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Invasive Plant Internships in Asheville, NC

American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking TWO Natural Resource Management Interns to dedicate 26 weeks in support of the NPS Southeast Exotic Plant Management Team (SE-EPMT). The purpose of the SE-EPMT is to provide support to partner parks in the management, control, and eradication of invasive, exotic plants and forest pathogens.

These opportunities are intended for conscientious, enthusiastic, individuals with a background in any aspect of natural resource management. Individuals applying for these positions should be aware these positions involve extensive travel within the southeastern US and often strenuous physical field labor.

Start Date:    _7/9/2018  (with some flexibility)

End Date:      _1/9/2019  (or 26 weeks from the start date)

* A 26-week minimum commitment is required * 

Location: The SE-EPMT is based in Asheville, NC. Fieldwork will be conducted in seven southeast states in 20 National Park units.

Project Partner Website: For more information regarding the Se-EPMT, please visit the NPS website at: http://www.nature.nps.gov/biology/invasivespecies/EPMT_teams.cfm. For more information on the ACE Internship Program, please visit: www.usaconservation.org

Compensation: The ACE interns receive a living allowance of $250/week for food and incidental expenses, paid bi-weekly.  A weekly housing allowance of $130 will also be provided. Total stipend is $380/week, paid out bi-weekly.

Extensive travel is required and all project-related hotel expenses are covered by ACE/NPS. Any out-of-pocket reimbursements will be fulfilled approximately two weeks after approved travel documents are submitted to ACE.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award of ($2,907.50) upon successful completion of internship hours. Additional enrollment is required.

Project Background and Objectives: One of the many ways the NPS is addressing invasive species is through the Exotic Plant Management Program. The program assists parks in preventing introductions of new species, reducing existing infestations, and restoring native plant communities and ecosystem functions. In 2000, the NPS created the Exotic Plant Management Program that now supports 18 teams contributing in over 300 park units. Exotic Plant Management Teams (EPMT) are led by individuals with specialized knowledge and experience in invasive plant management. Each field-based team operates over a wide geographic area and serves over a dozen parks to increase operational efficiency. The EPMT uses multiple strategies to create a work plan specific to the needs of the individual partner park. All treatment, control and restoration methods are reviewed and approved by the partner park and the NPS Integrated Pest Management Program.

Participants in the SE-EPMT Program have historically had great access in networking and continued employment within NPS and other agencies involved in natural resource management. This internship provides a great opportunity to develop professional relationships with many NPS park units and partners in a short amount of time.

Position Description: After habitat loss, invasive species are considered the greatest threat to global diversity. Exotic-plant management, including use of mechanical, manual and chemical control and site restoration, is a high priority in our National Parks. The SE-EPMT is tasked with providing assistance in controlling invasive plants for 20 National Park units in seven southeastern states. In this intensive field position, ACE Interns will be exposed to a variety of terrains to implement and document invasive plant management control methods including manual, mechanical, and chemical techniques using chainsaws, pole-saws, brush-cutters, hand tools, and manual and gas powered sprayers. Additionally, interns will also be responsible for using GPS and GIS to locate and document sites and invasive plant populations. As many of the sites are located in remote locations, interns will be required to operate 4WD vehicles and all-terrain vehicles. Transport of equipment typically includes an open trailer and experience pulling, hitching and backing a trailer is considered a plus.

Schedule: A typical schedule is eight, ten hour days followed by six days off OR four ten-hour days with three days off.

Training: The EPMT will provide training to interns in manual and chemical control techniques and safety; Use of GPS/GIS and database programs; Exotic and native plant identification; Off-road and defensive driving skills; Red Cross First Aid/CPR; and ATV/UTV safe operator certification.

Qualifications:  Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and/or experience in some aspect of natural resource study. This could include subject areas such as botany, ecology, biology, wildlife, natural resources, environmental science, entomology, or related disciplines.


  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Must be 21-35 years of age; operation of agency vehicle will be required.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation.
  • Must be open to varying and flexible schedules – plan the work, then work the plan.
  • Must be able and willing to serve outdoors in varying weather conditions and participate in often strenuous physical labor.
  • Must be physically fit and have the ability to carry up to 40-lbs up to 5 miles over steep terrain for up to 8 hours/day.
  • Must have a personal vehicle for commuting travel to and from Asheville office at beginning and end of hitch.
  • Must have a deep interest in fieldwork and a respect for nature.
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required.
  • Proficiency in English is required.


  • Experience with invasive plant management or restoration.
  • A strong demonstrated interest and/or education in the field of natural resources.
  • Experience identifying and managing native and non-native plants.
  • Experience using GPS and GIS software.
  • Excellent writing, research, and organizational skills.
  • An ability to use power equipment and 4WD vehicles.
  • Experience operating a vehicle while pulling a trailer.
  • Experience and interest in contributing to a group and individually with minimal supervision under physically challenging conditions.
  • Able to communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing, with NPS resource professionals and their partners.
  • Strong leader and equally strong team member.
  • Effective communication skills with diverse audiences.
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome.

The interns must be willing to represent ACE and NPS in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.  ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.

To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with contact information for 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right-hand corner of the position listing on our website here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/.

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This posting may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact NPS representative, Nancy Dagley at (828) 407-5651, nancy_dagley@nps.gov or ACE EPIC Nat’l Division Director, Peter Woodruff at (801) 989-7069, pwoodruff@usaconservation.org.

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