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American Conservation Experience Newsletter Volume 3
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Happy Fall, ACEbook Friends! 

Late summer projects have wrapped up for ACE and we are excited to show you the work that has been achieved by our corpsmembers and staff across our great nation. 

We are so proud of all of the work that has been done this year by our amazing teams.


We have so much to share in this quarter's ACEbook.
This issue is filled with great projects, stories and interviews,
so sit back, relax, grab a warm beverage and enjoy
our latest installment of ACEbook!

 

 

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Thank You to
Our Generous Supporters and Partners
A Letter from ACE President, Chris Baker
Welcome to the 3rd edition of ACE’s quarterly newsletter.  

What began as an informal compilation of observations and anecdotes intended mostly for our own staff has already grown in readership. In the days after we released our last edition over 2,500 alumni signed up to “like” ACE on Facebook and many reached out to me and to other staff to reminisce, congratulate, and to thank us for helping to create lasting memories.  

Nonprofits are judged by impact, which can be notoriously difficult to measure. It’s easy to tally quantifiable performance measures (acres restored, miles of trail constructed, hours of service) and equate such figures as evidence of impact. When the dust has settled, the crews and interns departed, and the product of ACE’s efforts remains, it’s much more difficult to rate the enduring meaning our work for those who accomplished it and for the public who enjoy it.    

I am often asked why ACE continues to grow. In the first nine months of 2014 ACE members contributed nearly 75,000 more hours of service than in the first three quarters of 2013. As long as our alumni continue to share the impact ACE had on their lives, I’ll rest assured that we are not just growing for the sake of growth, but that the experience continues to be positive, significant, and lasting in the lives of our members. As 2,500 alumni reconnected with ACE, our staff was gratified to be reminded that the ACE experience retains such meaning in retrospect.
 
Last weekend I hiked the Eagle Falls Trail in Lake Tahoe for the first time since our crews began restoring a cascading jumble of 80 year old stone steps along one of the most popular and visited trails in the country.   As I climbed step after step I kept thinking I must have reached the end of what one crew could possibly have accomplished in one season.  The most rewarding moment was encountering two overjoyed elderly couples, each walking with canes, who had made it all the way to the top. I have no doubt that they would have been forced to turn around and couldn't have undertaken the perils of hiking the trail in its pre-ACE condition. I also encountered several families with toddlers, who surely could not have navigated so far without the seamless flow of evenly constructed stone steps.

It’s easy for me to appreciate the value of our crews’ work in terms of the experience and memories of members. An afternoon hiking just one of ACE’s projects reminded me that the legacy of our efforts is also measured in the opportunity for inspiration in nature we provide for young children, the elderly, and everyone in between.  
 
 
In Memory of Jim Keeler

This fall ACE Board Member Jim Keeler passed away after a long battle with cancer.  ACE EPIC Director Shane Barrow wrote the following in memoriam. ACE is grateful for the service Jim provided to the organization and for the friendship he offered us all.
 
Travel Management (for life) Plan:
 
Throughout everyone’s life, there are a small handful of individuals who dramatically influence our career and outlook on life.  These mentors selflessly open up their worlds, give up their time, and guide us through the pitfalls of life.  For me, Jim Keeler was one of my most respected professional guides—a service for which he asked nothing in return, and I could never repay.  I only wish I would have had more time to try.

When Jim accepted my offer to join ACE’s Board shortly after his retirement from the BLM, there was no hesitation, no mention of his cancer, no allusion to his very invasive medical treatment he had just completed. It wasn't until 2012 when we met for a few days in Southern Utah to visit some ACE facilities when, on a fairly rigorous hike with my wife and two children (both of which immediately accepted Jim as family), he let on how much his illness had taken its toll on his ‘upper body strength’. He laughed with us as his feet dangled helplessly from a large red-rock boulder he was unsuccessfully attempting to pull himself up and over; always looking forward, never back.  He never let the challenges of life dull his mind or his sense of humor. As my son and I pulled him to the top of the boulder by both arms, he joked about his own physical shortcomings and challenges. I can’t remember his jokes or his puns, but I remember his smile, and the seeds of joy that he planted in our souls that day continue to grow, reminding us that we too can influence those around us, we can make the world a better place.

I can say, without question, that I would not be where I am today without Jim’s guidance and friendship. I consider it one of the greatest honors in my life to have served with him as a public servant. His influence has driven me to continuously contribute to the amazing scope of work that Jim accomplished. He left a guide behind to show us how we, the next generation, can better manage our public trust... I only wish he would have had the time to leave us a Travel Management guide for life, love and friendship…

Signed with tears, laughter, your loyal servant,  

Shane Barrow
  ACE in the News: 
Lava Beds National Monument:
 
"Tulelake, CA– Lava Beds hosted its second Geology Days event on September 25 and 26. During the event seven area schools brought over 300 students to Lava Beds National Monument as part of a two-day geology themed field trip. Students traveled back through time on a tour of Valentine cave, observed small scale volcanic eruptions, got hands-on with the rock cycle and plate tectonics, and learned about the forces that shape planet Earth."
 
Tiffany Mancillas, American Conservation Experience (ACE) intern is pictured exploding model volcanoes for 5th and 6th grade classes on geology day. Tiffany taught educational programs describing the two main types of volcanoes to over 300 student groups using model volcanoes to help illustrate the differences in eruption types. 

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In the news: Chimney Tops Trail reconstruction project is nearly done
 
In Asheville, North Carolina, ACE’s newest regional office has spent the summer working hard on a variety of projects across the Southeast. But a special mention is due to all the ACE corpsmembers who have been working in Smoky Mountains National Park on the Chimney Tops Trail. This project has seen ACE AmeriCorps Members and Conservation Volunteers working alongside NPS trail specialists to re-construct the popular trail in a fashion that harkens back to the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps!
​This is definitely something our corps members can be proud of! Check out the article in the Knoxville News Sentinel by Morgan Simmons. The article contains links to photos and video of the project.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Martin at the Sentinel.
 
 
ACE Recognized for Urban-Riparian Restoration Success
ACE CA was recently recognized in Alameda County Resource Conservation District's "Watershed Lookout" newsletter for project success in early 2014 along Sabercat Creek, near Fremont, CA. Below is an excerpt summarizing ACE's contributions to the project:

"Locally, as part of the Warm Springs Extension Project mitigation requirements, the Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD) hired ACE crew services in early 2014 to enhance a 2.2-acre site along Sabercat Creek in Fremont. ACE removed non-native invasive species such as English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, and palms, as well as elms infected with Dutch elm disease. The project mitigates the temporary loss of habitat functions and values imposed by the project. ACE finished the work under budget and ahead of schedule, allowing the crew to improve a larger area than originally planned.

Recognizing ACE's riparian habitat work for ACRCD, the City of Fremont contracted ACE to complete a similar adjacent restoration project along Sabercat Creek. There, ACE crews hand-weeded around planting units, removed non-native invasive Himalayan blackberry and English ivy, applied weed matting and mulch around planting basins, and installed browse protection cages. They also protected existing native shrubs and trees and planted additional native vegetation."
American Conservation Experience Forestry Scholarship
Did you know that
American Conservation Experience
has a scholarship fund? 

