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CCNM - Seeds of Success Assistant Crew Leader - Summer/Fall 2024


AmeriCorps Crew

Job Location

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tracking Code


Position Type


Start Date: 07/22/2024 (Anticipated)

Status:  450-hr AmeriCorps Service Term

Stipend & Housing Allowance: $475/week living stipend plus $200/housing stipend ($675/week total)

Location: Las Cruces, NM

Benefits: AmeriCorps Education Award; Paid training; Food budget while on camping hitch; Employee Assistance Program



Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM):

Conservation Corps New Mexico, a program of Conservation Legacy, aims to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s. CCNM crews are typically based in Las Cruces, NM and all project work will take place on public lands in New Mexico and surrounding states.


Position Overview: 

The Assistant Crew Leader (ACL) with work with a Crew Leader (CL) to supervise two crew members for a Department of Interior (DOI) Seeds of Success (SOS) team, operated by Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM). The crew will be based out of the CCNM Las Cruces office. The crew will collect seeds from native species in remote areas on DOI land following SOS protocols. The ACL and CL will be trained in planning techniques for a successful field season. Subsequently, the ACL and CL will help train the crew members and will contribute to a regional seed collection training. Crews will be required to drive to different areas throughout New Mexico, camp overnight, potentially hike several miles a day, and return to the office for equipment and data management. This position requires significant driving relative to other types of field work. ACLs and CLs must be prepared for long days of driving and scouting from a truck. Safety is a pre-requisite, particularly where industry development (energy extraction, e.g. natural gas) is occurring and during hunting season, and will guide how fieldwork is conducted.

Seed collected by DOI is saved in short- and long- term storage to support development of plant materials for land restoration purposes by DOI and other entities.

Specific duties will include selecting and locating populations of plant species based on the established SOS Protocol, and locally developed target species lists. The ACL and CL will oversee fieldwork and work with crew members to locate populations of targeted species, monitor phenology of the population, collect botanical voucher specimens, assess seed quantity and quality prior to seed collection, collect seed, record site data, prepare documentation, and ship collected seed for cleaning and short-term storage. The ability to identify plants both in the field and in the office via dichotomous keys is an important function of the position. However, help with plant ID will be provided and IDs will be reviewed. Use of 4-wheel drive vehicles in rugged off highway situations is expected. Familiarity with this equipment is highly desirable, but training will be provided where needed. 

While Seeds of Success is the primary focus, the crew may also assist with other conservation program projects during the season to promote additional education and experience.  


Assistant Crew Leader Responsibilities

Assistant Crew Leaders (ACL) are responsible for facilitating a safe and positive crew member experience by setting an example of enthusiasm, dedication, and a strong work ethic throughout work and camp life. The ACL works in tandem with the Crew Leader to communicate directions, project specifications, and provide constructive criticism throughout the term of service. The ACL will expand their role, learn leadership strategies, and assume full leadership duties if the Crew Leader is unavailable.



·         Between ages 18-25, there is some flexibility to accept members up to age 30.

·         Flexibility, adaptability and capacity to work in a changing environment including willingness to work a varying schedule

·         Excellent communication and teaching/mentoring skills; strong conflict resolution and team building skills

·         Ability to perform administrative duties, such as managing crew budget and paperwork

·         Strong time-management skills and ability to work independently and in collaboration with a small group

·         Valid driver’s license and an insurable driving record

·         Have US Citizenship or Legal Permanent Residency status

·         Pass background checks: all offers of positions are conditional upon completion of an acceptable check of the National Sex Offender Public Registry and Federal criminal background check

Preferred Qualifications:

·         Prior leadership experience

·         Prior AmeriCorps Service

·         Seed collection experience

·         Experience with New Mexico flora in general and Flora Neomexicana III

·         Experience with floras from adjacent states to New Mexico

·         Experience working in regions with high floristic diversity

·         Experience with wilderness travel, camp management and outdoor leadership preferred

·         Certification in Wilderness First Aid and CPR



Generally, the term begins with a leadership training which focuses on developing outdoor leadership skills, goal setting, technical and field skills training and developing an understanding of CCNM procedures. Following leadership training, crew leaders will attend a SOS protocol training with the Bureau of Land Management. Informal hands-on training will continue throughout the term with on- the- ground skills training. Depending on the project needs, crews may receive specialized training. During the season members will have the opportunity to participate in a Wilderness First Aid certification course. 


Crews generally work an 8-day, 10-hours/day ‘hitch’ schedule, while camping in front and backcountry settings. Typically, members will have 6 days off in the town of the home base office.  Drive time to and from the work site from the home base office is typically included in the hitch schedule.  Applicants should expect the project schedule and type of work to vary.

Workdays will start with a safety meeting including exercising and stretching.  Days typically include two 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute lunch.


Participants must supply his/her/their own personal outdoor gear and equipment such as a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, day pack, multi-day pack, work pants, hiking/work boots, etc. A suggested gear-list will be provided prior to starting the term of service.  CCNM will provide tools, personal protective gear, budget for crew meals and transportation to projects.  Additionally, CCNM has pro-deals and some gear available to borrow.



Housing on days off is not provided.



Substance Free

CCNM is a drug-free organization; alcohol, marijuana (medical and recreational), and illegal substances are prohibited.


Physical, Emotional, and Mental Safety:

Proper safety procedures must be observed in all tasks, including at the worksite, campsite, and during travel. Participants must:

·         Effectively communicate danger to others and ensure a safe environment.

·         Effectively perceive, understand, and follow direction.

·         Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.

·         Identify and communicate significant and apparent hazards.  

·         If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self-medicating without assistance from others.


Participation and Expedition Behavior:

·         Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This may require problem solving on an interpersonal or group level as well as a willingness to accept differences. 

·         Contribute to a safe learning environment: no harassment of others for any reason. 

·         Members must commit to participating in all crew/team activities, including evening chores, check-ins, and service days in local communities. 

·         Effectively communicate concerns as they arise to supervisors and organization staff. 

·         Have the cognitive ability to learn necessary skills and apply them.

·         Appropriately represent the program and AmeriCorps to the public and project partners at all times.


Environmental Ethics: 

·         Learn and practice ‘Leave no Trace’ techniques at all times

·         Learn and safely perform fundamental outdoor living, travel, and work skills.

·         Practice self-care by staying adequately hydrated, fed, and properly dressed, so as to remain healthy and safe, avoiding environmental injuries. 

·         Live in a physically demanding, possibly remote environment for an uninterrupted period of up to several weeks. Conditions of this environment may vary significantly and may include severe and challenging weather conditions.


Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements:

Essential eligibility requirements for the program must be met. If you are unable to meet certain requirements, we may be able to provide some accommodations, excepting that which alters the fundamental nature of the program, compromises the health and safety of participants or staff, or places an undue financial or administrative burden on the organization. These requirements are written the same for all positions and therefore may not apply directly to your particular position. 


Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, political affiliation, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during application or recruiting process, please send a request to the hiring manager.


This position is located in Las Cruces, NM. View the Google Map in full screen.