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

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The week started off strong with nice weather and lots of surveying. With nice weather comes lots of visitors to the Army Corps parks and that, of course, means no rest while surveying. The sun left its mark on all of us, giving some nice tans and a few burns. Nobody was complaining about this beautiful southern weather. Even much of the local wildlife was out and about.

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The last two weeks couldn’t have been more eventful for the Atlanta crew. Their endeavors took them to lakes and mountains, creeks and climbing gyms, parking lots and the sides of highways. On sunny days and rainy ones, through dark thunder and intense heat, they surveyed, surveyed, and surveyed some more and met many a character along the way.

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During the Spring 2013 Leader Team session in Nashville, members will take on a more structured version of what it means to be a leader. In addition to surveys and greater attention to administrative details, members in the Nashville Leader Team have created specialized goals that support the SCA’s Pillars of Conservation Learning to both strengthen skills and build new ones.

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4/1: Conservation DayToday the team took some time to plan out future conservation days. A big part of the day was spent on the phone, email, and doing research to plan out the rest of the season. The plan paid off, so look for some great conservation projects in the next couple hitch reports!4/2-4/7: SurveysOnce again the team surveyed visitors to Waco, Belton, and Stillhouse Hollow Lakes.

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