Visitor Use Survey Corps

The Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Use Survey Program (ACE VUS) is an SCA partnership that provides members a valuable and enjoyable opportunity to help the Army Corps of Engineers monitor the use of its beautiful recreational sites across the country. Participants in this program will work in teams of five members, supervised by one project leader, stationed in a location central to the sites the team is tasked with monitoring.

Members, in pairs, collect recreation use information from visitors, primarily through roadside interviews.The interview sites include lakes and other recreation areas.
Corps members collect, organize, and download interview data; use a schedule of scenically selected sample sites for specific dates; collaborate with SCA leader and Army Corps staff; and maintain proper care of supplies and equipment. The teams also design and carry out conservation projects on one or more of the sites they are monitoring. This gives the members an opportunity to interact with Rangers, Project Managers, and other staff, and leave a lasting impact on the sites they are visiting. 

From 2011-2013, members of the Army Corps Visitor Use Survey program have engaged citizens from seven major metropolitan areas each year through their survey work, and completed over 100 community service projects. Members also gain valuable experience in a wide variety of conservation activities, and develop professional connections with a network of government agencies and nonprofit organizations throughout the region.

Members receive monthly living stipends, reimbursement for travel expenses, and are eligible for an AmeriCorps Education reward. Teams live together in SCA-provided housing managed by their team leader. Teams are provided with a budget for food and other necessary living expenses. Personal vehicles are not required.

Trainings Offered: 

  • CPR Certification
  • Wilderness First Aid Certification
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics

Eligibility Requirements: 

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and pass a background check.

Related Posts & Program Information

Since returning from member training in the beautiful La Vergne, Tennessee, the Mississippi team has been busy like bees. During the first week of Oxford living, members helped furnish the house, created risk management documents for each survey site, visited the lakes for survey site assessments and practice and spent all kinds of time practicing giving the survey itself.

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Hello this is your hitch leader number two here Nakeda. Okay let me start off saying that the Mississippi Team is great!!!! Let me tell you all about what went all last week and the week before. I enjoyed being hitch leader. I got a chance to try new things, for example, meals. On Monday only two of the teams had to work and I was one that was on the team that had to work. It was a good day.

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Week One

SCA CORPS MEMBERS ARRIVE
Monday September 5th

The members arrived to Nashville on August 5th 2011. They were all excited to start learning about the Army Corps of Engineers and the Student Conservation Association. It seemed like everyone clicked right from the start.

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Once we all Arrived at Camp YI in La Vergne, TN and settling in on Monday night (May 20th). We started Training for our visitor use survey teams bright and early 7am Tuesday. The first few days we spend learning about specific SCA policies and procedures. We also learned about the history of conservation in the SCA.

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On the first day of my hitchlead, I had cooked barbeque hot dogs with my mom’s homemade barbeque sauce and it was eaten up near the end of the evening. On the next meal, I made pasta with Sophie’s homemade tomato sauce. Sophie’s pasta kicks butt!

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