At ACE, the NRCS Division provides an array of conservation services to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. In addition to consulting, we offer a unique program that places emerging professionals in NRCS field offices across the country.
ACE Partner Conservationist Program
The ACE Partner Conservationist Program provides our NRCS partners with experienced emerging professionals who support federal agency programs and staff in an array of field and office positions. ACE Partner Conservationists are supervised on a daily basis by agency or partner supervisors, and mentored by ACE senior staff throughout their placement terms, which range from one to five years.
For partner conservationists, the program offers full-time, benefited, and long-term professional experience. While not required, most partner conservationists have graduate degrees in their field of expertise, and a couple of years of field or relevant experience. The range of expertise brought to agency partners by ACE Partner Conservationists spans many specialties: biologists, ecologists, foresters, rangeland ecologists/technicians, soil scientists, field technicians, monitors, planners, wildlife biologists, botanists, project managers as well as policy/legal assistance.
ACE experience for emerging professionals
Currently ACE has Partner Conservationist placements within NRCS field and state offices who are fully immersed in the daily needs of their placement field office, and support both field and administrative efforts from start to finish in NRCS Easement Programs. The program is the highest level of experience an emerging professional can gain within ACE, where placements are generally for 2 to 5 years, funded through cooperative agreements or contribution agreements, and all administrative aspects of staffing including recruitment is managed by ACE.
A value-add to partners
The ACE Partner Conservationist Program provides a unique value-add to our agency partners. ACE provides skilled, trained professionals whose position placement does not interfere with an agency FTE position. The program is flexible and nimble; each position caters to our partners unique programmatic or geographic/field office needs. And unlike some partner biologist programs, ACE Partner Conservationists do not represent another NGO’s mission. ACE’s mission is to provide quality service to our partners and quality experience to our partner conservationist staff, supporting them in their own professional growth.