Each year a forestry student who demonstrates academic excellence and is in need of financial assistance 
is awarded this scholarship through our partnership with Northern Arizona University's College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences
Past Recipients:
  • 2010 - Kathleen Callow
  • 2011 - Bridget Petersen
  • 2012 - Chelsea Lee Wilkins
  • 2013 - Tiffani Fullucca
  • 2014 - Fuller Reis 
Photo: Fuller Reis recieving his award
from Dr. James Allen, Executive Director, School of Forestry 
Congrats to 2014 ACE Scholarship Recipient, Fuller Reis! 
2014 ACE Scholarship Winner, Fuller Reis at NAU's School of Forestry building, Flagstaff campus.
 
Name: Fuller Reis
Age: 21
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Major: Forestry
Year: Senior
 
Meet Fuller Reis, a senior forestry student at Northern Arizona University.
This year Fuller was the recipient of the ACE scholarship through NAU's School of Forestry. Fuller came to NAU from San Diego 4 years ago with no specific major in mind.
After meeting some fellow forestry students and faculty, Fuller decided to pursue a degree in Forestry and will be graduating this year.
After graduation, Fuller has decided that he would like to pursue becoming a wildland firefighter and eventually would like to work in resource management.
Wilderness Character Monitoring
ACE Wilderness Fellow, Morgan Gantz, has been working on developing a baseline wilderness character monitoring report for the Mille Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, which is a proposed wilderness area and is the smallest refuge in the whole National Wildlife Refuge System, making up only 0.57 of an acre on two small rock islands in Minnesota. One of the cool projects that Morgan has been doing to assess wilderness character is monitoring the Common tern, a Minnesota state-listed threatened species.  Morgan monitors the breeding ground of the Common tern on Hennepin Island, one of only five breeding grounds in the state for the species. She helped count Common tern eggs and chicks on the island, and even got to hold a little one! 
September Saw Trainees 
 
ACE Arizona Saw Program:
by Marieke Flynn
 
It has been an exciting 3rd quarter for the Arizona saw program.  We have expanded our saw fleet and doubled the number of our trained sawyers. Thanks to the diligent and safe efforts of our past and present sawyers, requests for ACE crews are in demand throughout the winter.  It is invasive species removal season at our National Wildlife Refuges (NWR's) and ACE saw crews are already serving with the Fish and Wildlife Service in Arizona and New Mexico . ACE Invasive "Strike Teams" are back to work at Cibola NWR and Imperial NWR as well as Kofa NWR, Buenos Aires NWR, Havasu NWR, Maxwell NWR, Las Vegas NWR, and Bosque Del Apache NWR.    
Director Spotlight: Matt Roberts, Ph.D.
Matt, enjoying a day off to ride! 

Get to know our Intermountain Regional Director, Matthew Roberts, Ph.D.
by Susie Jardine
 
Since we have started ACEbook I have had many requests for more “getting to know you” articles in the newsletter so I thought, why not put the
spotlight on our Directors? 
I decided to start with the Director who has been with ACE the longest. 

ACE's Intermountain Regional Director, Dr. Matthew Roberts has been an integral part of the ACE fabric since 2004. Matt is responsible for the Flagstaff, St. George, and Asheville Programs, among many other responsibilities. It was not easy pinning him down for an interview because Matt would rather not have the spotlight on him, but with a little prodding he gladly obliged.
Thanks Matt. I owe you baked goods. 

SJ: Where are you from originally?
MR: A beautifully industrial steel town in North Lincolnshire, UK that is famous for having a rather profane word within its name. 
SJ: What did you want to be when you grew up? 
MR: An architect or fisheries manager depending on whether I was playing with Legos or going fishing.
SJ: What brought you to the United States?
MR: Adventure, wild landscapes, and to explore the country my grandmother came from.
SJ: How did you get into the conservation field?
MR: I was looking for adventure and had a longing to dig holes, lots of holes. 
SJ: What was your number #1 favorite project? Why?
MR: Chiricahua National Monument rock work project in 2007. The amazing location, very challenging rock work and most importantly I got to know my future, now current, wonderful wife. 
SJ: What is the most useful advice you can offer to someone who has never been on a project?
MR: Smile through the good times, smile through the tough times and keep smiling even when you are exhausted. 
SJ: When packing for a project what is the number one personal item you must always take with you?
MR: Headphones, to pipe soothing tunes into my busy brain while trying to get to sleep. Hiking boots, toothbrush and a warm clean pair of socks to sleep in when it gets cold.
SJ: What lessons has working for ACE taught you?
MJ: There is always much more to learn. Everyone has the potential to do great things and positively change their lives. Enjoy life no matter what comes your way. Be more flexible than you think is possible. Never give up. The desert is a cold place at night when you forget your sleeping bag. 
SJ: What is your personal Motto?
MR: Give more than you take and never give up. 
SJ: In the last 10 years with ACE, what are you most proud of? 
MR: I’m most proud of the positive changes ACE has made to peoples lives and the natural environment. 
SJ: In recognition of our new hashtag #ACEinspires, what inspires you most about ACE? 
MR: I am constantly inspired by all of the people who volunteer their time, effort, sweat and tears to improve and conserve our environment. ACE is about people, and they are amazing.
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ACE Special Events and Service Projects
James Lynn Shares his ACE AmeriCorps Experience at the
2014 National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Conference

by Hannah Wendel
 
ACE AmeriCorps Intern, James Lynn, gave a presentation at the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) Annual Conference held August 19th-23rd in Great Falls, MT.  NOHVCC works with federal land agencies, such as Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service to promote responsible OHV recreation use on public lands and to encourage safety and stewardship of recreation areas and trails.

James first served as an ACE AmeriCorps intern in 2013 with the BLM OHV program in Barstow, CA, where his responsibilities included enforcing safe riding and responsible stewardship of public lands and monitoring trail use and conditions in the El Mirage Special Recreation Area.  This summer, James served as an ACE Backcountry Trail Intern with the Inyo National Forest, adding advanced dry stone masonry and construction skills to his resume of accomplishments.
 
The theme of the 2014 NOHVCC Conference was “partnerships”.  In addition to participating in trail design and OHV use workshops, James presented on the personal and professional value of his ACE experiences to conference participants.  
 
ACE staff in front of beautiful Lake Lure with our newest partners. 
Our ACE Southeast crews and staff in Asheville, North Carolina had the opportunity to visit with our project partners, the Weed Action Coalition of the Hickory Nut Gorge and Chimney Rock State Park. ACE is grateful for the support of our newest local partners.
 
Volunteer Service Projects
Each ACE AmeriCorps member recruits and leads one community volunteer service project (VSP) in addition to regular ACE crew work.  Volunteer Service projects provide an opportunity for ACE members to engage with local community groups while building a skill-set in volunteer management.
AmeriCorps member, Gavin Monson, went above and beyond for his VSP, helping to lead 13 youth from Iowa on a week-long trail maintenance event in the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness on the border between Idaho and Montana.  
In conjunction with the Dallas County Conservation Department, Gavin helped give back to his home community by immersing youth in their first wilderness experience and introducing them to the world of conservation. 
Slide Fire Mitigation Outreach 
Flagstaff: A group of ACE corpsmembers, led by Afton McKusick, joined in the Slide Fire Flood Mitigation fight by filling sandbags after the fire was contained. This community outreach effort has brought disaster relief to the surrounding areas and neighborhoods. 
Everglades National Park:  ACE BioCorps Interns, Marcie Cruz and Emma Hanslowe Volunteer Service project at Cape Sable 
 
