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

Between surveying and conservation projects, we were kept on our toes as the strange, cool, wet spring here morphed into summer. Although the heavy rains experienced here this spring were much needed and a welcome relief from drought conditions, the high water levels at the lakes and the severe storms crossing the Great Plains meant our surveying goals were difficult to meet.

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1 month competed! Time has flown by so quickly here in Nashville. We’ve all done a lot of surveys during the past 2 and a half weeks and we’re all starting to develop our own rhythms and schedules.

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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 for the ACE Texas/Massachusetts team! We enjoyed a wonderful week at SCA training at YI outside of Nashville, TN. Members from both sides of the team had the chance to do some team bonding before parting ways and heading back to our sites.

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The last two weeks for this energy-filled Kansas crew has been very exciting. We met each other, and travelled to Nashville where we met with the other five crews, leaders, SCA staff, cooks and our sturdy of-a-rock boss- Alex Olsen. We all went through SCA trainings, Army Corps of Engineers trainings and a favorite among most- the WFA trainings.

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