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

Conservation begins HERE! I was thinking about the blue shirts that are distinguishable all over the USA to anyone that knows about The SCA. “Conservation Begins Here”. Yup. Right here. Well, all over the states this summer, really. All the wonderful crews that are out there doing their part. Keep it going! Here I am a little more than halfway through our program here in Kansas.

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Completion of Hitch #1: Written by the glorious Clayton Buffer

Our second hitch has already come and gone. The Georgia crew has been busy! This hitch began with ACE/VUS training in Nashville. Sunday was our first day of ACE Survey Training.

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Hitch 1: 5/27 – 6/8 After a week of training at Camp YI in Lavergne, TN, a secluded summer camp just south of Nashville, the Nashville group said good bye to their fellow Army Corps teammates heading off to their respective survey locations and regrouped at our East Nashville abode. During training we learned about SCA and its mission, and also the purpose of the Army Corps Visitor Use Program.

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It’s been an exciting couple weeks here in Texas! Surveys continue to keep us busy most days of the week. We’ve had some interesting visitors this hitch including a great group of soldiers visiting the lake for a “fun day” and more baby deer than we can count.

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Through this program, my members and I will be using the surveys created by The Army Corps of Engineers to get the general feel of why the public uses local parks. My members will also spend part of their time during this program creating and implementing conservation projects of their choice in the greater Atlanta/Cumming area.

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