ACE AmeriCorps interns, Marcella “Marcie" Cruz and Emma Hanslowe, led an adventuresome volunteer service project on Cape Sable in Everglades National Park.  The project began with a boat ride from the Flamingo Marina as the group traveled deep into the Everglades for the beach cleanup.  During the scenic ride, NPS staff  briefed the group on the importance of beach cleanup and the ecological impact of their efforts. The educational overview contributed to an engaging and positive experience. Volunteers on the project noted Marcie and Emma’s planning and implementation of the project, commenting that “the leaders made it a fun and excellent experience”.
For more information on the Everglades CLICK HERE.
ACE Wilderness Fellow, Morgan Gantz’s VSP 
 
 This summer, ACE Wilderness Fellow Intern, Morgan Gantz, partnered with Pine Point School on the White Earth Indian Reservation to host a volunteer service project with a group of 6-8th graders.  The students “capped” Jack pine trees that had been planted earlier this spring in Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Young pine trees need to be capped in the fall to prevent damage from deer browsing, as new growth on a young pine is a favorite food item of deer. Historically, Minnesota was dominated by Red pine, White pine, and Jack pine barrens, however, impacts of logging and settlement eliminated the majority of these forest types. Tamarac NWR has planted over 30,000 pine trees this past year in an effort to restore the mighty pine forests that once defined the landscape.   
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ACE Southeast corpsmembers worked with local nonprofit, Southern Appalachian Highland Conservancy, which preserves the agricultural lifestyle of the Appalachians and facilitates conservation work in the area.  Local college students from Emory University helped ACE members maintain and groom local trails in Asheville.
Asheville Quarter 3 VSPs included: 
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge
Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy's Bearwallow Trail
Southern Appalachian Highland Conservancy's Incubator Farm Trail
The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville
Local Community Garden in Asheville
 
ACE Utah staff, crew leaders and AmeriCorps members volunteered their weekend to work alongside US Forest Service employees from the North Kaibab Ranger District. The ACE UT staff  wanted to express their gratitude for all the hard work and positive contributions by all ACE crew leaders and corps members throughout the summer by hosting a BBQ/camping event at one of the most beautiful viewpoints (Fire Point) at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The USFS and ACE put in a hard and fun day's work; converting an old, retired Forest Service road into a multi-use trail, called the Rainbow Rim trail. ACE Utah sends a big thank you to its dedicated corps members and to the USFS North Kaibab district for such a great opportunity! 
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ACE Project Showcase
Flagstaff, AZ

Flagstaff:
Walnut Canyon National Monument's Island Trail Project

by Mark Loseth
 
The Island Trail at Walnut Canyon National Monument is a window into the life of the Sinagua people who thrived inside the canyon from 1100 to 1250 AD.  Park visitors descend 185 vertical feet through exposed geology to get an up close view of 25 cliff dwellings that exist on the large outcropping known as the ‘Island’. 

In 2012 the National Park Service launched an extensive improvement project on the Island Trail. The corridor had seen frequent maintenance work over the years, leading to a patchwork of styles and materials that created an inconsistent array of aesthetics while impacting sustainability user safety. 

ACE involvement in the Island Trail project began in spring of 2013. Working directly with National Park Service staff, ACE assisted in all aspects of the project, including construction of dry stone retaining walls and steps, mortaring liner rocks, and surfacing of the trail tread.  Beginning with the removal of the old trail surfacing, ACE crews broke up the asphalt and filled large bags to be hauled away by a helicopter.  Once the trail was ready for reconstruction, a large sky line was set up to transport rock from the rim of the canyon near the visitor center to the bottom of the trail.  Throughout the 2013 and 2014 field seasons, ACE members helped operate the sky line, assisting in a highly technical rigging operation that provided a great learning experience.
ACE was an integral part of completing the project on time. 
Total accomplishments for ACE crews on the Island Trail in 2013 & 2014 include:
•    10,112 hours of service
•    10 Stone Steps
•    947.5 square feet of retaining wall constructed
•    45 linear feet mortared liner rock constructed
•    89,000 pounds asphalt bagged and removed

Experienced gained on the Island Trail project provided an ideal stepping stone for crew members looking to continue their careers with the National Park Service and other conservation organizations.  Two former ACE crew Leaders at Walnut Canyon, Marlon Troubnikoff and Andy Ives, are employed at the Flagstaff Area National Monuments, where they continue to work for the health of Northern Arizona’s natural landscape.  ACE alumni who served on the Island Trail have also graduated to perform similar work for the Grand Canyon National Park, the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, and as Crew Leaders with ACE.  
 
Salt Lake City, UT / Emerging Professional Internship Corps
ACE BLM Intern Hannah Cowan shows off her T-Rex fossil!

Salt Lake City, Utah / EPIC
BLM Paelontology Permitting Intern Joins Excavation of Prehistoric Predator
by Hannah Cowan
 
In early September, ACE BLM Intern, Hannah Cowan had the opportunity to join BLM paleontologist, Alan Titus on a dinosaur excavation in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM). 

Read about Hannh’s first hand experience! 

“I began to understand the vast amount of time necessary to safely remove and transport fossilized material. I was thankful for the close partnerships formed with the Natural History Museum of Utah and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, providing Alan and staff the much needed support to excavate the tyrannosaur.
My time on the excavation ended with the discovery of multiple small fossils, belonging either to a small reptile, a small dinosaur, or as I hope, to a baby dinosaur!
The opportunity to work on the tyrannosaur excavation was eye opening. Not only was it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it also gave me greater insight into field crew operations and the BLM’s goals for the GSENM paleontology program. The tyrannosaur discovery will hopefully solve questions regarding predator life history, evolution, and the ecosystem’s fauna.
I’d like to wish Alan and the crew luck with the remaining excavation and express my appreciation for the supporting universities and museums who work in concert with the BLM to further paleontological research and discovery on public lands in Utah.”
Fossils are cast in plaster jackets and the sediments removed from
around the plaster are collected and checked for fossil pieces. 
EPIC Interns work with the  
Aquatic and Riparian Effectiveness Monitoring Program (AREMP)
ACE AmeriCorps Intern Drew Robinson collecting data in the Pacific Northwest.

ACE Interns Wrap up a Successful Field Season with the BLM and USFS in Oregon
by Hannah Wendel
 
ACE interns Allison DelGizzi, Taryn Peden, and Tommy Laird, and Andrew Robinson served with the interagency Aquatic and Riparian Effectiveness Monitoring Program (AREMP), based out of Corvallis, Oregon.    Working with agency technicians in biology, fisheries, and hydrology, the interns spent the summer collecting vital ecological data from 77 watersheds on USFS, BLM, and NPS lands west of the Cascades in northern California, Oregon, and Washington.  

