next tree.
Another duty would be exotic plant control. Exotic plant control at Cumberland Gap is almost always accomplished by spraying herbicides. There are two primary methods of exotic plant control performed:
- The first is foliar treatment with a backpack sprayer that carries 2 - 3 gallons of herbicide. Foliar spraying large areas of exotic plants requires members to carry this heavy load of herbicide, often in full sun, on slopes in difficult terrain.
- The second method requires cutting down shrubs and small trees with hand tools and then spraying the stumps with concentrated herbicide solution.
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.
Schedule: The individual will be expected to work 40 hours/week, Mon - Fri, 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Living Allowance: ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $400/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.
AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 1700-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $6,495 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 1700 hours.
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 online https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.
Housing: IF there is room in the NPS dormitory, it will be available at no cost to the ACE Member and an allowance equivalent to its rent will be provided. The Member may opt out of NPS housing in favor of their own rental location and a housing allowance of $700/month ($175/week) will be provided, making the total living allowance $575/week.
NOTE: it can be rather difficult to secure rental accommodations in the Middlesboro area.
Boot Allowance: ACE members will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear for this position includes field boots and must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase.
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 US citizen or Permanent Resident, as required to comply with 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).
- A personal vehicle is required for personal errands due to the remote nature of this position.
- Willing to undergo and must pass required three-part criminal history checks.
- 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.
- Member may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement or as defined by AmeriCorps.
- To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.
- Ability to communicate clearly with peer professionals, volunteers, and NPS staff.
- The member will be required to hike 5-10 miles per day while carrying up to 40 lbs of gear on uneven and steep terrain, on and off trail, bushwhacking in some cases through rhododendron, mountain laurel, and greenbrier.
- Must be willing and able to perform the above fieldwork, including backcountry camping.
- Must be able and comfortable with navigating off-trail by maps and GPS units in the mountains.
- Must be willing and able to serve in all weather conditions, from 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 90% humidity in full sun in the summer, to freezing temperatures in winter.
- Must be willing to use herbicides and insecticides, and pass the Kentucky pesticide certification test to apply pesticides in forestry situations.
- Must be able to serve in a small group setting, performing strenuous duties, while maintaining a positive attitude.
- Ability to serve independently in remote areas.
- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in natural resource management or other related disciplines.
- Knowledge of the interrelationships of various natural and cultural resources; for example: range, wildlife, soil, water, and minerals.
- Ability to identify plants on sight or by using a dichotomous key.
- Interest in the National Park Service.
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. See position overview for more details.
- 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 40 lbs., ability to move up to 40 pounds.
- Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates. See position overview for more details
- Noise Environment: Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.
- Travel: This position will require hiking and camping in the backcountry.
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 NPS or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the NPS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the NPS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to NPS 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 EPIC Member Support Specialist, Kyle Ellison at email@example.com.
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.