South Texas Refuge Complex Corps Team

Expected Dates
March 1, 2021 to October 30, 2021
Lower Rio Grande NWR
Position ID
Project Description: 
The South Texas Refuge Complex Corps Team, made up of one Project Leader and five Crew Members (ages 18+), will work on US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) lands in the southernmost areas of Texas for 52 weeks.

The South Texas Refuge Complex Corps Team will focus primarily on mapping and treating invasive species across almost 10,000 acres. This important work will reduce the risk of wildfire and improve habitat for migratory birds on USFWS lands. This team is for those who love a physical challenge! This team can expect to work regularly in an extremely hot and humid environment on tough projects. Herbicide application is a major part of this position.

This team will work with USFWS staff to mechanically and chemically control invasive species. Invasive species including Carrizo cane, salt cedar, athel, Brazilian pepper-tree, Chinaberry, Chinese tallow, tree tobacco, and castor bean. 

USFWS staff will train this team on species identification and treatment technique, GPS use, GIS data entry, and herbicide and environmental safety awareness. The crew will also have opportunities to be trained in other aspects of the Restoration Program and the Refuge’s Biology Program.

This team will be stationed and housed at the Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR. This team will work Monday through Friday, with alternating Fridays off. Daily schedule will likely be 7-4:30, but may change throughout seasons to adjust for hotter days.

Equipment Use: 
The refuge will provide all herbicide and application equipment for chemical treatment of invasive species. Any use of chemicals will require pesticide use training as well as a review of the label and safety data sheet for every chemical used. Use of personal protective equipment will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Local training is allowed for small equipment such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, ATVs and UTVs. The refuge will provide specialized tools such as brushcutters when modified treatment techniques become necessary.

Team will work a compressed work schedule: Mondays through Fridays, with alternating Fridays off.
  • Site Description:
    The South Texas Refuge Complex (STRC) protects 200,000 acres in extreme southern Texas, comprised of:
    - Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge (LRGV NWR)
    - Santa Ana NWR
    - Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuges (LANWR).

    The LRGV NWR aims to connect fragmented habitats to achieve corridors for wildlife movement, seeking to conserve biodiversity through land acquisition, habitat restoration, and conservation education.

    Santa Ana NWR, located along the Rio Grande, was established for the protection of migratory birds. It is also included as an Urban Refuge through the Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, seeks to engage the local community in conservation, both at the local refuges as well as in the local community.

    LANWR is the largest tracts of natural habitat left in the Rio Grande Valley and is comprised primarily of dense thornscrub and coastal prairie. It is also home to one of the last breeding populations of the critically endangered ocelot found in the United States, as well as hosts a diversity of other wildlife including bobcats, white-tail deer, and javelina.

  • Chainsaw use
    Herbicide application
    Plant identification
    Invasive species management
    Plant propagation
    Seed collection
    Germination techniques
  • If classes are available, crew and leader can be trained in CPR/First Aid
  • Potential, during weather delays, to work in  native plant nursery.
  • Chainsaw
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Chain Saw Skills
some experience
some experience
Hand Tools
some experience
Plant Identification
some experience
Orienteering compass skills
some experience