Each week they traveled to remote, backcountry project sites to undertake riparian restoration and to conduct hydrologic surveys, including substrate dimension measurement, wood estimation, stream morphology, and water temperature monitoring.  The data collected from these projects will help natural resource managers assess how the Northwest Forest Plan is maintaining and restoring aquatic and riparian ecosystems to desired conditions on federal lands.
ACE Interns Tackle and Relive the Perilous Journey of the California Trail!
by Hannah Wendel
 
This summer, the public followed ACE BLM Utah interns, Hannah Cowan (Paleontology Permitting Intern), Michael Knight and Jared Lundquist (National Historic Trails Interns), as they retraced the notorious 80-mile Hastings Cutoff trek of the Historic California Trail, through the Great Salt Lake Desert. This barren stretch of the California Trail was traveled in wagons and by foot during the mid-to-late 19th Century, and was where many settlers realized they had run out of water. ACE interns traveled the Hastings Cutoff section on foot and shared their experience on camera and on social media. The California Trail, along with other National Historic Trails, are vital historic and cultural resources found on public lands and are managed and protected by federal land agencies, like the BLM.  ACE interns had read about the historic trails but to experience the journey made by many Americans in the past (made famous by the Donnor Party in 1846), ACE interns, Hannah, Michael, and Jared were able to experience history first-hand AND share their experience with others.  
“Make no mistake, [Hastings Cutoff] is arguably the most arduous stretch of westward migration trail in the country.”- Rob Sweeten, the BLM National Historic Trails Lead. 
Interagency Wilderness Fellows Program: 
by Hannah Wendel

The Wilderness Fellows Initiative was established to advance wilderness stewardship in our federally protected areas while providing an opportunity for wilderness advocates and young professionals to gain valuable career experience. Wilderness Fellows provide on-the-ground support to help staff integrate wilderness character into monitoring, planning, and management. For each wilderness, Fellows collect and compile data to produce baseline assessments of local wilderness character that address the special and unique qualities of each wilderness, and assist staff in many ways to improve wilderness stewardship.

ACE Wilderness Fellow, Ben Katz is currently stationed at Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Ellsworth, Nebraska writing a baseline wilderness character monitoring report. One aspect of monitoring wilderness character is collecting ecological data. One project he is working on is monitoring bird boxes at the wildlife refuge. These boxes provide habitat for tree swallows that frequent the refuge. Refuge staff works hard to restore their habitat on the refuge, which previously had been destroyed due to an increase in cattle grazing on non-refuge lands. Ben is working alongside refuge staff to improve habitat for the tree swallow, among other projects including migrating bird surveys and habitat restoration for the endangered blowout penstemon. Ben hopes to incorporate wilderness character monitoring into the refuge monitoring plans in the future, so that wilderness character can be preserved in Crescent Lake's proposed wilderness after Ben leaves in the future. 
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Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Cruz:
Hilton Lakes Trail Crew recognized by the US Dept of Agriculture
by Keith Trainor
 
Of several projects ACE conducted in partnership with Inyo National Forest this summer, one in particular drew the praise of Inyo National Forest staff, who awarded a US Department of Agriculture Certificate of Appreciation to the crew, pictured.

The ACE crew conducted trail work on the Hilton Lakes Watershed Reconstruction Project in the John Muir Wilderness from June 2014, through the end of October.

Crew Leader Andrew Clark contributed great effort to the successes of this project, which weren't limited to the causeways and structures, nor to the benefits for the environment and the trail users. The corps members, who learned technical trail construction skills in a wilderness setting and stewardship in partnership with the Forest Service staff, will embody a lasting legacy of this project by carrying these lessons forth to their future endeavors.
Restoring Wetland Meadows throughout Sierra Nevadas
by Keith Trainor & Eric Robertson
 
In 2014, ACE crews continued to implement the restoration of meadows throughout the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this year within Inyo National Forest and Sierra National Forest. The goal of the projects was to raise the water-table within meadows to historical levels, especially in areas where human-caused erosion and channelization has been drying out the meadows. 

By installing structures such as checkdams (pictured), ACE crews elevate the water level, allowing the meadows to support the natural biodiversity of a wetland. Rather than water flowing out of the meadows in streams, it will soak into the ground and seep through the entire acreage slowly and sustainably. Beyond supporting local wildlife, these wetlands will continue to sequester carbon and filter water for its purity downstream. 

The ACE crews even occasionally deployed to remote locations to undertake these projects, up to 13 miles from the nearest trailhead, for up to a month at a time in the backcountry. Using old-world skills of rock construction, and crosscutting dead-and-down trees for log construction, the crews worked as a team contributing great effort to the restoration of meadows, and the improvement of water quality, throughout the Sierras.
 
Seen here one of the sites where a check dam has been repaired by the crew.
The upper image shows the non-functioning structure, while the lower shows
 the structure now up to Forest Service standards.
ACE Repairs Damage of Illegal Off-Highway Vehicle Use
by Keith Trainor & Eric Robertson

In the sensitive deserts and semi-arid ecosystems of much of California, one of the most direct impacts that ACE crews can have on the environment is repairing the damage of illegal off-highway vehicle use. By physically and visually concealing non-sustainable and damaging OHV routes, which sometimes proceed through archaeologically significant sites, ACE crews conserve not only the environment, but the cultural resources of our public lands. 

Concealing the illegal routes (pictured) is only the first step. Within the Inyo National Forest in the Eastern Sierra, ACE crews also installed barriers, signs, and spoke with public they encountered about the effects of illegal OHV use. They restored over 6 miles of roads and nearly 18 acres of native habitat. The effects of the effort in 2014 is less denuded habitat for native wildlife, fewer roads through sensitive areas, and a clearer, easier to follow system of OHV roads throughout the Inyo NF. 
Shown above is a before and after set of images depicting an unauthorized route. The left shows the work site before our ACE crew arrived.
The right reveals the hard work and attention to detail in disguising the route and thus preventing future use.
Lake Tahoe, CA
An office with a view. ACE crews working high atop Mt. Tallac. 
 
Lake Tahoe:
Restoring trails throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin

by Patrick Parsel
 
Late summer in Tahoe has been an exciting time with beautiful weather and lots to accomplish! Our crews working for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit really hit their stride with tons of great trail work being done throughout the Basin. 

The Eagle Falls Trail crew tackled some of their most technical rock-work of the summer with numerous switchbacks being constructed and re-routing the existing trail to make it more sustainable. This crew, led by Bobby Faller, just wrapped up 5 straight months of intensive work on this trail. Positive public feedback has been flowing in with great appreciation for the incredible amount of work this crew has done.

The Mount Tallac Trail saw numerous re-routes completed as well as more staircases built to add to the ACE legacy of work done on this trail in previous years. The crew was fortunate enough to be able to camp high on the mountain during the month of September.

The Fallen Leaf Lake Trails project crew continued their great efforts with tons of restoration work being done in addition to the trail system being brought up to standard throughout the popular Camp Richardson area.
 
Finally, a 12-person ACE crew, represented by 6 countries, began their first project ever with the Tahoe Rim Trail this September. They are doing major reconstruction to a 2-mile long section of trail high above the east shore of the lake.  This section of trail is hugely popular with mountain bikers as it connects with the world famous Flume Trail. When completed, this section of trail will feature reconstructed switchbacks and trail armoring to provide a sustainable trail for bikers to use for years to come. 
ACE crews  building a new trail at Fallen Leaf Lake. 
Saint George, UT
Saint George, UT:
BLM Cedar City District Invasive Species Removal

by Jeff Bousson
 
ACE crews have started working on an ambitious and complicated invasive species removal project within the BLM Cedar City district. The goal of the project involves eradicating Russian olive and Tamarisk trees along the Beaver River. The BLM aims to turn the current project site into a recreational area.  The exotic trees have out-competed the native vegetation (Cottonwood and Willow) and have changed the local ecosystem within the area. The areas that ACE cleared last year have already seen major improvements.  After the crew finished last year, BLM continued with plans by fixing the channel and putting up a fence as you can see below. 
 
