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Buffers Assessment Individual Placement - Appalachian Conservation Corps

Title: Buffers Assessment Intern  

Location: Mt. Crawford, VA 

Positions Available: 1 Internship 

Position Dates: June 24 – August 16 (8 weeks)

Pay Rate: $600/week and AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of 300-hour term 

Status: 40 hours/week, Full-Time/Temporary   


Appalachian Conservation Corps:  

Our Individual Placement program works to connect young people to conservation service work across Appalachia and neighboring communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, DC, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. ACC is a program of Conservation Legacy, a nationwide network of conservation organizations.  

Individual Placements gain hands-on experience at their placement site, and ACC supports them through their term, as well as provides a variety of benefits to help them succeed in achieving their career goals. ACC welcomes national applicants, but also emphasizes the engagement of local individuals who represent the communities in which they serve.  

Placement Site: 

This placement is based out of the Appalachian Conservation Corps office in Mt. Crawford VA, but will involve travel to Shenandoah and Page counties. Harrisonburg is just a short drive from Mt. Crawford and offers stores and restaurants. Much of the work will take place on private land. 


Position Summary: 

The primary purpose of this position is to perform site assessments and develop maintenance plans for riparian forest buffers as a part of the ACC Watersheds Corps. This intern will create a work plan for a follow up planting crew in the fall. These buffers were planted 3-15 years ago through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and the Virginia Agricultural Cost-Share Program (VACS). Assessments include visual observation of invasive plant species and native tree establishment, and light tree shelter maintenance at the sites. The position will serve as an Americorps member with ACC but will also be working closely with Virginia Department of Forestry, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation District staff, the Shenandoah Alliance and private landowners. ACC will provide the Assistant access to one vehicle, laptop, and supplies needed for assessments. Housing is not provided.  

This seasonal opportunity is a perfect match for students or individuals wanting to learn about natural resource management, work with private and public landowners, connect with a broad partnership of conservation professionals, and get their hands dirty while improving the landscape for water quality, wildlife habitat, and human communities. Note that it will include a lot of driving, possibly working in extreme weather conditions and traversing difficult terrain. This position will receive on the ground training in plant identification and buffer maintenance and assessment by ACC and partner staff. Interns will cover Shenandoah and page counties. 



$600/week living stipend, paid bi-weekly 

$1,459 AmeriCorps Segal Education Award upon successful completion of a 300 hour service to be used for paying off federal student loans or paying tuition for a Title IV accredited college)  

Possible student loan forbearance  

Member Assistance Program– 3 free sessions of support with a counseling or work-life balance specialist  

On-the-job training 

Additional subject-specific certifications and trainings may be offered 

Depending upon the academic institution and program, Individual Placement positions may fulfill academic internship requirements  

Professional development opportunities (mentorship, resume support, alumni listserv, etc.) and exposure to natural resource career paths  


Duties and Responsibilities:  

Assess ~200 acres of riparian forest buffer projects installed 3-15 years ago on agricultural lands 

Data management related to site assessments 

Develop draft recommendation reports that include an invasive species management plan and replanting plan for ~200 acres of assessed riparian forest buffers 

Other duties as assigned such as buffer maintenance, workshops with landowners, or other activities related to buffer stewardship 


General Qualifications: 

To qualify, you must be between the ages of 21 and 30, and a US citizen that has received a high school diploma or GED. All offers of employment are conditional upon completion of an acceptable check of the National Sex Offender Public Registry and federal criminal background check. Must be eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award. 


Interest in learning how to identify native and invasive plant types found in riparian habitats  

Comfort communicating with rural and agricultural landowners and comfortable in farm landscape 

Ability to perform physical work, navigate uneven terrain, and work in various weather conditions such as heat, rain, and cold     

Excellent at problem-solving, meeting deadlines, following schedules, and overall time management   

Ability to coordinate with partners and collaborators via email and phone 

Strong communications, analytical skills, integrity, and reliability 

Ability to work independently 

Valid driver’s license and insurable driving record 


Preferred Qualifications: 

Computer skills, particularly in word processing and record-keeping (Microsoft Word and Excel), and familiarity with internet communication and search tools.  

GIS experience is a plus, but not required. 

Background in eastern plant identification 

Preference given to applicants willing to lead a followup planting crew in the fall of 2024 


How to Apply: 

In addition to your resume, please submit a one-page cover letter highlighting why you are interested in this position and how your background and experience will help you succeed in this position. Applications are only accepted through our website,


Our Promise: 

Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer.  We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.  


Conservation Legacy is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals and will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to perform essential job functions. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during application or recruiting process, please send a request to the hiring manager.