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Biological Program Support Member at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking one Biological Program Support Member to contribute to biological surveys and conservation projects alongside Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) staff.

For more information about ACE and to apply, please visit:

Start Date: Mid/late May or early June *Flexible start date available.
Estimated End Date: November/December *28 weeks after the anticipated start date.
*A 28-week commitment required*

Location Details/Description: Stationed at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, Brussels, Illinois

Two Rivers NWR manages 9,225 acres of floodplain habitat around the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. The refuge headquarters, including a visitor contact station and office building, is located in Brussels, Illinois. The refuge manages a variety of floodplain habitats, including seasonal wetlands, forests, grasslands, side channels, and river islands. The refuge was established to provide habitat for migratory birds and attracts millions of waterbirds annually. In addition, the refuge supports federally listed species including several bats and decurrent false aster, a floodplain plant endemic to the Illinois River watershed.

For more information about Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, 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 the FWS realize the mission at Two Rivers NWR by supporting the refuge biology program. The biology program is essential to ensure that we are providing and maintaining quality habitat for a variety of wildlife species that depend on Two Rivers NWR.

The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the following tasks grouped by the percent of time the member will spend on a set of tasks:


  • Participating in waterbird and vegetation surveys, including carrying out a variety of research and survey methods, and monitoring environmental elements related to conservation, management, and/or control of vegetation.
  • Assisting with biological studies for determining the manner and extent to which vegetation communities are affected by management activities.
  • Using field equipment including cameras, GPS equipment, binoculars, spotting scopes, and tablets in order to capture vegetation survey data or for other records.
  • Independently identifying and collecting data.
  • Logging samples/data.
  • Compiling and summarizing data from surveys.
  • Using a variety of databases and reporting systems to store and compile data from surveys.
  • Collecting biological samples/data, ensuring correct documentation, reporting, storage, and delivery of samples/data.
  • Using established automated databases to enter, organize, and perform preliminary analysis of collected data, using standard statistical methods in preparation of reports.
  • Determining approach and then summarizing data using a variety of database software programs or other presentation approaches, ensuring records are detailed, precise and accurately transferred.
  • Entering and retrieving data from geographic information systems (GIS) and/or other information management systems.
  • Preparing segments of recurring reports such as monthly activities and progress reports on individual projects.


  • Providing biological information for public materials and participating in informational and/or environmental education programs to individuals, local organizations, and schools.
  • Providing basic information on conservation resources and the United State Fish and Wildlife Service to groups and individuals.


  • Assisting refuge staff with general tasks around the duty station/office related to core position functions.
  • Assisting with outdoor projects such as trail maintenance.

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promote 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 typically be carried out between 8:00am and 4:30pm Central, Monday - Friday, typically 5 days/week (5/8s). Work hours may vary. 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 on weekends and/or holidays. Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $600/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2023/24 grant year program, valued up to $3,447.50 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 900 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 child care 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 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: ACE members will be accommodated in housing on-site provided by the FWS at no cost for the duration of the term. The Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge is located near the town of Brussels, Illinois where a general store offers basic amenities. The town of Brussels is at the southern end of a peninsula bounded by the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. As a result, the fastest route to access larger grocery stores and shopping requires a ferry ride either on the Brussels Ferry or the Golden Eagle Ferry. The Brussels Ferry is free to ride and connects drivers with Route 100 in Illinois. The Golden Eagle Ferry costs $17 for a round-trip and connects drivers with St. Peters/St. Charles, Missouri. Both ferry options are a short drive from the refuge housing. Bridges crossing both rivers can be used but add considerable drive time. There are no rideshare services available in the town of Brussels.

Gear Reimbursement: Gear required for field work such as waders, knee boots, gloves, etc., will be purchased by the refuge for the member. ACE members will also have access to up to $200 to be used for eligible relocation expenses such as socks, boots, outerwear etc. Further details regarding distribution of these funds will be provided during the interview process. 

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 may include FWS ATV/UTV, MOCC (Motorboat Operator Certification Course), canoe/kayak, and/or chainsaw courses, and Illinois State pesticide applicator training.

Scholarship Funding Opportunity: The selected candidate for this position will be eligible to apply for ACE’s Access and Inclusion Scholarship. This is a $500 scholarship which is intended to make participation in ACE positions more accessible to individuals who are underrepresented in the conservation field. Scholarship recipients will be able to allocate this funding to financial need(s) of their choosing. A limited number of scholarships are available. 



  • 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.
  • Must take all measures possible to ensure the safety of yourself and others and understand all safety precautions involved.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences.
  • Ability to speak to the public.
  • Ability to operate independently and in remote areas.
  • Competent in Microsoft Office.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website:


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology, wildlife management, natural resource management, parks and recreation, rangeland management, or other related disciplines appropriate to the position.
  • Knowledge of database systems.
  • Practical knowledge of the biological sciences.
  • Experience in using common hand tools and simple power equipment.
  • Comfort communicating with the general public.
  • Ability to follow assigned protocols to perform tasks with many steps.
  • Skills and ability to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in the field or office setting.
  • Skill in safely operating motorized vehicles.
  • Experience and/or knowledge with GIS equipment.
  • Experience and/or knowledge with wildlife and plant identification.
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field as a natural resource professional.
  • Experience and/or knowledge in the mission of the USFWS and other federal land management agencies.
  • Ability to embrace travel opportunities as they arise to other nearby refuges, state areas, or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: This position requires physical exertion such as hiking long distances over hot, wet and rough terrain while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching, talking and hearing. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment and 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 lbs.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates. When indoor, office environment conditions; indoor air quality is good and temperature is controlled.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as hand and power tools. 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 members may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, 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. Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge is located in the great rivers confluence region. Summer ambient temperatures can vary between high 90's to 50 degrees during summer days, with humidity regularly over 50%. The heat and humidity in the floodplain can be intense and hot.

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.

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.*

EEO: Employment with ACE is based upon ability, qualifications, attitude, and job-related factors. Every qualified employee or applicant has the same opportunity for recruitment, hire, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, demotion, termination, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information (including of a family member), veteran or military status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition, marital or parental status, political affiliation, ethnicity, hair texture or style, arrest record, caste, hereditary status, endogamy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.