The ACE Utah crews are continuing working downstream from where the crew left off last year (as shown in the photos below). We hope that everyone who has put in time on this project can feel proud of their impact! The Willows that were planted by the BLM this year were able to grow to 4 feet by August due to lack of competition and an increase in water within the area. ACE and the BLM Cedar City district are excited to see how the work completed this year will improve this area in 2015!  
Asheville, NC
Asheville
 Congaree National Park  / Cedar Creek Trail
by Amy Allamong
 
ACE’s time in ACE’s summer spent in Congaree National Park in South Carolina represented a diverse and rewarding experience for both corps members and staff. The crew’s primary objective in the park was to clear Cedar Creek Canoe Trail of log jams and other obstructions to water traffic.  The back-country of Congaree National Park, where much of the work took place, is designated wilderness so minimum tool requirements called for crosscut saws instead of chainsaws. Under challenging conditions, sometimes involving waste deep water and always including a vibrant population of biting insects, the ACE crew cleared over 16 miles of trail while maintaining a glorious attitude and robust appreciation for this unique project.  ACE members contributed over 2,000 hours of service in a wild, remote and little known gem of the National Park system.  Great job to all who participated!
 
Conservation Vacations - 
Grand Canyon National Park
Conservation Vacations: 
Juliet Harland - Corps to Career through ACE's CV Program

by Tom Wilson
 
In June 2014, Juliet Harland joined our Conservation Vacation Program at Grand Canyon National Park. Three months later she is now a Mounted Patrol intern at Grand Canyon!
We caught up with Juliet at the beginning of October to hear her story and to see if she had any advice for people seeking employment opportunities with the National Park Service.
ACE: Tell us a little about your background. Have you always wanted to work with the National Park Service? 
Juliet Harland: After I graduated college I worked multiple jobs that correlated with my Criminal Justice major, but I felt that I wasn’t passionate about the work. I have always had a passion to learn about nature, be outdoors, and participate in outdoor activities (i.e. camping, hiking, kayaking), so I decided to look into a career that would incorporate all of those things. The National Park Service (NPS) incorporates a lot of things I am passionate about, and I became determined to get a job with the agency.
ACE: What motivated you to apply for ACE’s Conservation Vacation program at Grand Canyon National Park?
JH: I wanted to see if working with the NPS was the right career path for me and I wanted to gain some skills and experience that might help in future job applications. The ACE Conservation Vacation sounded like a perfect opportunity to get a taste of the types of work that the NPS does, and whether the work would suit me without making a long-term volunteer or internship commitment.
ACE: So the Conservation Vacation program acted as a stepping stone to an internship? 
JH: ACE Conservation Vacation was definitely a stepping stone towards my goal of working with the NPS, and a stepping stone in deciding to look for internships with the NPS.
ACE: Did participation in the Conservation Vacation program make you more motivated to gain an internship position with the NPS? 
JH: Definitely! The environment and the people I worked with were great, and I really enjoyed the work that I did with ACE and the NPS at Grand Canyon National Park. My experience with ACE motivated me look at internships with ACE and the SCA (Student Conservation Association).
ACE: What did you do after completing the Conservation Vacation to get to where you are today? 
JH: Many of the park employees that I worked with during the Conservation Vacation said that they started out as interns with either ACE or the SCA. Once I got home from the Conservation Vacation I applied to internships at many different National Parks through ACE and the SCA websites. There was a Grand Canyon Mounted Patrol position on the SCA website that I immediately applied for because I have a long history of experience with horses and have a strong interest in becoming a Law Enforcement Ranger. After several interviews I received a call saying that I got the internship!
ACE: Do you have any recommendations for others who may be in a similar position as you found yourself in, and wishing to pursue a career with the NPS? 
JH: I thought that the ACE Conservation Vacation was a perfect way to see if I’m interested in the types of work that the Park Service does, and a really fun experience regardless! If you want to work outdoors or at a National Park I definitely recommend applying for internships or volunteer work through NPS, ACE, and SCA websites. Be enthusiastic about the work, and prepared to work hard, learn a lot, and have a lot of fun experiencing some of the most amazing parks in the U.S. 

 
We wish Juliet every success with her internship and with 
pursuing her dream to work with the NPS!
 
 

For further information about ACE Conservation Vacations, including start dates and prices, please visit http://discover.acecvusa.org or Like us on Facebook. Specific queries can be directed to acecvusa@acecvusa.org.

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Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes with:
ACE's National Chainsaw Trainer, Afton McKusick
and the ACE 's Chainsaw Program

by Susie Jardine

 
This quarter we wanted to give you a glimpse of what it takes to run ACE's rapidly growing Chainsaw Program so we sat down with the woman in charge, National Chainsaw Trainer for all of ACE, Ms. Afton McKusick. Afton has been with ACE since 2010  and most everyone within our ACE world knows our resident redhead with the no nonsense attitude, but we wanted to get a little in depth interview about her beginnings in the conservation world and what it takes to run and maintain this program. 

SJ: How many years have you been in the conservation field and how did your experience and training over the years get you to where you are today? 

AM: 13 years with conservation corps and 2 years with wild land fire.
My journey with conservation all started when Chris Baker came in to my high school chemistry class to talk about the new YCC crew at Coconino Rural Environment Corps. I did one year as a YCC crew member working to clear brush from the side of Walnut Canyon Rd. Here I worked with a team of other Flagstaff youth and this is where I caught the "corps bug". I worked my way up in CREC. In 2008 I led a CREC crew which worked at Wupatki NM with Jordan and Johan's ACE crew. After 9 years it was time to move on from CREC. I got a job at the Flagstaff District, Crew 4 Fuels Crew. In October of 2010 I started my job with ACE as the chainsaw coordinator and trainer. In 2014 I started to oversee the National Chainsaw Program.

SJ: Why did you choose this line of work?

I choose to do this work because I had amazing mentors when I was a young adult who showed me how important this type of work is. Miquelle Scheier, Kevin Wiesmann, Rob Colombini, and Jeff Hankens. These people have always believed in me and supported me. It is because of their passion, leadership and knowledge that I am where I am today. I was given a chance to learn how to better myself, my community, to work with a team to bring a small change to the world that I live in, and they gave me something to believe in. These people changed my life for the better and I only hope that I can provide the same opportunities  for others. Miquelle Scheier and John Irish always told me that it is the youth that will get the important work done that no one else wants to do. I love the southwest, it's my home, and the idea that we can have a positive impact in the areas that we work in is meaningful to me. To provide a place for others to be proud of the work that they do. I want each member to walk away with memories and stories that they can share with family and friends for the rest of their lives.

SJ: And now to the nuts and bolts of our saw program. What brand and type of chainsaws do we use and why?

AM: Between the Arizona, Utah and California branches we have 59 chainsaws. Due to the amount of use we have opted to use professional grade saws.  
In Arizona and Utah we have 37 Husquvarna's and two 460 STIHL's.
In California we have about 20 saws. A variety of Husquvarna's and STIHL's as well.  
Note: We also have a collection of vintage crosscut saws which crew members use in wilderness settings for similar work.

SJ: What is the maintenance like and do we train our team to maintain these saws or do we send them out for maintenance? 

AM: ACE staff and corps members maintains all of the chainsaws in our shops. Marieke Flynn and Katie Beadling have learned to maintenance all the saws and teach crew leaders and corps members to do the same.

SJ: What is our training program like to become a certified ACE sawyer? 

AM: To become an ACE sawyer, you must pass Wilderness First Aid and Blood Borne Pathogens. The chainsaw training at ACE is based off the Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) curriculum. The training is 30 hours, one day in the classroom and 2 field days. Students cover safety, maintenance, bucking, limbing, and felling techniques and then review safety again. Each sawyer is assigned equipment and is responsible for taking care of it throughout their term at ACE.  Each day someone cuts they enter their hours into a saw log so we can keep track of each persons hours for resume use and helps us keep track of how often a saw is used for maintenance.  

