Support Great Basin Institute in Serving Public Lands in the West

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Nevada Conservation Corps Logo

Program Overview

Nevada Conservation Corps harnesses the energy and idealism of young conservationists to meet the needs of Nevada public lands and communities. As a federally-funded AmeriCorps program, the NCC promotes direct service on public lands throughout the west. The NCC transcends racial, ethnic and economic barriers by mobilizing a cadre of corps members comprised of diverse backgrounds. Students and emerging professionals are provided with opportunities to make meaningful contributions toward protecting Nevada’s natural heritage while gaining valuable work experience in the natural resource management field.

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TRAIL BUILDING AND MAINTENANCE

The NCC provides professional quality trail building and maintenance assistance to support sustainable recreation management. Experienced staff and crews perform trail layout, construction, and maintenance of trail projects. This includes installing technical trail features such as bridges, culverts, stairs, retaining walls, etc.

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FOREST FUELS REDUCTION & EXOTIC SPECIES ERADICATION

The NCC saw crews support agencies across Nevada to reduce fuels and improve forest conditions.  The NCC saw program provides safe, high-quality forestry support services with certified sawyers to meet agency forest treatment targets. Our experienced fuels crews are self-contained and offer a complete range of services from timber stand improvement to on-site chipping and biomass removal. The NCC saw program has a 20+ year legacy of successful shared forest stewardship.

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ARID LAND, FIRE & RIPARIAN RESTORATION

The NCC arid land, post fire, and riparian restoration teams offer a wide range of assistance with desert, forest, and wetlands rehabilitation initiatives. Restoration teams support reseeding, planting, and bioengineering of disturbed areas on public lands across the state. Equipped with a full complement of tools, our crews can cover substantial treatment areas. Crews work to restore wildlife habitat, eradicate invasive plants, obliterate illegal roads, and plant and reseed native species to mitigate disturbance from fire, flood, and impacts from visitor usage.

Nevada Conservation Corps members positioning rocks on a dirt trail
Nevada Conservation Corps members walking in line through sagebrush

PROGRAM STAFF CONTACTS

Our dedicated program staff can help guide you towards partnership with Great Basin Institute.

 

Leadership Development Program

The Nevada Conservation Corps is committed to participant’s professional development and offers the training and opportunities to become effective leaders. The Leadership Development Program provides specialized instruction on a variety of field leadership skills that promote successful field crew management. Training in problem-solving, conflict resolution, performance management, inclusive collaboration, team development, and decision-making offer opportunities to grow and learn as a developing leader. Effective team and project management is learned through extended mentorship and experiential learning as we believe leadership skills are best acquired within the context of daily work challenges.

 

WHAT IS THE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM?

FAQS

AmeriCorps, a federal agency, brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges, through national service and volunteering. AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to the improvement of communities. AmeriCorps helps make service to others a cornerstone of our national culture. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov.

 

Eligibility and Benefits
AmeriCorps is open to U.S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent residents aged 17 or older. Members serve full or part time over a 3- to 12-month period. After successfully completing a term of service, AmeriCorps members who are enrolled in the National Service Trust are eligible to receive an education award. The education award can be used to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education or training, or to repay qualified student loans. A member has up to seven years after his or her term of service has ended to claim the award.

An AmeriCorps Education Award is a benefit Nevada Conservation Corps AmeriCorps members receive upon successful completion of their term of service. The award is issued by AmeriCorps and full details can be found here. For information on accessing the education award please visit this site.

A typical day in the field begins with members waking up at 6:00 am to make breakfast. Members will begin service at 7:00 am and travel to the service site on foot or in vehicles, depending on the project. Here they are given an overview of the project, and attend a safety meeting on job hazards. Members serve in the field for ten hours per day, during which time they receive a fifteen minute break in the morning, a half hour lunch break, and a fifteen minute break in the afternoon. The service day is complete at 5:30 pm. The service week is four days long, or eight days long, depending on how much driving is necessary to reach the project site.

Members will receive training specific to the type of conservation team on which they are placed. Training may include chain saw certification, CPR/first aid training, restoration methodology, and trail building training. Additional training is provided by project partners at the work site.

 

Members also receive workshops, lectures, and field studies as part of their professional development. Becoming an NCC members entails committing to a season or a year of learning by doing, while building your resume for a future in conservation or resource management.  Our training program is intended to serve as a foundation that supports a lifetime of civil service.

The quality of your equipment will directly impact the quality of your experience, and should not be considered lightly. NCC members are responsible for all of their personal camping equipment, while NCC shall provide work uniforms and personal protective equipment. Below is a list of necessary gear:

Required Summer Camping Gear

  • Overnight Pack. Any pack designed for short overnight backpacking trips should suffice (3,000-4,000 Cubic inches). If price is a factor in purchasing a frame pack, a duffel bag large enough to fit a seven-day supply of gear will also be acceptable. The majority of overnight camping locations will take place within a front country setting and will be within a short distance from the crew vehicle(s). However, there is a possibility that a crew will be placed in a backcountry setting and would require hiking to the project site and camping locations. When reviewing your pack and budget for new gear, please do not hesitate to contact NCC staff for consultation on new gear purchases.
  • Tent. Choose a tent that will be able to withstand strong rain and wind.
  • Day pack. To carry water, extra clothing, sunscreen, and other essentials.
  • Sleeping Bag. A bag rated to 5 degrees is advisable. This may vary from person to person You can always purchase a fleece liner/bivy sack to add extra warmth to a sleeping bag not rated as well – highly recommended!
  • Sleeping Pad. This is a necessity that every crew member will appreciate after 10 hours of hard work. Sleeping on air with a Therm-a-rest type pad is more comfortable than a rubber-style pad, but foam or rubber pads are more durable and can insulate against the cold better.
  • Headlamp/Flashlight. Helpful on dark nights. Always carry extra batteries.
  • Water Bottles/Hydration Pack. You will be required to have at least four 32 oz. water bottles and/or a hydration pack while at work. Dehydration is a concern in the arid west and you will need to drink at least 3-4 liters of water per day on average to stay hydrated.
  • Alarm clock. Each member will be responsible for being up every morning on time, therefore some type of alarm clock is recommended.

