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Visitor Services & Natural Resource Protection Member – Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience
Job Field:
Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Job Type:
Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
Location Detail:
Pole Ojea, Puerto Rico
Job Description:

Visitor Services & Natural Resource Protection Member – Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge


Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking 1 Visitor Services & Natural Resource Protection Member to contribute to visitor services programs and natural resource projects alongside Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge staff.


For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: Fall 2023

Estimated End Date: 20 weeks later

*a 20 week minimum commitment is required, approximately hours*


Location Details/Description: Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, Pole Ojea, Puerto Rico

The Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) complex is comprised of nine refuges in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Jamaica Passage. The nine refuges are Cabo Rojo, Culebra, Desecheo, Buck Island, Green Cay, Sandy Point, Laguna Cartagena, Navassa and Vieques. Each unit has a unique composition of plant and animal species. The complex provides a wide range of management tools and services to all nine refuges.


Cabo Rojo NWR was established in 1974 for the potential value that the habitat held for migratory birds and also for its value in providing habitat for resident birds. The refuge lies along a coastal plain and has few gently rolling hills overlooking the southwestern tip of Puerto Rico. In 1999, the 1,249 acre Cabo Rojo Salt Flats, previously under private ownership, were purchased and added to the refuge for a total of 1,836 acres.

The Cabo Rojo NWR is home to Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex headquarters, Caribbean Islands NWR Visitor Center and the Caribbean Ecological Services Offices.


For more information about Cabo Rojo NWR, please visit:


Position Overview: The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. This position will help FWS realize its mission at Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge through participation in community outreach, habitat restoration, wildlife surveys, and educational programs at Cabo Rojo NWR .


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.


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


Working closely with Cabo Rojo NWR staff and Cooperating Organization (Caborrojeños Pro-Salud y Ambiente) at the Salt Flats contact station on special projects, community programs and/or other onsite or virtual outreach activities.

Working closely with other collaborating groups.

Educating the public about the coastal habitat restoration projects undergoing at the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats. Emphasizing the importance of working collaboratively with other federal, Commonwealth and local agencies, and organizations to restore the salt flats to protect adjacent coastal habitats including seagrass beds and coral reefs.

Assisting refuge staff with community programs, special events and other outreach activities.

Assisting the refuge in completing projects on lands and trails.

Project Work will include trail construction, restoration and maintenance, signage and mapping, among other activities. Habitat restoration and improvement projects will also be completed with a focus on reforestation, removal of non-native species, revegetation of disturbed areas, reintroduction of native species and habitat improvements.

Assisting the refuge biologist in various projects such as bird census, sea turtle monitoring among other projects.

Conducting virtual and onsite educational programs.

Assisting refuge staff at the greenhouse by weeding, pruning, transplanting and/or reforesting refuge areas.

Attending staff meetings.

Reporting any problems and/or potential problems to the immediate supervisor and/or Refuge Law Enforcement.

Composing and typing information.

Fostering productive and positive working relationships via responsiveness, collaboration, and communication with internal and external partners.

Working with Cabo Rojo and Laguna Cartagena NWR Facebook pages


Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out 9am – 1pm AST. This is a part time position (20 hours per week). Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 40 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.


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.

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 lbs.

Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.When indoors, office environment conditions; indoor air quality is good and temperature is controlled.

Noise Environment: When outdoors, moderate to high noise such as gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools. When indoors, moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.

Travel: This position may require domestic travel.


Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE member 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. Hot and buggy conditions should be expected.


Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one 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), typically 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.



Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts

Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.

Fluent in English and in Spanish (Writing and Orally).

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).

Willing to undergo and must pass the required three-part criminal history check

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.

Willingness to obtain knowledge and quickly learn the history and ecology of the area.

Ability to clearly understand the purpose of this refuge and its wildlife management programs as well as the National Wildlife Refuge System, and ability to learn the layout of the refuge.

Ability to communicate with varied audiences such as school groups, government agencies, organizations, etc.

Good interpersonal communications and public speaking skills with the ability to present a positive image to the public and to articulate information in person and by phone.

Ability to handle stressful situations involving visitors. Confident but knowing when to seek assistance with questions or problems that arise.

Willingness and flexibility to accept responsibility of assisting staff and visitors.

Ability to learn to operate - computers for word processing, and other basic functions, printers, photocopiers, fax machines, and other office equipment.

Work independently and under minimal supervision to perform assigned duties.

To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website:



Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject.

Knowledge of Microsoft programs, iMovie, and other video making programs.

Ability and willingness to work in a team environment.

Deep interest in wildlife conservation and protection.


Position Benefits


Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~20 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $250/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.


AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for a 300-hourAmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $1,374.60 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 450 hrs.


Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for federal loan forbearance. 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 and 640 hours of service. If the duration of a PLC-eligible term is not long enough for Members to accrue 640 hours of service (~16 weeks), the total hours served at the completion of the term may be eligible to be combined with hours accrued from another PLC-eligible term to meet the 640 hours requirement. 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:


Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or FWS.


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.

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: 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 FWS Program Manager, Nich Jackosky, at


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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