Frequently Asked Questions
- What is AmeriCorps?
- What is an AmeriCorps Education Award?
- What do NCC members do in the field?
- What kind of training do I receive?
- What equipment and gear will I need?
- What is the Housing Situation?
- How often and how much do I get paid?
- Do I need a vehicle?
- Are the program dates flexible?
- When will I know my work schedule?
- When will I get my crew assignment?
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage more than 75,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. AmeriCorps members serve through more than 2,100 nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based organizations. They tutor and mentor youth, build affordable housing, teach computer skills, clean parks and streams, run after-school programs, and help communities respond to disasters. Created in 1993, AmeriCorps is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which also oversees Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. Together these programs engage more than 2 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service each year.
Since 1994, more than 500,000 men and women have served in AmeriCorps, providing needed assistance to millions of Americans. AmeriCorps provides trained, dedicated people to help nonprofits accomplish more and make more effective use of volunteers.
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. The award currently is $5,350 for a year of full-time service, with correspondingly lesser awards for part-time and reduced part-time service. 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.
The Nevada Conservation Corps partners with public land management agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, National Park Service, and Nevada State Parks to complete conservation and restoration projects throughout Nevada. Projects such as trail building, forest thinning, invasive species removal, road decommissioning, and fence building may vary in length from one week up to several years.
Because of the remote location of these projects, members camp at or near the project 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, as well as 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. 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 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 life time 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 their personal camping equipment, while NCC shall provide work uniform 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 (as a general rule, women sleep 10-15 degrees colder than men). 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 an added comfort 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.
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 and has good ankle support (usually ¾ height). 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. Most hiking boots will suffice, if you have any questions please contact the office. Important note: This description is for members working on trail or restoration projects only. Chainsaw crew members’ boots must meet additional requirements.
– Rain Gear. A rain jacket and pants are recommended, although a poncho will suffice. 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 one set of PPE at the beginning of the season. You will be responsible for this set, and be required to purchase replacements should these items be lost.
– Long Underwear Tops & Bottoms.
– Warm Socks
– Fleece Jacket/Sweatshirt
– Camping Chair
– Warm Camp Shoes
– Tarp or Footprint for Tent
– Camp Clothing
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.
This summer we will have crews located in Reno, Great Basin National Park, and Las Vegas.
How often and how much do I get paid?
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 be 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.
Do I need a vehicle?
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 station in Reno; Las Vegas Route 203 will drop you within a block of the Mojave field station.
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.