Feuer Land & Natural Areas Management Assistant (PO-00736208)

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.

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. 

Purpose of the Program: 

This position will provide a variety of experiences supporting the conservation and land management staff at Mohonk Preserve.  Members will learn on-the-ground management techniques and decisions processes that affect biodiversity conservation and ecological health where the Shawangunk Ridge and human recreation interact.
This program is designed for undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates to gain experience with New York’s largest nonprofit nature preserve.  Participants will engage with land management staff throughout the year supporting research, education, engagement, and infrastructure management.
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.

Community Needs that the Program Serves: 

As NYS’s largest nonprofit nature preserve, Mohonk Preserve is the home of “The Gunks” which welcomes over 300,0000 visitors annually to hike, bike, climb, and explore 8,000 ac through 40 miles of trails, 30 mile of historic carriage roads, and  hundreds of climbing routes along the Shawangunk Ridge.  

Feuer Land & Natural Areas Management Assistant will assist with Easement & Boundary Monitoring, Phenology & Ecological Research, Visitor & Facility Management, Environmental Education, and Historic Carriage Road & Trail Construction and Maintenance. 

Mohonk Preserve’s mission is to protect the northern Shawangunk Ridge and inspire people to care for, enjoy and explore the natural world.  The values we embrace to achieve this mission include:

  • Teamwork: We trust each other and value collaboration and accountability.
  • Transparency: We are clear, honest and ethical in our decision-making and communications.
  • Belonging: We welcome everyone and treat all with respect and compassion.
  • Exploration: We value curiosity, education and innovation as pathways to learning and growth.
  • Stewardship: We are committed to responsibly stewarding Mohonk Preserve in service to the land and the community.


AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities*:

To provide land stewardship support to Mohonk Preserve through a 10-month interdepartmental role by collecting data, maintaining a historic carriage road and trail network, providing educational programing, and monitoring the boundaries of property.
**Note: selected Members will be engaged in a multi-disciplinary role during their tenure**
Vernal Pool Data Collection and Assessment:  Specific sites of pools will be visited during the spring, from April 30th to May 30th.  Members will be trained in the Preserve’s standardized approach to vernal pool survey methods in order to determine the quality, condition, and functioning of the pool.
Carriage road and trail maintenance related projects: Work will include conducting assessments and physical repairs. This includes but is not limited to the use of power and hand tools and a basic level of experience with the use of these tools is required. The Member will assist with the re-construction of 1-mile of carriage road and two mile of trails.
Boundary Monitoring:  Members will conduct in the field monitoring surveys to gain actionable data on  the activities on the Preserve’s land and of abutting landowners that might have an impact on the conservation mission of the organization. The Preserve will monitor roughly 20-miles of boundary every year.
Educational Programing:  Members will assist in delivering the Preserve’s Mountainside Adventures Summer Camp Program.  Mountainside Adventures allows campers to have fun while hiking to new and exciting destinations each day. Campers will focus on developing their problem-solving skills through exciting team challenges and spend their days creating their own adventures along the trails. (Participant ages: 10 to 13 years old)

When in the field, the Land & Natural Areas Management Assistant is expected to engage visitors in a friendly manner to answer questions, describe Mohonk Preserve’s mission and rules, interpret ecological and historical resources. The assistant will monitor trail conditions and develop work logs that will be entered into our database. They will communicate any issues found in the field to other parks team members, and report findings and work outcomes at weekly parks team meetings. The candidate will also assist with Mohonk Preserve’s programming and events that may require them to work occasional evening and weekend hours.

