American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • Other
  • Montrose (Elk Creek), CO, USA

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with the National Park Service Curecanti Recreation National Area/Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (CURE/BLCA), is seeking one AIS Intern interested in dedicating 30 weeks in support of the National Park Service in implementing the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program and Resource Restoration.

This excellent opportunity to help preserve and protect the natural, cultural and human resources of one of the nation's great treasures is ideal for an enthusiastic young professional who is deeply committed to the preservation of our National Parks and has strong interest in a career in natural resource management and education. CURE/BLCA is unique among America's National Parks/NRAs.  The Black Canyon is unrivaled in North America with its narrow opening, sheer walls, and breathtaking depth, while three reservoirs, named for corresponding dams on the Gunnison River, form the heart of Curecanti NRA. Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado's largest body of water and the largest Kokanee Salmon fishery in the U.S., Morrow Point Reservoir is the beginning of the Black Canyon, and East Portal is the site of the Gunnison Diversion Tunnel.


Start Date:    April 7, 2013

End Date:       November 1, 2013 (possibility of extension based on funds availability)



A 30-week commitment is required



Location:  The position is typically stationed at Elk Creek in Curecanti National Recreation Area, 15 miles west of Gunnison, CO. Rarely, interns are duty stationed at the South Rim of the Black Canyon (five miles from Montrose, CO) if beneficial to the program, and desirable to the intern. Residing at Black Canyon or in Montrose will not be a consideration for interns who have not previously worked at CURE/BLCA.

Project Partner Website:  For more information regarding the Curecanti National Recreation Area, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, or the National Park Service, please visit:


Compensation:     The ACE intern will work 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $110/week for food and incidentals per week.  This position will have a variety of duties and responsibilities. The aquatic invasive species (AIS) program encompasses boat inspections, decontaminations, visitor contacts and education. The restoration portion of this position involves irrigation operations, weed control and seed planting.  A majority of the time the intern will be working outdoors.  Three days per week will be dedicated to the aquatic invasive species (AIS) program and the other two days, per week, to resource restoration. Ability to work long hours, some days may exceed 9 hours, but in any given pay period (2 weeks) the hours will not exceed 80.  The intern will be expected to work a variety of shifts, evenings and weekends.  The intern will wear the Volunteer in Parks (VIP) uniform, which is provided by the Agency.

Aquatic Invasive Species Duties:

  • Inspect various types of watercraft for the presence of or potential for carrying nuisance species such as zebra and quagga mussels.  Accurately enter the data from the inspection.
  • Decontamination of watercraft with a high pressure hydro unit.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally with visitors, colleagues and park partners using tact and diplomacy.
  • Educate and inform visitors about the significance of the resources of the park and about the rules, regulations and laws relating to the protection of the resource.
  • Assistance with office and computer projects, as assigned.  
  • Assist with park emergencies and traffic control, when requested
  • Other duties as assigned


Restoration Duties:

  • Assist with irrigation operations: 

      -clean and maintain ditch, operate water pumps

      -removing plant debris and beaver dams

      -operate gated pipes for flood irrigation

  • Assist with mechanical weed control including digging and hand  pulling, assist with chemical weed control under direct supervision
  • Assist with installation of erosion guard materials
  • Assist with hand seeding and planting
  • Other duties as assigned


Training Provided: The intern will receive skills training in requisite park resource knowledge, and will also receive training and supervision for safe tool, equipment and chemical handling.  The position will be supervised by the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator.


Required Skills:


  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Green Card holders only. 
  • Interns must be 18 to 25 years old and/or 26-29 and have recently completed a relevant MS/MA Degree Program.
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS in person, writing, and using radio protocols.
  • Must have effective communication skills with diverse audiences; ability to work alone and in a group;
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation; personal vehicle required. 
  • Maintain a current Colorado Watercraft Inspector and Decontamination certification, the Agency will provide this two-day training.
  • Interns must have personal medical insurance for the duration of their participation with ACE.
  • Deep interest in ecology, history, and respect for nature. 
  • Must be able to able and willing to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, participating in physical labor.
  • English proficiency is imperative.
  • Wear the provided personal protection safety equipment (PPE) provided.
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required.


Physical Demands and Work Environment

  • This position can be stressful, due to the volume of visitor contacts and field work. There may be work shift scheduled to 10 pm.
  • Physical demands can be high, with standing, crawling under boat trailers, uneven surfaces, lifting, and walking over uneven terrain.
  • The position may require driving in rain, snow, on icy roads and before sunrise and after sunset.
  • There will be exposure to extreme heat, sun, rain and other climatic extremes and discomfort and minor hazards of manual work.

This position has been closed and is no longer available.
American Conservation Experience - EPIC


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