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Water Quality Intentory and Monitoring Member - NPS Appalachian Highlands Inventory and Monitoring Network

Job Location

Oneida, TN


Type of Job




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Published Date

Feb 17, 2023

About the job

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Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit conservation corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is seeking ONE Water Quality Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Member to monitor and protect significant natural resources in National Parks as part of the NPS Appalachian Highlands Inventory and Monitoring Network (APHN).

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: June 5th, 2023 (flexibility available for the right candidate)

Estimated End Date: June 1st , 2024 or 52 weeks after start date

*a 52-week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description: Oneida, TN

Program Background:

The Appalachian Highlands Network primarily serves three NPS units in the southeastern US: Blue Ridge Parkway, Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, and Obed Wild & Scenic River. Network parks are divided between two ecologically distinct physiographic regions: the Cumberland Plateau of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The Appalachian Mountains and Cumberland Plateau, lush with vegetation, old-growth forests, rocky ridges, and deep gorges, are characterized by high levels of biological diversity and endemism.

The nation-wide NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program was created to acquire the information and expertise needed by park managers to protect park resources and maintain ecosystem integrity in the face of multiple threats. The primary goals of the NPS I & M program are to inventory NPS natural resources to determine their nature and status; monitor park ecosystems to better understand their dynamic nature and condition and provide reference points in comparison to other environments; and to establish baseline inventory and monitoring practices throughout the National Park system.

For more information regarding the Appalachian Highlands Inventory and Monitoring Network please visit the NPS website at:

Position Overview: This is a year-long position with the NPS Appalachian Highlands Inventory and Monitoring Network (APHN) where the ACE member will serve as a member of a team that conducts field-oriented natural resources monitoring. Duties are mainly assisting with field data collection, data management and related laboratory testing for the Network's water quality monitoring program. Other duties may include assisting with freshwater mussel and vegetation monitoring.

Assist APHN staff with a variety of field-oriented projects, including:

  • Operation and maintenance of data sondes used to collect continuous water quality data;
  • Collection of discrete water quality samples;
  • Operation and maintenance of water quality instruments, laboratory instruments and field equipment;
  • Entering and quality-checking continuous and discrete water quality monitoring data using Microsoft Access and Excel, and other proprietary database software;
  • Occasionally providing field and data management assistance for other long-term monitoring projects, including freshwater mussel and vegetation monitoring;
  • Field operation and basic management of Global Positioning System (esp. Garmin) instruments and data;
  • Creating basic Geographic Information System maps (with ESRI's ArcGIS software) for natural resources inventory and monitoring projects;
  • Organizing and carrying out field logistics to support monitoring teams of two or more people.

APHN will provide field training and experience using a variety of water quality monitoring instruments and techniques. This includes procedures for water sampling, streamflow measurements, measuring field and laboratory parameters, and other procedures. Training and skills will be provided in data manipulation using Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, ESRI ArcGIS software, as well as other proprietary software, including National Park Service natural resources inventory and monitoring databases. Training will be provided in Wilderness First Aid and Operational Leadership (a safety awareness course). In addition, training is provided for vegetation and freshwater mussel monitoring.

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: A flexible schedule is required during periods of field work but the schedule will most commonly be Monday - Friday, 8am to 4pm.

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. While traveling for projects, accommodations will include motels and park housing; reimbursable travel expenses are covered by the ACE.

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 upon successful completion of 1700hrs and the full service term.

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. 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: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or NPS. Rental units may be available through the park.

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.



  • Members must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents, as required to comply with 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.
  • Interest and ability to serve in remote field areas.
  • Able and willing to serve outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in sustained physical labor.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required three-part criminal history checks.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.
  • 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.
  • Members 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 minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as aquatic ecology, hydrology, environmental science, natural resource management or related disciplines.
  • Strong interest in hydrology, ecology, and natural resource management.
  • Knowledge, interest and/or experience conducting field projects.
  • Experience in various field data collection methods using standard protocols.
  • Experience in backcountry hiking and navigation in steep terrain.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Access, Garmin GPS units, and/or ESRI's ArcGIS.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent sitting, standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talking and hearing. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and camp overnight under field conditions.
  • 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 [25] lbs., ability to move up to [50] pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.
  • Travel: This position will require domestic travel.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, slick/slippery cobble and river banks, 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. Hazard specifics should be provided on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Partner site.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by NPS or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the NPS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by NPS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to NPS 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. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC NPS National Recruitment and Outreach Specialist, Emanuel Aragon Cruz, at

EOE: 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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