American Conservation Experience

  • Salt Lake City, UT, USA


Founded in 2004 in Flagstaff, Arizona, American Conservation Experience (ACE) has emerged as a national leader in recruiting, coordinating, and training volunteers to undertake practical environmental restoration projects in America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands. Originally formed under the conservation corps model, which remains the central and largest program in our organization, ACE now provides a range of voluntary service programs for both American and international participants.

ACE’s conservation corps program is for American participants, aged 18-35 who are considering land management as a career path or potential course of study. 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. Corps members are supported during their 3-12 month service terms with cost of living stipends, food on projects, and free common housing on off days.

Most importantly, members are afforded opportunities to learn and train under the guidance of professional mentors within ACE, while gaining invaluable career perspectives working side by side with 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.

Since 2004, ACE has demonstrated that American participants gain a powerful, enriching experience in the outdoors when their efforts are shared with an international community of like-minded youth. ACE’s Conservation Corps members are assigned to projects serving alongside our Conservation Volunteer participants as often as possible, and live in shared housing with our international participants between projects.


American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities that harness the idealism and energy of a volunteer labor force to help restore America’s public lands. ACE is grounded in the philosophy that cooperative labor on meaningful conservation projects fosters cross-cultural understanding and operates on the belief that challenging volunteer service unites people of all backgrounds in common cause.

Our Cause

National Parks, National Forests, Wildlife Refuges, wilderness areas and other public lands throughout the United States are imperiled by a combination of dynamics that threaten habitat, endanger vital ecosystems, and compromise the non-negotiable right of the next generation to explore the natural world. While population growth leads to habitat loss, sacrifice of open space, and acute pressure on native wildlife and plant species, America’s land managers face a chronic shortfall of funding to restore our nation’s most treasured lands.

A popular ethic of service and volunteerism is sweeping through the nation and the world. American citizens and their international counterparts are eager to support the cause of environmental conservation, representing a virtually unlimited labor force that properly harnessed, coordinated, and supported, has the potential to revolutionize the capacity of America’s land managers to accomplish restoration work on a scale never before envisioned. However, the national infrastructure to support and manage this unprecedented wave of volunteer dedication has not been fully developed. ACE is committed to capturing this growing worldwide spirit of service by providing the professional level of coordination, training, and supervision necessary to translate idealism into accomplishment for the benefit of America’s National Parks, Forests, Wildlife Refuges, and other protected lands.