  • Members will provide routine maintenance tasks; ensure informational kiosks are clean of debris and dirt; regularly monitor and maintain all carriage roads & trails including; work with members of the Conservation and Stewardship Team from to help control invasive plants; inspect and repair infrastructure (i.e., benches, bridges, boardwalks, kiosks, entry signs); learn to identify preserve and trail improvement projects and work with field staff to implement them. (50%)
  • Assist with the management of Preserve. This includes, but is not limited to removing potential safety hazards, collecting scientific data monitoring and securing boundaries, mowing and gateway maintenance of properties, etc. (25%)
  • Administrative organization (timesheets, reporting, meetings, etc), safety training, and maintaining field observations into our work log. (Approximately 1 day per week) (10%) Assist the Visitor Experience Department with public events and programming when needed. (5%)
  • Participate in all SCA Corps-wide trainings and service projects, as well as project evaluation and reporting. (10%)   

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:

    By learning and performing the position’s responsibilities, the member will work towards Mohonk Preserve’s land management goals by:
    ●          Connecting People to the Shawangunk Ridge and its ecological landscape
    ●          Collecting vernal pool health data to assist with forest resiliency  management
    ●          Maintaining and improving Mohonk’s  historic carriage road and trail network
    ●          Monitoring geographic land boundaries for encroachment activities
    ●          Provide environmental education programs for local children

    Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:

    Goal 1: Cultivate skills in project and time management, including but not limited to work order list management, communication and organization, office duties (time sheets, emails, project follow ups, team meetings, and reporting field inspections/observations).
    Goal 2: Learn how to monitor, identify, and fix trail maintenance issues, use the proper hand/power tools and equipment correctly, and work effectively with staff and volunteers to improve trail conditions.
    Goal 3: Learn how to collect scientific research data by conducting field research.
    Goal 4: Through professional development (working within the SCA network and the Mohonk Preserve work experience), develop a plan for employment post-internship.

    Candidate Requirements:
    · Valid Driver’s License for 3+ years
    · Ability to pass a federal background check and a motor vehicle background check


    Candidate Qualifications:

    Interest in recreation resource management, forest ecosystems research, environmental education, trail work, legal land protection and public access issues Valid driver’s license of at least 3 years with a clean driving record. **Note: Members will be engaged in a multi-disciplinary role during their tenure**

    •  Minimum of Associate’s Degree or one year’s work in the field of environmental science; land, natural or recreational resource management or related field
    •  Ability to perform physical work outdoors in a variety of backcountry settings including in varying weather conditions; independently and as part of a group.
    • Must be physically able to walk 4+ miles a day over varied terrain and lift up to 50 lbs.
    • Position requires frequent exposure to potentially harmful biotic factors including poison ivy, stinging & biting insects and ticks carrying Lyme Disease.
    • Applicant will be providing housing but might be required to use their personal vehicle to travel to office, workshop, and job sites.

    Skills/Knowledge/Training Necessary to be a successful AmeriCorps Member in this position:     

    • Excellent organizational, verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills are required. Being personable and enthusiastic, working within a team setting for a common goal as well as being able to work independently is critical. Candidate must be comfortable working in a variety of backcountry environments and weather conditions. Candidates must be willing to participate in labor projects, adhere to scientific protocols, provide educational programs, and complete detailed records.  Applicant must have a positive attitude and a desire to enhance the natural world.


    • Previous experience in working on publicly used lands, parks and preserves on trail maintenance and management, natural resource fieldwork, eading volunteer groups and educational programs, and use of small power tools is helpful.


    • Trail Maintenance, invasive and vernal pool species identification, and GIS experience are all a plus.


    • Game of Logging Certification, Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Grip Hoist Use and Maintenance (all provided or available during the internship through SCA/Mohonk).


    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

    Housing is provided on-site


    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.

    Training Opportunities:

    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-00736208

    Expected Dates: January 22, 2024 - November 18, 2024

    3197 State Route 55
    New Paltz, NY 12561

    Handicap Accessible?: No

    Main Area of Focus: Recreation Mgmt

    Further Details

    AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

    Driving Logistics: Required

    A personal vehicle is required to access amenities such as grocery store, libraries, etc. as well as travel to Hudson Valley Corps trainings and events.

    Housing or Stipend Provided?
    A. Partner will provide suitable housing for the member

    Indoor/Outdoor: Outside

    US Citizenship: Yes

    Student Conservation Association