ACE internships in Aquatic Ecology for 2021

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking TWO Aquatic Ecology Monitoring Members to contribute to aquatic monitoring projects alongside Cape Cod National Seashore staff. The main duties will be assisting with aquatic ecology monitoring and research projects in ponds, estuaries, and salt marshes, specifically focused on water quality, hydrology, and coastal invertebrate and vegetation monitoring. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic individuals with an interest in developing their field and instrumentation skills in water quality monitoring and aquatic ecology.

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: March 10, 2021 (flexibility may exist for the right candidate)

End Date: November 17, 2021 (or 36 weeks after start date)

* A 36-week minimum commitment is required * 

Please note that position start date and duties could shift due to COVID-19

Location: The Cape Cod National Seashore is located in Wellfleet, MA.

Cape Cod is a large peninsula extending 60 miles into the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Massachusetts. Located on the outer portion of the Cape, Cape Cod National Seashore’s 44,600 acres encompass a rich mosaic of marine, estuarine, fresh water, and terrestrial ecosystems. These systems and their associated habitats reflect the Cape’s glacial origin, dynamic natural processes, and at least 9,000 years of human activity. Geomorphic shoreline change, ground water fluctuations, tidal dynamics including rising sea level, and atmospheric deposition are among the many physical processes that continue to shape the Seashore’s ecosystems. Marine and estuarine systems include beaches, sand spits, tidal flats, salt marshes, and soft-bottom benthos. Freshwater ecosystems include kettle ponds, vernal pools, sphagnum bogs, and swamps. Terrestrial systems include pitch pine and scrub oak forests, heathlands, dunes, and sandplain grasslands. Many of these habitats are globally uncommon and the species that occupy them are correspondingly rare.

For more information regarding the Cape Cod National Seashore, please visit:

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $260/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided park housing at no cost for the duration of the term

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 1200-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($4,366.50) upon successful completion of service hours.  Additional enrollment and volunteer service is required.

Position Description: The main duties will be assisting with aquatic ecology monitoring and research projects in ponds, estuaries, and coastal wetlands focused on water quality, ecosystem monitoring, and habitat mapping, and will include serving in the field, lab, and on computers.

A rough breakdown of the member’s time is 40% field, 30% lab, 20% data entry/management and 10% other duties as assigned. The duties are critical to management and protection of water and submerged resources that are heavily impacted by human activities. The ACE member will serve as part of a team with interns, volunteers, technicians, and the Aquatic Ecologist.

Duties and projects include:

  • Monitoring and research activities in the field as well as processing and analyzing samples in the laboratory.
  • Involvement in both the field and lab for a variety of natural resource projects, including the Inventory and Monitoring program, and applied research to inform tidal restoration and coastal management.
  • Collecting biological and sediment samples in the field using standard techniques.
  • Performing laboratory analysis and written documentation of activities.
  • Gaining experience in a range of freshwater and coastal environments, on various monitoring to management-oriented projects, with a range of field and laboratory methods and equipment.
  • Assisting with pond shoreline restoration projects.
  • Science communication activities to promote resource stewardship and science literacy.
  • Field duties will involve wading in muddy and shrubby conditions, and snorkeling.
  • Use of motorized and non-motorized (canoe/kayak) watercraft to assist with coastal resource projects.

Your health is important to us! Please note that duties may shift in order to prevent and reduce transmission of COVID-19. Visit the CDC website for further resources:

Training: NPS training will be provided for non-motorized (canoe/kayak) and motorized watercraft to assist with coastal resource monitoring projects. Additional safety training will be provided for field and laboratory work, as well as safe vehicle operation.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours and utilize their certificate before the age of 30.



  • 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.
  • This position is funded through the Public Land Corps Act which has specific program requirements.
    • Must be 21-30 years of age to apply (members must be 21+ to apply for an ACE position that requires or anticipates operation of agency or ACE vehicles for duties).
    • Military Veterans up to 35 are encouraged to apply.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • A valid driver’s license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Must have a personal vehicle.
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Ability to conduct field surveys under demanding weather in rough terrain and in water.
  • Ability to swim and demonstrate proficiency onsite
  • Previous experience, or willingness to learn how operate small water craft is
  • Ability to use field guides and dichotomous keys for plant and invertebrate ID.
  • Deep interest in aquatic ecology/water quality and a respect for nature.


  • 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 ecology, marine biology, botany, wildlife sciences, biology, natural resources management, environmental science, or related disciplines.
  • Experience in water quality monitoring and instrumentation
  • Experience in laboratory analysis
  • Knowledge of marine vegetation, invertebrates, and fish.
  • Knowledge of the natural history and scientific processes of the Northeastern United States; for example: ecology of marine ecosystems, dune and barrier beach ecosystems, coastal geologic processes, freshwater ecosystems, marine biology.
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome.

Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties or while on federal property, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.

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 Member Coordinator, Madison Douthitt at

EEO: 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.