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Bighorn Sheep and Oryx Biology Member - San Andres National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience

Job Field:
Job Type:
Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
New Mexico
Location Detail:
Las Cruces
Job Description:

Bighorn Sheep and Oryx Biology Member - San Andres National Wildlife Refuge


ACE EPIC placements provide young adults with focused, hands-on opportunities to work alongside and under the guidance of agency mentors as they apply their knowledge of resource management on their path to becoming the next generation of resource and land managers.


Funding for ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults.


For more information about ACE, please visit:


Summary: American Conservation Experience, a non-profit conservation corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking one Bighorn Sheep, Oryx and Endangered Fish Biology Member to contribute to biological research alongside San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge and FWS regional biological Staff. During this term, the ACE member will work on meaningful conservation projects such as estimating the population size of desert bighorn sheep and oryx on San Andres NWR, by establishing and monitoring game cameras, and sorting the resulting imagery. The ACE member will also implement fish sampling protocols at San Bernardino NWR, to estimate the abundance of endangered fish that are endemic to southeastern Arizona.


Start Date: 01/16/2023


End Date: 06/17/2023


**22-week commitment required**


Location: San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico


San Andres National Wildlife Refuge's namesake mountain range, the San Andres Mountains, remains one of the least disturbed Chihuahuan desert land masses in the United States.


Established in 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt 'for the conservation and development of natural wildlife resources,' the 57,215-acre refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The System is a national network of lands and waters managed for the benefit of wildlife, habitat, and you.


ACE members for this project will be stationed at San Andres NWR. Fish sampling will involve travel to and housing at San Bernardino NWR (approximately 6 weeks).


For more information about San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, please visit:



Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday - Friday. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. A flexible work schedule may be required, which could involve work performed outside of normal work hours including on weekends and/or holidays. Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.


Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $450/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.


Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term. When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required.


AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 675-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($2,417.14) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment is required.


Public Land Corps (PLC) Non-competitive Hiring Authority: Members serving on this project may be eligible to receive a Department of the Interior (DOI) PLC non-competitive hiring authority certificate upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours (16 weeks at 40 hours/week) and utilize their certificate when applying for qualifying federal positions within 2 years of receipt. More information can be provided upon request.


Position Description:


This individual placement is meant to facilitate personal growth and professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with agency professionals. This could include gaining experience in a variety of conservation fields and/or shadowing different work groups.


The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the accomplishment of:


- Establishing trail cameras in the remote and rugged San Andres mountains.

- Monitoring camera operability, by ensuring cameras have batteries, equipment remains in place and checking/replacing SD cards.

- Sorting imagery after acquisition.

- Assisting with measuring distances between animals captured in images and the cameras imaging them.

- Compiling and summarizing data from surveys and biological evaluations.

- Assisting with populating natural resource databases.

- Performing quality control on survey data, checking resulting data for inconsistencies.

- Assisting the refuge biologist in preparation of reports when needed.

- Scouting areas for oryx to inform population management.

- Monitoring freshwater springs in remote locations.

- Following established protocols for sampling small-bodied fish.

- Periodic invasive plant treatments.


Physical Requirements: This position requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over steep, rugged, arid and hot mountainous terrain while carrying equipment up to 40 lbs. Work will occur in hot, sunny environments. Sorting imagery can be mentally tedious, so ability to focus on computer screens for multiple hours is important.


Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The member may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat, rocky terrain, biting and stinging insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife (venomous snakes). The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources. Driving on rough roads with an UTV and towing trailers with them.


Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: A vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, and will be provided by the FWS or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the FWS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided by the FWS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.






- 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.

- U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.

- A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).

- Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.

- Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

- Able and willing to perform duties outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in sustained physical labor.


Preferred (choose one):


- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a Bachelor's of Arts degree in wildlife biology, botany, natural resource management, or other related discipline appropriate to this position.

- Knowledge of foundational biological principles.

- Ability and willingness to learn, work hard, and contribute to the stewardship of our Nation's wildlife resources.

- Deep interest in the application of wildlife biology tools and techniques.

- Strong communication and organizational skills.

- Commitment to data accuracy, completing detail-oriented tasks thoroughly and on time.

- Ability to operate independently and in remote areas.


How to Apply:

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: .


NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications 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, Andrew Garcia,, 928-419-7035.


Vaccination Requirement: ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.


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.


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