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

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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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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That’s right, we’ve been driving all over the country while getting ready for our season to start. The first two weeks of our season followed a full week of member training at Camp YI located just outside of Nashville, TN. It was sad saying goodbye to so many people as we left, but our new home and responsibilities were calling.

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The spring survey season has been great. The Waco team has had the pleasure and opportunity to work with some amazing organizations that share in SCA’s passion and vision for conservation. A few of them made lasting impressions during the season; here are two that stood out. Jay, a Habitat for humanity staff member.

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Speaking as the Project Lead for the Spring ACE VUS Leader Team, the most beneficial part of this program has been watching Eva and Mike turn conservation ideas into reality.

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