SJ: How many certified sawyers do we have within ACE? 

AM: Currently we have around 70 trained sawyers, not including office staff.

SJ: We have programs in many states. Does all saw training happen at our Flagstaff hub? 

AM: Training for AZ and UT happens in Flagstaff. We have done saw training's in Tahoe and Santa Cruz for the California branch, and are currently looking for a training location in Asheville.

SJ: Do corpsmember have to have prior chainsaw experience to be on a saw team?

AM: Members do not have to have prior experience, just motivation to work at mastering the art of running a saw, a good work ethic, and a desire to grow as a member of a team, and a leader. They will be fully trained and put through our training program. 

SJ: Can you give an example of  typical day if you are out on a saw project? 

AM: First thing is a safety meeting. After the safety meeting it is time to chap up and get to work. As a sawyer you are responsible for your personal safety and that of your fellow crew members. You will be working as a team with your swampers in a efficient manner to achieve the goals of the day. You will never cut by yourself. You get two 15 min breaks and a 30 min lunch. During your breaks it is a good idea to spend some time sharpening your chain. At the end of the day you will clean your chainsaw and sharpen your chain. You need 2 sharp chains to start the next day and then do it all over again.  

SJ: A question I get frequently is "Saw shop? Aren't you an environmental conservation corps?" They don't quite understand the importance of forest health. Can you speak on the reason our partners need us to thin or remove invasive species? 

AM: "Conservation is the act of preserving, guarding, or protecting."
Fuels reduction, and restoration is environmental conservation work. I always like to say that I kill some trees to make other trees happy. If you research the damage that we have done to the forests and riparian areas that we live/ recreate in you would learn that what we see  is not how these ecosystems are suppose to function. When we do a thinning project we are reducing fuels that could cause a catastrophic wildfire that threatens lives, property, and critical habitats. If we cut Mesquite in Buenos Aires we are restoring historic meadow that the pronghorn need to migrate, and the bob white quail need to survive. When we cut invasive trees we are restoring a riparian area for native plants that the local flora and fauna need to thrive.  By doing these projects ACE crew members are participating in the efforts to preserve the areas in which we live and recreate. We are helping to restore habitat, for future generations.   

SJ: Can you give an example of the types of trees or vegetation we are asked to thin? 

AM: Ponderosa Pine in the Flagstaff area.Mesquite and Juniper in areas where trees have encroached on historic meadows due to fire suppression. Russian Olive and Tamarisk needs to be eradicated.

SJ: Any final words for future sawyers?

AM: The ACE saw program is growing. Restoration work may not be the most glamours work but it is important. My hope is that each member of the crew walks away from each project feeling proud that they helped make a positive difference and learned something new about why they are doing this work.

Thanks Afton for your dedication to conservation and ACE! 
That's right folks...we officially have our very own hashtag.
If you are an ACE corpsmember or staff we encourage you to take snaps out on project and tag them with #ACEinspires which will send your photos directly to our tagboard for all the world to see.  
We l
ook forward to filling our ACE tagboard with your incredible,
beautiful, hard working, fun, INSPIRING photos that you have taken
while on your ACE journey. 
Racing on the Arizona Trail
ACE's Conservation Vacation Director, Tom Wilson and National AmeriCorps Program Coordinator Bradley Hunter participated in the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line Trail Running Event on September 27th-28th. This event is a 100 Mile and 50km Ultra marathon & relay running the famed Arizona Trail from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon. Tom and Brad both completed the 54km (33.6 mile) course. ACE crews built part of the trail that the race was conducted on, and continue to help maintain portions of the AZ Trail. We are thrilled to see some of our ACE'rs using these trails for FUN! Learn more about the Arizona Trail HERE
Getting to know you...
10 Random Questions: Carolyn Getschow
by Susie Jardine
 
Our second victim has a penchant for AWESOME Halloween costumes and since this is our Fall edition, may I introduce to you, Ms. Carolyn Getschow. 
While not dressing as broccoli or lobsters, Carolyn has been our AmeriCorps Program Manager for the Santa Cruz, California program since the end of July 2013.
Carolyn manages the California Volunteers AmeriCorps grant.
So let's get to know Carolyn a little bit more with our 10 random questions. 

 
1. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? 
In September 2012 and May 2013 I did two long-distance bike trips all by myself, carrying all my camping gear with me on the bike.  A lot of the people I met were shocked that I was totally comfortable traveling by myself, especially being female. The first was 1300 miles in 4 weeks, and the second was 850 miles in 3 weeks.
2. What is one of your favorite quotes? 
"The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.  If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living."--Jules Henri Poincare
3. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?  
SCUBA diving, though I haven't been in ages.  
4. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?  
I would love to learn how to forage for wild mushrooms from an expert who could help me avoid the ones that'll kill me.
5. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?  
The Hilton Lakes Trails project in Inyo National Forest!  I've seen all the pictures that come back from there, and it looks absolutely amazing!!
6. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? 
Bill Nye--He was so entertaining to watch when I was younger, and he continues to be a really passionate advocate for science.  He rocks!
7. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?  
Visit my sister in San Francisco and see how many restaurants we could try before we get sick!
8. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?  
"Fish" by Hey Ocean!, "San Francisco" by The Mowgli's, "Vienna" by Billy Joel
9. What’s the hardest thing you've ever done?  
Homemade fortune cookies.  I love baking and I've been doing it since I was little, but fortune cookies are a whole new level of difficulty.  I don't think I'll be trying it again anytime soon.
10. What do you miss most about being a kid?  
Trick-or-treating!  One year I went as a lobster--I think it was probably the most elaborate costume my parents ever created!
And one more for good measure. (I can never seem to choose just 10!)
11. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be? 
Stuffed Portabellas. My Dad does em' best! 

 
From one foodie to another I thank you Carolyn! -SJ
Time Log Member Reflections:
My time in ACE has probably been the most amazing thing I have done. The places we have traveled to work have been absolutely beautiful and the work itself is very rewarding as well. However the part I love the most is the community aspect of the experience. Everyone that I've met in ACE has been a wonderful person and it's so unique to meet as many people from around the world on such a regular basis.      -Joe Trecartin GOCYF member
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Alumni Connection
 Hello ACE Alumni! 
We have a winner for our
"Where in the world is your ACE Alum bumper sticker" contest...

Congratulations to Allison Renkert who sent us these
amazing photos of her office and some of her colleagues.
Allison also wins the award for BEST OFFICE SPACE EVER! 

Allison is the assistant manager of a dog sledding tour operation in Juneau, AK.
She lives at the base of the Mendenhall towers on the Mendenhall glacier
with 270 Alaskan huskies.

Thank you to all who participated. 
Keep your eyes peeled for our next Alumni contest...coming soon. 
 
 
Are you an ACE ALUMNI? If so, we want to hear from you!  
If you haven't already, please fill out our survey so we can see what
fabulous journey you are on post ACE.


If you fill out the Great Stories portion we will send you
this super hip, very cool, one of a kind
ACE ALUMNI BUMPER STICKERBACK TO TOP
Pictured: Pete Worrall, Marvin Weimer, Tobias Nafz , Mikkel Egede, Moritz Bisch, 
Tobi Trötschel and Ramona Allemanns
"Greetings from a former ACE crew. We all met one year ago, and now we're having a reunion at Oktoberfest in Munich" -Mikkel Egede
 
ACE Alumni reunions are taking place around the globe!
We are so excited to see our past members celebrating and connecting through their ACE experience.  