American Conservation Experience Santa Fe, NM, USA
Feb 19, 2020
Graduate Assistant/Fellowship
Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) National Trails office (NTIR), is seeking  ONE (1) Santa Fe Trail Fellow  to work directly with the NTIR staff and assist primarily with Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial event planning, outreach, and collaboration, but also with outreach work with eight other national historic trails. These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic individuals with a background in community engagement, visitor or customer service, event planning, outreach, or other related fields who possess an interest in gaining experience in National Trails System or National Park Service careers that are different than the typical careers found in most National Parks.   Start Date: April 27 or May 4,   2020  (some flexibility may exist for the right candidate) End Date:  78 weeks from the start date (18 months duration) * A minimum 78-week commitment is required for this Fellowship *   Location:  Santa Fe, New Mexico This position will work out of 1100 Old Santa Fe Trail - Santa Fe, NM, in the National Park Service's Old Santa Fe Trail Building.    Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States. In 2012 it had a population of 69,204. The city sits at 7,199 feet in elevation; the climate is dry, with chilly, dry winters and hot summers with monsoon thunderstorms. This city is known for its arts, culture, food, and recreation.  For more information visit:   Project Website:  For more information about the Santa Fe Nat'l Historic Trail please visit . The  What is a National Historic Trail  page explains how historic trails are different than scenic or recreation trails.  The  National Trail System  website provides an introduction to the broader trail system, and for more about what the National Trails office does and the trails the office administers visit  NTIR's webpage .  For more information regarding the ACE EPIC Program, please visit: .   Living Allowance:  The ACE Fellow is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $350/week to cover the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.   Housing:  Housing is the responsibility of the Fellow and not provided by ACE or the NPS.  A reimbursement NTE $1200 per month will be available to the Fellow for the duration of the Fellowship.  The NPS may provide limited assistance with a housing search.    AmeriCorps:  This position may be eligible for a 1700-hour AmeriCorps Education Award of $6,096 upon successful completion of Fellowship service hours. Additional enrollment is required.   Scheduling:  Intern will be expected to contribute 80 hours within a two-week period. General hours will be Monday thru Friday, but weekend or holiday work may be expected for travel and events.  Standard office hours are 8 4:30 but some flexibility is permitted.  Travel days may be longer than eight hours.    Position Description:   This project provides support to the Santa Fe National Historic Trail 2021 bicentennial with a youth intern to assist with Trail-wide event planning and collaboration. The intern will coordinate efforts between four National Parks along the Trail, at least two state parks, two US Forest Service National Grasslands, the Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA) and other public and private partners. In addition to working with the Santa Fe Trail, the intern will also assist NTIR with development of outreach plans for up to eight other national historic trails.  The goals are to have a coordinated set of bicentennial events and media available for the public that tell Santa Fe NHT stories in a manner that is cohesive, accessible, engaging, and inclusive, and to increase local and national awareness of the Santa Fe NHT, other national historic trails, and the National Trails System.  Fellowship responsibilities include: Communicating with public and private sites along the NHTs Planning and facilitating bicentennial planning meetings with partners at various locations along the Trail Providing guidance to partners on event planning and ways to make events accessible, engaging, and inclusive to diverse and new audiences Attending and reporting on planning efforts at partner meetings Maintain a calendar of events for both public and partnership use Creating shared content for websites and social media Preparing a social media plan for approval and posting content on NTIR social media platforms Supporting development of a public affairs plan in coordination with partners and NTIR staff Supporting development of and initiating outreach plans, in coordination with partners, for eight other national historic trails Project Background: Fellowship project objectives include: Developing communication and collaboration skills for future career goals; Provide consistent and reliable communication for a range of federal, state, non-profit organizations, and other trail partners to collaborate on planning for the Santa Fe Trail (SAFE) bicentennial; Coordinate SAFE bicentennial plans between all participating agencies and entities to ensure a seamless experience for the public; Develop outreach plans for up to eight national historic trails in coordination with partners; And encourage youth participation and engagement with national historic trails throughout the system. Qualifications:   Required: U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Willing and able to represent ACE and the NPS in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.  Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation Proven ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group Must be 18-30 years of age (This position's age limitations are a requirement of the Public Land Corps Act. Additionally, members must be 21+ to apply for an ACE position that requires or anticipates operation of agency or ACE vehicles for duties.) Military Veterans up to 35 are encouraged to apply When driving is required, valid driver's license and an insurable driving record are necessary. Documentation to be provided upon request. Willing to undergo (and must pass) a federal criminal background check   Preferred: Applicants for the position must hold or be pursuing a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as communications, public affairs, interpretation, recreation, history or others. Knowledge of: US History, principles of youth engagement outside of formal classrooms, principles of relevancy and inclusion, grammar, sentence structure, and style guides for composing professional documents. Ability and willingness to: Travel across up to 24 states and work in mixed climates Work with partners with a lot of passion but with varying abilities and technological skills Find or create solutions to unique dilemmas; Be flexible and accommodating with partners and NTIR staff Communicate with a wide range of people with preferences for different communication styles and mediums Deep interest in working collaboratively, making historical events relevant to today's national dialogues, teamwork and partnerships.   To Apply:  Please submit your resume, thoughtful cover letter, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: . 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 National Division Director (NPS) Peter Woodruff at 801-989-7069 or .   E EO:  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.
American Conservation Experience Tucson, AZ, USA
Feb 19, 2020
Internship- Paid
