Our staff recently visited several EPIC members serving with US Fish and Wildlife. The members are working on a variety of impactful and interesting projects ranging from creating outreach materials to learning how to safely capture invasive pythons!

ACE recruits and helps to manage hundreds of incredible individuals annually who are placed with US Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service, National Park Service and additional agencies.

Through their internships, members:

  • Benefit from mentorship
  • Gain career-building skills
  • Network with agency staff who may later hire them for full-time positions
  • Experience amazing opportunities and more!

We thank Johannah McCollum, ACE Program Manager – EPIC FWS, and Sheana Ward, ACE Recruitment and Member Support Coordinator – EPIC  BLM/USFS for visiting members in the field.

Read on to learn what our members have been up to!

CASEY:  “I spend the majority of my time completing monitoring surveys such as EIRAMP and Refuge Spotlight surveys. EIRAMP (Everglades Invasive Reptile and Amphibian Monitoring Program) surveys involve monitoring and recording the numbers of invasive reptiles and amphibians along designated routes within the refuge during the morning hours. Refuge Levee Spotlight Surveys are night surveys in which we monitor a specific route within the refuge identified as a suitable foraging habitat for the presence of Burmese Pythons (and remove them if found), as well as record any observed wildlife activity, particularly small mammals.”



Casey Bradley conducting invasive Cuban treefrog surveys.

IAN:  “I am the project lead on the refuge’s invasive Cuban tree surveys and removal. This involves coordinating with volunteers to check tree frog traps weekly, managing survey datasets, and some small outreach opportunities. I also lead the refuge’s federally threatened Black Rail monitoring and detection effort. We do not know if this secretive marsh bird inhabits the refuge and we use bioacoustic monitoring and analysis to try and detect Black rail calls and confirm their presence within the refuge. I also do a weekly wildlife monitoring survey along one of our trails.”

Ian Jin

Ian Jin removing invasive Cuban treefrogs from PVC pipe

JULIA:  “I have been involved in almost every aspect of refuge operations. A lot of my time is devoted to helping our maintenance worker maintain facilities, grounds, and equipment.I have helped our biologist do surveys for gopher tortoises, monitor scrub plant recovery after mechanical treatment, and treat invasive plants. On the visitor services side of things, I have organized beach clean up days for volunteers, assisted the Hobe Sound Nature Center with multiple events, and helped to bring the county’s BARK ranger program to the refuge and nature center.”

Johannah and Julia

Johannah McCollum and Julia Izzo. Photo taken by Shaena Ward.

JARED:  “So far at my assignment at ARM Loxahatchee NWR I have mainly been tasked with surveying for invasive Burmese pythons as well as for current mammal populations within the refuge. I complete 6 surveys per week, 2 nighttime spotlight surveys, 2 daytime surveys for invasive reptiles, and 2 walking surveys looking for Burmese pythons. I have also had the opportunity to help out with other invasive species surveys such as electrofishing and Cuban Treefrog removal. I also table at outreach events, educating the public about the issues surrounding Burmese pythons as well as what to do if one is sighted.”

If you or someone you know would like to launch your conservation career, visit our EPIC website page. We add positions every week – so check back often!

Jared Stroman at invasive Python capture training


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