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Wildlife Control and Biology Members - Southeast Louisiana Refuge Complex

American Conservation Experience
Job Field:
Job Type:
Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
Location Detail:
Job Description:

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking NINE Members to contribute to nutria control in the Gulf Coast region and other invasive species and biological projects alongside FWS Staff. Members will be placed at one of the following stations: Lacassine NWR, Lake Arthur, LA (2 members); Grand Cote NWR, Marksville, LA (2 members); D'Arbonne NWR, Farmerville, LA (2 members); Panther Swamp NWR, Louise, MS (2 members); Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR, Gautier, MS (1 member).


For more information about ACE, please visit:


Start Date: January 8, 2024

Estimated End Date: January 2025

*a 52-week minimum commitment is required, approximately 2080 hours*



Location Details/Description: The locations range from National Wildlife Refuges in Louisiana and Mississippi. See additional information below.


Lacassine NWR, Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Lake Arthur, LA


Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 to provide wintering habitat for waterfowl. The refuge lies at the point where higher agricultural land and the coastal marsh meet.


The town of Lake Arthur is an approximate 35 minute drive from Lacassine NWR, and has various grocery, hotel, and restaurant options. The city of Lake Charles is approximately 50 minutes away, and offers many more options for dining, lodging, and recreation.


For more information, please visit:



Grand Cote NWR, Central Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Marksville, LA


Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1989 to provide valuable waterfowl habitat in the Mississippi/Red River floodplain as part of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Due to its location in east-central Louisiana, the refuge is influenced by both the Mississippi and Central Flyways and the large expanses of shallow wetlands draw a diversity of waterfowl species.


The small city of Marksville is an approximate 15 minute drive from Grand Cote NWR, and has multiple grocery, restaurant, and hotel options, among other amenities.


For more information, please visit:



D'Arbonne NWR, North Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Farmerville, LA


D'Arbonne NWR, located north of West Monroe, Louisiana, lies on the western edge of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. It was established in 1975 to protect bottomland hardwood forest and provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl. Additionally, the refuge provides habitat for alligators, bald eagles, the little known Rafinesque's big-eared bat, and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The refuge is bisected by 13 miles of Bayou D’Arbonne, a stream in the Louisiana Natural and Scenic Rivers System, and is crisscrossed by numerous creeks, sloughs and oxbow lakes. Cypress swamps, bottomland hardwood and upland forests complete the landscape that is habitat for a diverse group of plants and animals.


The city of Monroe is about a 20 minute drive from D’Arbonne NWR, and has a variety of shopping options, restaurants, parks, etc.


For more information, please visit:



Panther Swamp NWR, Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Louise, MS


Established in 1978, Panther Swamp NWR is noted for its large waterfowl population, resident game and its numerous sloughs and wetlands. Although limited archaeological evidence exists about the earliest inhabitants of the Lower Mississippi Delta, early Native Americans probably hunted, fished, and even farmed much of the area now included in the boundaries of Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Unlike the more nomadic tribes of the northern and western plains, the Yazoo Indians built small villages and retreated into the loess bluffs along present-day Yazoo City only when forced to by rising flood waters. Many raised “Indian Mounds” can still be found throughout the Delta.


Yazoo City is about 15 minutes from Panther Swamp NWR, and has a variety of shopping options, restaurants, hotels, etc.


For more information, please visit:



Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR, Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Gautier, MS


The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1975 under authority of the Endangered Species Act to protect the critically endangered Mississippi sandhill cranes and their unique, and itself endangered, wet pine savanna habitat. The crane population, at that time only 30-35 birds, is currently at approximately 130 birds. Through captive rearing and reintroduction to the area as well as wild birds nesting in the savannas, the crane population continues to grow. The refuge also protects and restores the last large expanses of wet pine savanna, primarily through the use of prescribed fire. The wet pine savanna is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the U.S. with more than 30 plants found in a square meter of land.


There are several larger cities within a 20-30 minute drive or less with a variety of amenities, including Saint Martin, Ocean Springs, Gautier, Moss Point, etc.


For more information, 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.


The National Wildlife Refuge System and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program are hiring nine Wildlife Control and Biology Members in efforts to control populations of the invasive nutria (Myocastor coypus), a large semiaquatic rodent, on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Nutria inflict considerable damage to Gulf Coast ecosystems and infrastructure due to their herbivory, burrowing behavior, and rapid reproduction. Member efforts will focus on nutria control and eradication on National Wildlife Refuges and adjacent private lands. The primary duties will include trapping, dispatching animals, vegetation surveys, and levee damage assessments. In addition, members will have opportunities to participate in other invasive species and biological conservation projects, as well as contribute to the restoration of nutria-affected areas. Members will work closely with refuge staff, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, and private landowners.


Training will be provided to all members, including firearm safety training, CPR/First Aid, with the potential of ORUV (ATV/UTV) and Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC). Members must be comfortable working outside in remote areas, around firearms and boats, and will be exposed to high temperatures and potentially dangerous wildlife in the summer. All required equipment and PPE will be provided.


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

- Nutria trapping and dispatch

- Cultivating positive relationships with private landowners while representing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

- Vegetation surveys

- Levee damage assessments

- Assisting with the restoration of nutria-damaged wetlands

- Other invasive species removal (ex. Feral hog trapping, herbicide application for exotic plant control, etc.)

- Station-specific biological conservation projects (ex. Wildlife surveys, bird banding, etc.)


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.


Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday - Friday (7:30am-4pm). 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 over 8-hour work days and working on weekends and/or holidays. Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.


- 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.

- 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.


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



- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology, Natural Resource Management, Forestry, Environmental Studies, or related field of study and/or have relevant experience.

- Knowledge of and experience with firearm safety and use.

- Ability and willingness to dispatch invasive species, specifically nutria.

- Experience with furbearer trapping, especially nutria, beaver, or muskrat.

- Deep interest in USFWS and/or invasive species management.



Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:


Physical Demands: Requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over wet and rough surfaces while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.


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 pounds.


Travel: This position does not require unique travel.


Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE member(s) 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.


Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the FWS. 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.


*The members will be required to discharge firearms while assisting with nutria control efforts. The members will be thoroughly trained in the use of firearms by FWS staff.



Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $630/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.


AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for a 1700-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $6,495.00 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 1700 hrs.


Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for federal loan forbearance. Additional enrollment steps are required.


Qualifying Child Care Coverage: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for qualifying childcare coverage. 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. 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: ACE members will be accommodated in provided FWS housing at no cost for the duration of the term. Members at Lacassine NWR, Lake Arthur, LA may be responsible for their own housing, and if so, they will be provided a weekly housing reimbursement of $300/week with proof of housing costs.


Gear Reimbursement: ACE members will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear for this position includes boots, pants, outerwear, etc., and must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase.


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. Specific training will include Firearms safety, First Aid/CPR, and may include ORUV (ATV/UTV), Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC), and others.

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 Member Manager, Cait Dunne, 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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