Community Engagement Intern(Local Candidates Only) (PO-00734771)

Program Description 
Conservation is a dynamic field, rapidly evolving to meet the needs of communities – human and wild. There is growing recognition that conservation should be more inclusive and that access to nature, and its many benefits, should be more equitable. This is particularly true in places like Houston and Texas, which is ethnically diverse but where access to nature and nature-based experiences has not been available to all. The Nature Conservancy in Texas’s Community Engagement Specialist AmeriCorps Member will center inclusivity and equity and will focus on co-creating several multicultural nature-based events, as well as assisting TNC-Texas better understand its options and barriers for providing more access (in its various dimensions) to the communities that we serve. And, therefore, offers an opportunity to have a meaningful contribution to the institution and demonstrate leadership. The selected member will serve closely with Jaime González, TNC-Texas’s Houston Healthy Communities Director and a noted conservationist and educator. This experience will be co-created between TNC-Texas, The SCA, and the goals that the member expresses and will feature opportunities to learn, grow, and lead. Additionally, it will feature a mixture of community events, ecological restoration opportunities, field trips, and training, both with TNC-Texas, TNC global, and local partners.


Ecological Restoration: Ecological restoration is a key component of the Houston Healthy Cities Program. This position will include opportunities to participate in ecological restorations with TNC and select community and municipal partners. These opportunities include butterfly garden restoration (with TNC and our community partners Madres del Parque and Houston Audubon), riparian forest restoration with other SCA members and Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and on the Jefferson Early Learning Center campus with TNC and our Alief ISD partners.
Community Science: Community Science is also a hallmark of the Houston Healthy Cities Program – we believe that communities should owe the data and participate in its collection whenever possible. This position will showcase two community science opportunities. The first opportunity will be to work with a coalition of groups to help community participation in the the annual City Nature Challenge (April 28-Feb 1, 2023), including a biodiversity appreciation day in the Gulfton neighborhood on Saturday, April 19, 2023. Our member will also work with Rice University students, during summer 2023 to record biodiversity in local Houston Parks as part of an analysis and visualization of nature equity. This report and visualization will be shared with city and community leadership in early fall 2023 with the objective of advocating for more nature in underserved communities where the study suggest deficits occur.

Position Dates:  4/24/2023 to 8/13/2023

Service Location Description    
Member will be based in Houston, Texas. Houston is a highly diverse – ethnically and biological city and region. Member will negotiate for virtual and/or in person service at the TNC-Texas's Houston Office.

Housing will not be provided for this program. Members are recruited locally from the Houston area.
•    Ensure project,, community, and general safety standards are upheld; full engagement is expected in all service projects and community activities. 
•    Interfacing with general public and partner organizations in a manner that reflects positively upon the member organization, and agency. 
•    Recording service totals and creating reports for submission to agency partners
•    Comply with all SCA, TNC, and AmeriCorps policies and refrain from any prohibited activities.
•    Uniform: AmeriCorps Member will be required to wear the AmeriCorps and SCA logo daily  
•    Member will help co-manage, with assistance from TNC-Texas staff and its collaborators, communications and one public event centered on 2023 City Nature Challenge (late April-early May, 2023.
•    Member will co-create, with assistance from multiple TNC-Texas staff, a snapshot report of current access and potential access options for The Nature Conservancy in Texas. This snapshot report will be used as a foundation for further planning and considerations around access.
•    Member will assist Witness Series partners with duties in support of this multicultural education series (February-May 2023). Member will be expected to attend 3-4 Witness Series events.

Member Qualifications (Essential Functions). 
•    Preferred candidates have a demonstrated interest in habitat restoration, community engagement, education and natural resources, have a positive attitude, and work well on a team. 
•    Commitment to serving conditions that will include: extreme heat, extreme cold, high winds, and precipitation.
•    Must be willing to learn how to use hand tools and power tools to accomplish service activities.
•    Ability to lift 50 lbs, and walk/hike on uneven terrain, uphill or downhill, for 1 mile.
•    Must be eligible to serve as an AmeriCorps Member:
•    Be a citizen, permanent resident, or national of the United States;
•    Be at least 18 years or older;
•    Have a high school diploma or equivalent or actively working to obtain one;
•    Be willing to undergo National Service Criminal History Check, including criminal background, sex offender and FBI checks;
Member Benefits
•    Compensation: $520/week living allowance. 
•    AmeriCorps Award (450 hours = $1718.25) upon successful completion of program. 
•    Member Assistance Program
•    On the job training with Natural Resource Professionals

Disaster Response and Recovery: In the event of a local, state, or federal disaster declaration, AmeriCorps members may be asked on a volunteer basis or be required by OneStar to activate to assist in disaster response and recovery activities within their communities.  This may involve virtual service opportunities or in-person service opportunities.  This may include service opportunities outside of the member’s standard service hours or in place of their standard service duties.  In the event of a large-scale, high-needs local, state, or federal disaster, AmeriCorps members may voluntarily or be required by OneStar to deploy to an area outside of their service area to assist in disaster response and recovery activities.

Corps members serve approximately 40 hours a week for a period of seven months.  Members must achieve a minimum of 900 hours of service within that 6-month period (roughly 23 weeks of service). Service hours are typically performed Monday through Friday during training conservation season. The service schedule will be Monday – Friday from 8am- 5pm 
**This position is part of a specialized SCA AmeriCorps program and if you are selected, you will be serving as an SCA AmeriCorps member. ** 

*** Conditions of Service – All SCA Lone Start Conservation Corps members are required to be fully vaccinated. Full vaccination is defined as having received a booster shot six months after the Pfizer and Moderna primary series and two months after the Johnson & Johnson primary series.***

It is our strong belief that equal opportunity for all members is central to the continued success of our programs. We will not discriminate against an applicant because of race, religious creed, religion, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, age, physical disability, mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity characteristics or expressions in selections, terminations and or recommendations. Opportunity is provided to all applicants in the basis of qualifications and program requirements. Upon request, reasonable accommodations will be provided to applicants during the selection process and to members during service.


Position ID: PO-00734771

Expected Dates: May 1, 2023 - August 20, 2023

3801 Kirby Driive
Suite 740
Houston, TX 77098

Training Provided: TNC-Texas staff will provide training both within The Nature Conservancy’s learning communities and online systems and will work with local SCA staff to identify local trainings to further the intern’s professional goals/interests.

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: TNC-Texas staff will provide multiple opportunities for intern to visit and enjoy TNC preserves, including participating, as desired, in habitat restoration activities, communities events, etc. Additional opportunities available through TNC partners.

Main Area of Focus: Education and Interpretation

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Not needed

Housing or Stipend Provided?
B. Partner will pay The SCA to provide housing for the member

Indoor/Outdoor: Combination

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association