Arizona: American Conservation Experience seeks Vegetation Management Intern

17 Jan
Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ, in partnership with Grand Canyon National Park is seeking one Vegetation Management Intern to dedicate 6 months working directly with the Grand Canyon vegetation staff exploring the field of vegetation management and experiencing the Canyon’s varied ecosystems.  These opportunities are intended for enthusiastic beginning 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 Grand Canyon’s professional staff and amazing biological resources.

Start Date: February 7, 2011

End Date:  July 15, 2011 for the Horticulture/Nursery Intern)


A 6 month commitment is required, depending on the specific internship you apply to.


Location: The ACE interns will assist Grand Canyon vegetation staff with early season vegetation management activities on the South Rim, at Desert View and at Lees Ferry, and will help lead volunteer groups during the spring break period.  Work will be primarily in the field.  Work and living locations are at high elevation (South Rim 6860 ft., Desert View 7340 ft., and Lees Ferry 3200 ft.) and temperatures will be cold in the early part of the work period with occasional snow and frequent ice.

Project Partner Website: For more information about the Grand Canyon please visit their website at:

Compensation: A $110/week stipend will be provided for food and incidentals.  Housing will be provided in Park housing at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Position Description:

Horticulture/Nursery intern will support the horticulturist and nursery manager, concentrating on nursery work including collecting, processing, cleaning, and treating seed, propagating native plants, and salvaging transplanting work to maintaining the park’s native plant nursery. The ACE intern will work with nursery staff and supervise volunteers on a regular basis. This position ends on July 15.

Project Background and Objectives: The Grand Canyon National Park Vegetation Program is a multifaceted program designed to protect, restore, and maintain the ecological stability within the Park boundaries.  In the past, interns have worked on assisting the park in their effort to control invasive species such as Russian thistle, Himalayan blackberry, goatgrass, bull and scotch thistle, to name a few.  Removing or controlling this invasive species threat is often the first step towards the active restoration efforts that naturally come next.  2009 saw a large planting, watering, mulching, and caging effort, in addition to coordinating, monitoring and data collection that must be done each year.  Part of last years restoration effort included a plant salvage project throughout the whole park.

While the vegetation program is just one part of the larger management effort of the park, the work being done by these interns crosses all lines, and effects all aspects of park management from recreation to maintenance, wilderness management to endangered species protection.

Training Provided: Plant identification, GPS use, backcountry hiking and navigation, and other specific skills as they relate to the positions offered. There will be opportunities for guided hikes; presentations and trainings will be offered to staff and volunteers periodically throughout the season.

Qualifications: Qualifications vary by position.  Progress in, or completion of, a natural resource based secondary education is highly desired, as is the applicant’s interest in a career working with our public trust.  Interns must be willing to represent ACE and Grand Canyon NP in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.  Drug users, including recreational smokers of marijuana, should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing and generally abhors the presence of drug users in our program.

Required Skills:

    • Internship is available to US Citizens and Green Card holders only.
    • Must be between 18 – 25 years
    • Must have a Valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation;
    • Interns must have personal medical insurance for the duration of their participation with ACE
    • Deep interest in ecology and respect for nature.  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 physically fit for outdoor work in all types of inclement weather.  Be able to carry and lift up to 50 pounds, work on steep and rough terrain in the backcountry of the park
    • English proficiency required
      • 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.
      • Knowledge and ability utilizing GIS/GPS equipment in the field.
      • Ability to work alone or in a group;
      • Ability to operate a 4-wheel drive vehicle on steep, rough terrain, possibly pulling a trailer.
      • 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 desirable to have a personal vehicle as it is difficult to secure reliable rides for groceries or other activities that you wish to engage in during off hours.
    • To Apply:

      Please email or fax a resume and cover letter along with 3 professional references to with “GCNP Horticulture Intern 2011 – TAMU referred” in the subject heading of your email. Position to be filled immediately; early consideration will be given as resumes are received.

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