Summary:   American Conservation Experience (ACE), a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona is seeking  5  members for  Vegetation Management Positions  willing to dedicate 18 weeks working directly with the Saguaro NP Natural Resource staff mainly exploring the field of invasive plant monitoring and management in the southwest.  These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic, emerging professionals with a background in ecology, botany, biology, natural resource management, or a closely related field, who possess a deep interest in advancing their career goals through hard work and commitment to the Saguaro National Park's professional staff and amazing biological resources. Start Date :  June 2020 (exact start date TBD)   End Date :  Fall 2020 (18 weeks from start date) *A 18-week minimum commitment is required* Location:  Saguaro National Park - Tucson, Arizona Project Website :  For more information about the park please visit their website at:  For more information regarding American Conservation Experience: Compensation:   The ACE Members will be expected to serve a minimum of 40hrs/week and receive a living allowance of $550 / week, paid every two weeks to be used for food, lodging, and other incidentals. Park housing is NOT provided and should be secured in/around the great Tucson area. Members will also be reimbursed up to $195 for sturdy, over-ankle hiking boots.   Position Description:  ACE Members will be working in Saguaro National Park's Science and Resource Management Division with the majority of the duties associated with invasive plant control. Duties will also include backcountry surveys for non-native plants, springs/wetlands, cultural resources, and forest health indicators.  ACE Members will join a team made up of biologists, biological technicians, volunteers, and interns. The work site will be both districts of Saguaro National Park in Tucson. ACE Members will be provided training in plant identification, plant removal, herbicide use and mixing, mapping with GPS and GIS, data collection, and specialized backcountry survey techniques.  Occasional backcountry work will be done in the upper elevations of the park (up to 8,600') and involve camping.    Invasive Plant Control:  This work is primarily manual and chemical treatment of invasive plants. Safety and herbicide training will be provided. For chemical applications, members will be required to work with approved concentrated herbicides and diluted solutions. Members will be required by law to follow all appropriate safety guidelines and wear appropriate personal protective equipment. The work is both along roads and trails, however the majority of projects are in the backcountry.  Terrain and weather conditions can be extremely unforgiving.  This is very rugged cross-country travel and treatment areas are often difficult to reach and navigate. ACE Members may be involved in ongoing or new monitoring associated with herbicides and invasive plants within the Park.  The members will map localized infestations and areas treated by the Invasive Plant Management team. Work includes knowledge and use of GPS, Trimble handheld computers, and GIS software (ArcMap) to record, enter, and process data. Trimbles and GPS units will also be used for navigation while in the field.   Work hours:  Due to extreme summer weather conditions, work will begin at 5:00am once the official season starts (mid-July). The typical work schedule is four 9 to 10-hour days, followed by three days off.  Occasional weekend/evening work may be required.   Physical requirements:  Hiking on and off-trail up to 10 miles per day with a heavy backpack for carrying herbicide, safety equipment, drinking water (min 3 liters), food, and data recording equipment.  Elevation changes during a work day may vary from less than 1,000' ft up to 5,000'. Terrain is likely to be steep, rocky, loose, and slippery.  For the majority of the day, members will be on their feet exposed to the elements, either: hiking; spraying herbicide; pulling; or digging buffelgrass. Use of hand tools to plant native vegetation and to remove invasive plants will be required and intensive. There will be frequent lifting of objects over 40 pounds.   All work will be conducted under harsh environmental conditions  (summer heat and humidity, monsoons, lightning exposure, minimal shade, remote locations). Members will experience frequent encounters with reptiles, insects, mammals, cacti, and other thorny and spined vegetation.    A Day in the Life: Invasive Plant Management team "As part of the invasive plant management team at Saguaro National Park, ACE interns will be working side by side with experienced biological science techs to manage invasive buffelgrass (check out ) using manual and chemical control. When the buffelgrass greens up in response to the monsoon rains, herbicides administered through backpack sprayers are the weapon of choice. Unfortunately the timing occurs during the scorching summer months of July-September.  Interns will experience early morning starts, daytime temperatures exceeding 100 degrees many days, cacti that seemingly jump onto you, and rough, steep terrain. While the job is physically and mentally demanding, the rewards are endless. The Sonoran Desert is truly a magical place, and as an ACE intern, will experience that first hand."  -ACE EPIC Member Brian   Qualifications:  Applicants for the position must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or relevant experience in environmental science, botany, ecosystem restoration, biological sciences, natural resource management, or a related discipline.  The interns must be resourceful, adaptable, and able to work comfortably alone or in a group.  Required: Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident Must be between the ages of 18 to 35  Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS Must possess a valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request) Must be willing to undergo and must pass a federal criminal background check Deep interest in ecology and respect for nature  Must have a desire to gain a deeper understanding and relationship with the Southwest and understand what it takes to manage our country's most revered natural places Must be able to carry and lift up to 50 pounds and work on steep and rough terrain in the backcountry of the park Interest in invasive species management or related experience English proficiency required Preferred:                                                       Effective communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences Knowledge and understanding of botany and plant taxonomy, including plant identification and use of dichotomous keys Experience with invasive species management/control Knowledge and ability utilizing GIS/GPS equipment in the field Ability to work alone or in a group Degree or significant coursework in botany, ecology, natural resource management, environmental science, geography, or closely related field as they relate to the positions noted It is highly recommended that you have a personal vehicle for commuting purposes as rides to and from the park during off times are difficult to secure. 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. ACE reserves the right to drug test at any time. To Apply:  Please submit your resume, thoughtful cover letter, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: .  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 the ACE Recruitment Specialist, Jen Wells at (973) 294-2766  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.