This position requires that you become enrolled in AmeriCorps. If you are selected for this program please be sure to accept AmeriCorps during the SCA offer process. No travel allowance will be offered for this position even if it is stated on your confirmation of acceptance.
Due to Covid-19, events and trainings are subject to change in response to an increase in the number of cases in the Hudson Valley region. Such changes include, but are not limited to: trainings being held remotely, requesting symptomatic members to stay home from events, and asking members to test prior to Corps gatherings.
SCA Hudson Valley AmeriCorps partners with State and non-profit agencies to address the conservation needs of the Hudson River Watershed region. Corps members are placed at individual host sites, where service activities range from providing environmental education to underserved youth, to restoring streambanks along the Hudson River, and beyond. Members join together regularly for trainings, service projects, or other events.
Purpose of the Program:
The mission of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) is to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic, and cultural resources.
Within OPRHP, the Division of Environmental Stewardship and Planning (DESP) is dedicated to the protection, conservation and resiliency of the State Parks and Historic Site system. By working collaboratively with stakeholders and partners, the Division provides education, training, and tools necessary to make informed decisions that balance responsible recreation with the needs of the natural environment. These efforts will ensure a robust and sustainable parks system now and for generations to come.
Located within DESP, this SCA position will allow the member to explore solutions that balance environmental protection, sustainability, and recreational needs for the long-term stewardship of New York State Parks.
This position will collaborate with OPRHP staff on priority stewardship and sustainability activities, including:
- developing policies and guidance to promote stewardship and sustainability initiatives statewide
- incorporating recreational and educational opportunities with environmental stewardship, including the development of educational materials
- incorporating science and GIS-based methods to inform conservation activities
- working with OPRHP staff on field work
Community Needs that the Program Serves:
For the purposes of this agreement, the community is defined as the statewide NY State Park system, which has over 200 State Parks and Historic Sites. OPRHP owns approximately 350,000 acres, over 90% of which are in natural cover, supporting native flora, fauna, and ecosystems. OPRHP facilities also receive more than 78 million visitors each year, many of which come to see or interact with the parks’ natural environments. This puts significant pressure on the fragile ecosystems within the Park system. There is a great need to implement environmental stewardship and sustainability initiatives within the State Park system, balancing recreation with conservation of the environment.
Values and Standards of the Program: SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.
AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities:
This position will be located within the Division of Environmental Stewardship and Planning (DESP) of OPRHP in Albany, NY. It is primarily an office-based position with opportunities for fieldwork and travel during the field season. The delivery of environmental stewardship and sustainability in OPRHP is through each of the Agency’s 11 regional offices, as well as within the Albany office. The member will become familiar with the working of environmental stewardship and sustainability statewide, and will develop an understanding of what is working well and where limitations currently exist in implementation. The focus of this position will be on advancing initiatives of DESP and Executive staff designed to enhance environmental stewardship and sustainability in State Parks statewide. The position may entail field work, including on-the-ground activities such as manually removing invasive species, planting native species, conducting terrestrial and aquatic surveys, etc., as well as office work such as research and reports, GIS analyses and map creation, environmental outreach material development, and the development of technical guidance documents. The position entails significant collaboration with the DESP staff and regional stewardship staff as well as with many partners who are assisting in Parks’ mission of advancing environmental stewardship, including Audubon New York, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and the NY Natural Heritage Program.
Essential Functions of Position:
- Conduct assessments and literature reviews, compile information, and/or create reports, policies, and guidance documents (30%)
- Develop outreach content for stewardship and sustainability work, such as blog posts, newsletter writeups, training materials, and project summaries (20%)
- Utilize ArcGIS to create maps for environmental projects and assessments (10%)
- Participate in staff meetings and trainings (15%)
- Travel to state parks for meetings, field work, etc. Field work includes water quality monitoring and plant/wildlife surveys. Travel will be coordinated with DESP staff travel (10%)
- Participate in outreach events to engage the public in environmental stewardship topics, including invasive species awareness (5%)
- Participate in all SCA/AmeriCorps training programs and Hudson Valley service projects, and complete necessary AmeriCorps reporting (10%)
How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:
A primary aim of this position is the advancement of environmental stewardship and sustainability initiatives of DESP and Executive Staff. The work is central to the Agency’s mission of stewardship of its natural assets and DESP’s environmental sustainability guidelines. The member will work on implementation of initiatives identified under the community need section (above). It is important to recognize that in many instances, it is the environments within the State Park system that attract people to parks. At the same time, however, the enjoyment of these natural environments is dependent on their continual existence. Outcomes from this position will balance stewardship and sustainability initiatives with the recreational opportunities park patrons seek by generating accessible guidance and educational documents that aim to enhance biological diversity and advance stewardship within the Agency. A work plan will be developed with the member during their first week. The plans will be dependent on Agency initiatives and on the skills and interests that the member brings with them.
Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
Goal 1: Successfully completes assigned tasks within a reasonable timeframe.
Goal 2: Conducts work in a professional manner.
Goal 3: Achieves professional growth in an area determined by the member and supervisor.
- Ability to pass a background check.
- Valid driver license of 3+ years with a clean driving record.
- A basic knowledge of conservation biology and the natural resources in parkland settings including biodiversity, aquatic ecosystems, and terrestrial ecosystems.
- Experience with MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Some familiarity with ArcGIS and MS Access preferred.
- Some knowledge and experience in environmental stewardship or sustainability preferred.
- Ability to take direction and provide timely responses to assignments.
- Ability to conduct field work in variable weather conditions.
- Knowledge of outdoors and skills necessary to work in outdoors setting.
- Ability to travel around the State, with some overnight trips.
- Ability to function as a team player and to work with people to achieve desired outcomes.
- An understanding of the importance of safety in the workplace especially in field situations.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher in biology, environmental science, ecology, conservation biology, sustainability, or a related discipline.
- Course work and/or experience in conservation biology, environmental stewardship, or sustainability.
- Experience through independent research or volunteer work in working as a team player and with people.
Amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award being offered for successful completion of the member’s term of service: $6,895
Amount of living allowance member will receive:
$350/week living allowance
$1,000/month housing allowance upstate (if housing is not provided)
$1,100/month housing allowance in NYC (if housing is not provided)
Healthcare coverage (if applicable):
Eligible for free health insurance
Childcare coverage (if applicable):
Eligible for childcare assistance through AmeriCorps
Student loan forbearance and interest payments, (if the member qualifies): Eligible for Federal Student Loan forbearance and interest payment deferment through AmeriCorps for qualifying student loans.
All Hudson Valley Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Environmental Leadership Institute, Hudson River Citizen Science curricula, Trail Skills, Project WILD curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, Mental Health First Aid, and other opportunities that arise.
Position ID: PO-00736191
Expected Dates: January 22, 2024 - November 18, 2024
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
Albany, NY 12238
Professional Development Opportunities: All Hudson Valley Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Hudson River Citizen Science curricula, Trail Skills, Project WET, Project WILD curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, American Canoe Association Level 1, and other opportunities that arise.
Handicap Accessible?: No
Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt
AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible
Driving Logistics: Required
A personal vehicle is required to access amenities such as grocery stores, libraries, etc. as well as travel to Hudson Valley Corps trainings and events.
Housing or Stipend Provided?
C.Partner will pay the SCA to provide housing allowance for the member.
US Citizenship: Yes