Mikkel Egede posted this reunion photo on to our Facebook page and it really made us all smile! Thanks Mikkel for sharing!

If you have had an ACE reunion please send me a photo
so I can share with our ACE family.
 Email Susie Jardine at susie@usaconservation.org 
Captioned: "Alumni Reunion"
 
Time log Member Reflections: The invasive species removal project on Blue Ridge had our crew moving along the parkway and removing invasive species that block the scenic views. We restored a wetland area last week that was home to some bog turtles that are endangered, which was neat since we had the chance to measure water levels in different parts. I see a lot of people going down the parkway and it makes me happy to see others seeing its amazing beauty and knowing that we are making a difference.    -Beatriz Avila EAP member
CORPS TO CAREER: 
Our very own ACE Alumni have traveled far and wide utilizing the skills they received while within the ACE program to propel them into the job of their dreams.  We are thrilled that many of our "ACE'rs" are continuing work in the field of environmental conservation.
Here's what they have to say about the time spent with ACE and where they are today.
Thanks for keeping in touch Alum! 

 
Nico Ramirez: I served in the ACE Emerging Professional Internship Corps program for three terms. I served as an Interpretation intern at Lava Beds National Monument from June 2013 to January 2014 and a Recreation and Interpretation Intern at Red Cliffs Conservation Area from March 2014 to May 2014. I currently work at Lava Beds National Monument as and GS-5 Interpretation Ranger, where I do education programs, lead cave tours and nature hikes, plan park events, and update park social media and photography. The experience with ACE was fantastic and it allowed me maintain a relationship with the NPS and BLM and eventually get a job with a federal agency. I get to spend many of my days with people and work to connect them with their public lands. I plan to continue to work for the National Park Service while I look for and attend graduate school. ACE has been truly a blessing.

Betsey York: Since leaving ACE last summer I moved up to Minnesota near the Boundary Waters and worked for the University of Minnesota on their climate change project "B4Warmed". It was amazing living up there. Then after a month there, I moved to Texas and became an outdoor educator for inner city Houston kids. I loved my ACE stint so much the summer before that I decided to go back for a second summer and live and work at Capitol Reef National Park again. I have traveled all over Utah, gone to El Salvador, gone to Minnesota and Texas and it started with ACE giving me the chance to get out of Chicago last summer by hiring me for this position.

Fiana Shapiro: I've been continuing to work in wildlife field work, environmental interpretation, and environmental education since serving in ACE.  This is my 2nd season as an official park ranger in the flat hat at Acadia National Park, doing programs with kids and families and working in our main visitor center.  ACE wasn't my first environmental position, but it allowed me to continue on through the winter in the field.
ACE helped inspire me to do international volunteer work myself, and I spent 2 months doing wildlife research and rainforest restoration in Borneo along with my sister, a fellow ACE alum.
Are you looking to further your education post ACE? 
Check out these potential education opportunities.
 These specific colleges have appealing degree programs that
might be of interest to ACE interns and alum.
The following two programs have been working with ACE
to provide internship opportunities.
Click the links below for more information. 

Western Colorado State College - Gunnison, CO
Masters in Environmental Management (MEM) program.
There are great opportunities to transform your ACE work experience into your Masters project. You can contact Dr. John Hausdoerffer at jhausdoerffer@western.edu who oversees the MEM program for more information as well as check out the details of the master program here: http://www.western.edu/academics/extended-studies/mem/master-of-environmental-mangement-graduate-program.html


Elon University - Elon, NC
Elon is a unique university, and students are highly engaged and interested in national service opportunities. Interested in a hands-on academic experience, check out Elon's Environmental Studies Program

http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/elon_college/environmental_studies/ 
Are you looking for a job in Conservation? Check out the Conservation Job Board
 Time Log Member Reflections: My experience at the Guadalupe Mountains was truly enriching. We got to finish our initial project in less time than expected and we got the opportunity to hike and brush their trails. I am an expert in rolling up wire now and also much better hiker than I used to be. It was great camping spot. The best was climbing the Guadalupe peak, highest point in Texas!
It never crossed my mind that I would ever go to Texas and I never thought there were those beautiful mountains there.  

-Caitlin Grattan, AmeriCorps member
This summer was a busy time for ACE’s AmeriCorps programs, marking the end of the 2013-2014 AmeriCorps grant year. Across all of ACE’s branches 254 Education Award Program AmeriCorps positions were filled by applicants from around the country. It also saw the successful conclusion of the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families AmeriCorps grant in Arizona, with 9 members having successfully graduated from their terms of service in June. September was the initiation of a new class of 12 members who will be serving with ACE into the 2015 season. Our AmeriCorps program continues to grow and with that we are thrilled to be able to enrich the lives of the young adults that participate in ACE/AmeriCorps.
 
Since 2010 ACE has offered education award positions through one of our various multiple State or National AmeriCorps programs.
ACE AmeriCorps programs are designed to provide American youth with professional development and job skills training necessary for advancement in outdoor careers while also meeting critical community needs through environmental stewardship, service learning, and volunteerism while earning them a Segal Education Award after completion of the term of service. 
For more information regarding our ever growing AmeriCorps program please contact ACE National AmeriCorps Program Coordinator, Brad Hunter at bhunter@usaconservation.org

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Meet ACE Interpretation and Outreach Intern
and AmeriCorps member Mary Sullivan!
Mary Sullivan is an ACE AmeriCorps success story! Working through our EPIC Internship Program we are thrilled that she had a rewarding and meaningful experience serving with ACE/AmeriCorps, as you can read below. Mary has completed her internship and is now working out of our Flagstaff base leading crews. 

Mary's experience in her own words: 
 
“For the past eight months I have worked as an ACE EPIC intern in the Interpretive division at Lava Beds National Monument and at the Tule Lake Unit of the WWII Valor In the Pacific National Monument. 

During my time here, I have had the opportunity to deliver educational programs to school groups ranging from first grade to college levels on topics ranging from geology, Native history and culture, and Japanese American Incarceration during WWII. When school is not in session, I have been responsible for a daily cave tour.

If I were to single out one particular project to summarize the success I feel after my experience as an EPIC Intern, it would be the discourse I was able to conduct during my last education program at the Tule Lake Unit with two groups of 10 college students from Sacramento, CA.

In each group, I had the chance to sit down with the students and review what they had seen and learned about in relation to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and allowed them the freedom to lead the discussion in any direction they wished, as long as it could be linked back to some aspect of that narrative. The result was stupendous, in that the topics discussed included personal experiences, stories handed down from relatives and friends, debates about historic representations and motivations of the period, and questions like "Could Anything Like This Happen Again?" 

I could see the lights being turned on in their minds as we talked. It was an important development both for the school group itself and for me, as I saw all of my prior experience with the Monument culminate in the chance to engage new, thoughtful outsiders. For me, it was the moment I truly understood Interpretation. Thank you so much for the opportunity, ACE!
Time Log Member Reflections:
Over the last 3 months we have been working with the park service in building 2 rock staircases, both of which exceed 70 steps. As we continue to work we can see everything coming together in its final form. It is a truly remarkable feeling knowing that you and your crew have a hand in building something that will last for over one hundred years. We are completing the work quickly and performing at the high standards of ACE as well as the Trails Forever crew. I couldn't be more happy and proud of the work we have done and I couldn't ask for a better project to finish out my AmeriCorps term.
-Jaime Webb, EAP member / Chimney Top Trail Project 

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  • Congratulations to Matt Roberts who has been promoted to Intermountain Regional Director. Matt will oversee the Flagstaff, St. George, and Southeast programs.
  • Congrats to Jordan Rolfe on his promotion. Jordan is Flagstaff's new Director of Operations.
  • Randal Weamer, LABE YCC Crew Leader, brought on as Seasonal with NPS at Lava Beds.
  • Congratulations to Zachary Bundy, ACE CA's corps member representative at the Wilderness 50 Conference in Albuquerque, NM in October.
Hello!
 