The quality of your equipment will directly impact the quality of your experience, and should not be considered lightly. NCC members are responsible for all of their personal camping equipment, while NCC shall provide work uniforms and personal protective equipment. Below is a list of necessary gear:

Required Work Gear

  • Work Pants. Each member will be required to purchase one pair of Dickies work pants, specifically the Relaxed Fit Duck Jean style, in Rinsed Brown (RBD).This color choice is important, as you must match your peers in your work uniform. It is very important that you save your receipt and bring it with you, as the NCC will reimburse you for your purchase (up to $30), but only for the pants listed above.
  • Work Boots. Each member will be required to have a work boot that is made of leather or approved materials and has good ankle support, minimum of 8” height is required. This boot should be comfortable to wear for extended periods of time and be able to withstand heavy wear and tear. Steel toe boots are beneficial to protect your toes from dropped rocks and logs, however are not required. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact NCC staff for consultation on boot purchases.
  • Rain Gear. A rain jacket and pants are required. Weather can be highly variable and you may be required to work in the rain for extended periods of time.

Provided Work Gear

  • NCC Shirts. NCC will provide each crew member with work shirts for the appropriate seasons and projects (i.e. long sleeve, short sleeve).
  • Personal Protective Equipment. NCC will provide all safety gear needed to accomplish daily tasks (i.e. hard hat, gloves, safety glasses, ear plugs, chaps). You will be issued and responsible for PPE at the beginning of the season.

Highly Recommended

  • Long Underwear Tops & Bottoms
  • Warm Socks
  • Fleece Jacket/Sweatshirt
  • Camping Chair
  • Warm Camp Shoes
  • Bandanas
  • Tarp or Footprint for Tent
  • Camp Clothing
  • Sun Screen and Lip Balm!

All other Nevada Conservation Corps crew and intern members are responsible for locating their own housing, and signing a lease directly with the property owners. The NCC does not provide housing or sign leases for its members, as the NCC is not a property management organization, and cannot be held liable for property damage that may be caused by its members. We do support members in their search for housing by connecting them with online sites and uniting the Corps community in a common search for affordable housing options.

Eligibility and Benefits
AmeriCorps is open to U.S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent residents aged 17 or older. Members serve full or part time over a 3- to 12-month period. After successfully completing a term of service, AmeriCorps members who are enrolled in the National Service Trust are eligible to receive an education award. The education award can be used to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education or training, or to repay qualified student loans. A member has up to seven years after his or her term of service has ended to claim the award.

All AmeriCorps members are paid every other Friday. Upon accepting a position, your contract will detail the pay schedule and amounts. Pay for AmeriCorps members is considered a living stipend, and not to be confused with a wage or salary. This model is based on the Peace Corps, which pays a fixed wage regardless of hours served.  As a national service volunteer, your stipend is intended to support your living costs.

We recommend that you have a personal vehicle or are able to arrange your transportation to and from the field station, whether it is by bike or carpooling. The public transportation system does not provide service to the field stations in either Reno or Las Vegas.

Unless otherwise noted in your position description, no. In order to participate in the Nevada Conservation Corps you must be available from the start through the end date.

Your work schedule will be dictated by your project site and the distance between the field station. Many crews will be assigned to several projects throughout the season, therefore there may be a mixture of both 4 and 8 day camping trips. All schedules are subject to change due to unpredictable circumstances.

Within two weeks of the beginning of the program you will get your crew assignment.  We make a very careful assessment of individual capacity and consider crew dynamics an important aspect of the NCC experience.

WHAT IS THE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM?

Your leadership training experience begins by joining as a crew member while working on habitat improvement, ecological restoration, and recreation projects with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the State of Nevada. Projects may include trail construction and maintenance, hazardous fuels reduction, and habitat restoration. During your tenure as a crew member, you participate in leadership development activities, spending extended periods of time camping in the field with fellow crew leaders, as you each take turns acting as the crew lead on service projects meant to prepare you for the technical challenges of conservation leadership.

 

While in the field, expect to be working long hours spent advancing project management and technical skills with evening workshops and discussions that promote the fundamental skills of effective leadership.

 

Upon successful completion of the leadership development training, you are assigned a summer project (based out of Reno, Las Vegas, Ely, or Great Basin National Park) and assume the responsibility of leading a crew through a summer of service. You may lead up to nine AmeriCorps members while building trail or running chainsaws in some of Nevada’s most spectacular regions.  Your role will include coordination with agency partners and collaboration with peers to ensure project goals are accomplished safely and efficiently. Depending on your project type and location, you can expect to camp with your crew, on either 4-day or 8-day rotations, often in primitive and remote locations.  While accomplishing your conservation objectives, you will promote a healthy and cohesive community within your crew.

 

A crew leader is a full-time, intensive commitment where you will always be a resource to the members serving with you – both while on service project sites, or back at camp after a long day. Leading a crew requires unwavering dedication and a willingness to put the needs of others first. Successful applicants demonstrate dependability, excellent judgment, and high standards. We are seeking individuals who will lead by example and become a role model for the members who join our program. While the responsibilities of crew leadership are significant, the rewards are abundant and the bonds forged with your crew, peers and with the Nevada outdoors will last a lifetime.