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ACE: Wetland and Riparian Restoration Project Manager Fellowship -Virginia and Asheville, NC – Trout Headwaters Inc.

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Trout Headwaters, Inc. (THI) seeking 1 Wetland and Riparian Restoration Project Manager Fellow to assist in vegetation planting on two sites in rural Virginia while serving as the lead liaison between ACE CORPS and THI staff, thus ensuring the smooth project level coordination and completion.

This opportunity is intended for an enthusiastic young professional with a deep interest in advancing their career goals in natural resources, plant ecology, riparian/wetland ecology and restoration, forestry, fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, and/or wildlife management. 

This Project Manager Fellow is an interdisciplinary position, that involves both technical tasks and manual labor skills but primarily co-leadership of ACE Conservation CORPS members on site. This person serves as a trusted liaison among CORPS, THI, and ACE EPIC staff, thus ensuring that multi-dimensional work is accomplished according to pre-determined contract specifications in a safe and efficient manner. Also, the Project Manager ensures quality control to guarantee the project objectives and contract specifications are met and as a mentor to interns in the field. This is a dynamic position requiring creative thinking and adaptive management as well as the ability to perform a suite of interdisciplinary tasks.

Start Date: March 2nd or 9th, 2020
End Date: June 1st or 8th, 2020
**13 week/ full project completion required**

Location: Fellow will be starting at the ACE CORPS office in Asheville, NC and then travel to the Virginia worksite within 2 or 3 days. Stationed in rural Virginia, near Lovingston and The Plains. Project schedule is up to 13 weeks, averaging 5 (8 hour) workdays a week.

Project Websites: For more information about Trout Headwaters, Inc., please visit:
To learn more about the ACE EPIC Internship Program, please visit:

Compensation: The ACE Project Manager Fellow will complete 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $800-$1,00 DOE per week paid out biweekly for food and incidentals.  The Project Manager Fellow and crew will be camping in either a state park or state forest, within driving distance of the work site. The Fellow is welcome to camp at the state facilities too, or they may wish to find their own lodging. Amenities such as flush toilets and hot showers may be available.

Position Description: The restoration contract consists of two phases. The selected project manager will co-lead the planting of approximately 43,000 plants at two sites over 6 weeks. An additional 7 weeks co-leading the stream restoration installation phase. The Project Manager Fellow will perform a variety of duties, including but not limited to:
·      Participate in, co-lead and provide quality control of restoration work performed by ACE CORPS Members on the project in the planting of a variety of riparian and wetland-obligate vegetation according to pre-determined contract specifications
·      In cooperation with ACE and THI, formulate work plans and oversee their implementation, ensuring that contractual obligations for contract completion are met without delay
·      Record (daily) worksite progress and project development. This refers to use of field computer(s) and completion of field paperwork (measurable accomplishments, photo documentation, site journaling) and relaying information to project managers at ACE and THI
·      Provide input to the Crew Lead regarding the Performance Action System (PAS), the staff's tool for tracking and improving the progress of each CORPS individual as they go through their time in ACE. This includes twice weekly check-ins with individuals and the submission of written feedback to ACE CORPS and EPIC.
·      Provide assistance as needed to the Crew Leader (who is serving as the on-site Safety Officer) to ensure proper PPE use
·      Monitor daily site progress in collaboration with the Crew Leader, and provide constructive guidance, in cooperation with ACE and THI staff
·      Assist in planting, as needed, using species-specific protocols as prescribed by the site restoration plan to ensure that contractual obligations are met
·      Utilize the restoration plan, ecological knowledge and adaptive management to meet contractual obligations
·      Operate GPS units and record relevant data for reporting purposes
·      Safely operate ACE and THI vehicles, including ATV/UTVs at the worksites in various field conditions
·      Instill a workplace culture of collaboration, cooperation, and positivity

Equipment Use, Training, and Protocol:  Work will be performed in wetland and riparian environments during unsettled weather conditions. Expect wet and muddy conditions. Wetland and Riparian environments are prone to being mucky. Between the 2 planting sites; 42,615 plants will be installed in 4-6 weeks, depending upon site conditions. Planting sites are predetermined depending on species requirements. The pre-determined planting document must be followed to standard. ATV/UTV use will facilitate the movement of plants around the site.

Work Environment: 
Field work and other duties might include but are not limited to:
·      Wetland and Riparian habitat restoration including the installation of a wide variety of plants in a broad array of sites and conditions
·      Plant identification
·      Invasive species removal
·      Ability to follow a restoration plan and develop a working knowledge of plant spacing and habitat type in a short period of time
·      Planting quality control
·      Interfacing and working cooperatively with project partners to accomplish the project in a set period of time (on-time and on-budget)

Variety of different wetland plant species: ~70 species of mix of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
·      Willows, dog woods, sycamores, witch hazel, maples, buckeyes, oaks, sedges, ferns, and many other species.

Planting forms include but are not limited to:
·      Bare roots, Plugs, Tubers, Dormant live Stakes, Fascines, Whips, 1-gallon containers, 4 inch containers, Tubelings

Habitat types:
·      I.e. dry, shade, light // wet, dry, shade, light // etc.
Qualifications:   Applicants must have a degree applicable to position such as riparian or wetland ecology, fluvial geomorphology, watershed science, ecological restoration, plant ecology, natural resource management, botany, wildlife management, plant taxonomy, or other related disciplines appropriate to the position. Illustrating a relevant combination of experience and education is also acceptable. 

Resume and Cover Letter must contain enough information to show that the applicant meets the experience needed, as defined in this announcement. Experience leading field crews is desired. Applicants should expect to hike extended distances on wet, mucky terrain carrying 40 lbs., and be prepared to spend up to 6 consecutive weeks in the field, on this project.
The Fellow and Members will work in a variety of weather conditions such as temperatures ranging from below freezing to upper 60's, high winds, intense sunshine, heavy rain, and possibly snow. ACE is searching for those individuals with fine-tuned skills in time and project management, interpersonal communications, and quality control. The applicant needs experience in meeting deadlines and pacing themselves with the understanding that working conditions could be difficult. Once hired, failure to complete the project is NOT an option.
·      US Citizen or Permanent Citizen
·      Intern must be between the age of 21 and 35
·      A valid driver's license, must be 21 years of age to drive a vehicle, have a clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation; a personal vehicle is highly recommended for commuting to and from the job sites, and including an initial project oversight training at the ACE Asheville office
·      Experience leading field crews in variable weather conditions
·      Strong desire to further advance as a natural resource professional
  • Ability to operate independently and in collaboration with THI
  • Must take all measures possible to ensure the safety of yourself and others and understand all safety precautions involved
·      Effective oral and written communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences
·      Able and willing to work alone and in a group
·      Able and willing to perform duties outdoors, including hiking several miles at a time, in varying weather conditions, including variable spring conditions
·      Capable of participating in sustained physical labor including ability to frequently push, pull, and lift 40 lbs
·      Competent in Microsoft Office
·      Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check
·      Ability to follow assigned protocols to perform tasks with many steps
·      Skill in maintaining and safely operating motorized vehicles and specialized equipment including all types of tree planting equipment

ACE Emerging Professionals must be willing to represent ACE and THI in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. 

Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties or while on federal property, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.
To Apply: Please submit your resume, thoughtful cover letter, and contact for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here:
NOTE: 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 EPIC USFWS Division Support Specialist, Dave Hecker, 801.386.1629, or

EOE: 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.