ACE CA welcomes new crew leaders Cayle Adams, Dennis Frenier, Nathan Pipenberg, and Parker Grimes. Although new to their roles, these four are not at all new to ACE, and have in fact been distinguishing themselves in the field all year long. ACE CA is proud to continue to work with these dedicated, positive, and extremely capable leaders. We look forward to the projects ahead, as we continue to work and grow together.

ACE Flagstaff welcomes:
Gavin Monson, who was promoted from AC to Assistant Crew Leader
Joe Trecartin, who was promoted from AC to Assistant Crew Leader
Jeanine Foley, who joined us as a new Assistant Crew Leader
Ben Raiche, who transferred from the NC branch
Ally Broderick, who returned after a season on the NPS Grand Canyon Trail crew

ACE EPIC welcomes Ben Pohl and Tim England

 
Goodbye!

Thanks for a great summer season to ACE CA crew leader Will Chaney, who successfully led two month-long Sequoia Backcountry projects this summer in Kern Canyon, aside from restoration projects with the Land Trust of Napa County and Santa Cruz Resource Conservation District. Will is going to winter on a ski resort in Utah, and plans to return to ACE in the spring to continue to build upon the successes of this year. See you in 2015, Will!

Since 2012 Lowell Krusling progressed from CA AmeriCorps member to crew leader to ACE alum, to later return in 2014 for an encore season of service and leadership. Thanks Lowell for a season of accomplishment in Inyo NF protecting and restoring habitat from the effects of illegal OHV traffic. Best luck in your next adventure!

ACE CA extends deep gratitude to Marvin Schwendener, who will be returning to Switzerland to continue studies in civil engineering. Marvin oversaw a tremendous positive start and great progress on the trail project on Mount Tallac this year, from July through September. We wish him the best in his academic pursuits and career. Thanks, Marvin!

ACE Flagstaff Goodbyes to:
Cassie Galentine, ACL, who left to get her Masters at NAU
Alex Holford, CL, who moved to Montana
Andrea Baeza, ACL, who went back to school in Colorado
Robert Burkhill, ACL, who returned to school in Utah
John Maxson, CL, who was headed up to the Northwest
Gayle Nance who has left to pursue her Masters at NAU
Meet and Greet
Meet and Greet Joshua Burt

Joshua Burt began his conservation career in 2002 working as a conservation intern with the Student Conservation Association.  Following that experience, he taught outdoor education in his home state of Ohio and continued leading trail crews for SCA in the summer.  In 2005, Josh moved to China and taught English in Shandong province, but continued to return in the summer to lead trail crews.  In 2007, he returned to the states more permanently and began working in various staff positions for Southwest Conservation corps.  In 2011, he became the trail crew leader in Deep Creek District of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and there learned about ACE.  He joined ACE as the Operations Manager of the North Carolina office in 2014. Welcome to the ACE Team Josh! 
Meet and Greet EPIC's, Ben Pohl
Ben is the new ACE EPIC AmeriCorps Program Supervisor! Following graduation from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, Ben served with AmeriCorps for 3 years. He began his AmeriCorps career serving with Camp Fire USA West Michigan Council where he managed an afterschool program classroom for inner-city youth and coordinated volunteer initiatives for his AmeriCorps team. During his next term of service, he served with AmeriCorps NCCC as a Field Team Leader with the Pacific Region where he managed a team of 10. Next, he took on additional responsibility when took a position with AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region as a Unit Support Team Leader where he assisted with the management of 30 Team Leaders with the oversight of 300 Corps Members. Ben is excited for the next chapter in his life in Salt Lake City as the ACE AmeriCorps Program Supervisor. As someone with a passion for service and leadership development, ACE stood out to him as an organization that cared about the success of their interns. When he is not working with ACE he enjoys traveling, going on hikes, and attending potlucks. 
Meet and Greet EPIC's Tim England
Tim is the new Director of Technology for ACE! Tim grew up in central Iowa where he attended Drake University studying Journalism with an emphasis in Radio and Television Broadcast.  After leaving Drake, he moved to Utah and began his career in Information Technology, working as a systems administrator for both small and large companies.  In 1999, he moved to California where he worked for Apple, Cisco, and EFI, honing his IT skill set in areas such as interface development, web application development, and large-scale network deployment.  In 2003, he decided to move back to Utah and work for one of the leading robotic research and development companies, SARCOS.  After SARCOS was acquired by Raytheon in 2007, he continued to develop his IT skill set, working in systems administration, project management, system architecture, and system integration.
Tim currently holds a BS in Information Technology from Western Governors University, with a emphasis in Security, and is currently working on a MBA in Information Technology Management.  His industry certifications include A+, Security+, Project+, CCNA Security, CISSP and MCITP.  With over 15 years of technology experience, Tim comes to ACE looking to champion, promote and provide technologies and systems for ACE and its partners striving to conserve and enhance public lands and wildlife.  Besides developing and refining new techniques, he is a staunch advocate for greater sharing of information and more consistent use of assessment and monitoring tools, so we can be sure that the work we do actually benefits people and the environment.

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Your support makes all the difference!
 
With your contribution to ACE you are helping to mold today's young people into tomorrow’s environmental advocates and land stewards.
Your financial support enables us to provide life-changing experiences to our youth and young adults as we hope to inspire the next generation of conservationists.

Thank you for your support.
Donate Now
Thank You to ACE's Board of Directors
for your guidance. 

Your support is very much appreciated. 
James Allen, Brad Bippus, Gordon "Boz" Bosworth,
Charlie De La Rosa, Pamela Foti, Shayne Miller and our friend Jim Keeler who passed this summer. Jim you will be greatly missed. 

 

ACE has emerged as a national leader in recruiting, coordinating, and training volunteers to undertake practical environmental restoration projects in America's national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
To learn more about ACE visit our website at: www.usaconservation.org
ACE has teamed up with the Amazon Smile Foundation to receive charitable donations from people who buy from Amazon.
Your contribution through Amazon Smile will help support our programs commitment for the preservation of our national parks, 
forests and public lands.
We greatly appreciate your support!
 CLICK HERE for more information. 
Gratuitous and Random Doggy Photo.
Because we at ACE are suckers for four-legged friends wearing ACE hats. 
Pictured here: Hannah Wendel's adorable pooch Griffey.
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Thank You to our fabulous ACE Newsletter Content Contributors:
Afton Mckusick, Marieke Flynn, Jordan Rolfe, Jeff Bousson, Brad Hunter, Drew Anderson, Tom Wilson, Patrick Parsel, Keith Trainor, Eric Robertson, Carolyn Getschow, Mark Loseth, Adam Scherm, Amy Allamong, Hannah Wendel, Hilary Beasly, Shane Barrow, Matt Roberts, Chris Baker, Susie Jardine and Griffey the dog. 

-Creative Marketing Manager / Alumni Coordinator / Newsletter Editor, Susie Jardine
can be reached at susie@usaconservation.org
Copyright © 2014 American Conservation Experience, All rights reserved.


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