Finger Lakes Region Environmental Education Steward (PO-00736006)

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 upstate New York. Such changes include but are not limited to: trainings being held remotely, elimination of large-scale gatherings, and a reduction of education programs.

New York’s Finger Lakes Region is seeking enthusiastic Environmental Educators for the 2024 season. Apply to be a SCA New York State Parks Corps member today!

About the NYS Parks Corps: Service activities range from providing environmental education and interpretation, to trail restoration, wildlife management, and organizing volunteer events. All 21 Parks Corps members will gather regularly in Central NY for SCA trainings and other professional development opportunities as they arise. (**See Covid caveat above for potential exceptions to 2024 events) Members share housing in groups of 1-4 members per location. NYS Parks Corps members serve under the direction of regional Parks staff to assist in accomplishing the mission of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; 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.
This position is located in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, with housing in Trumansburg, NY.

Community Needs that the Position Serves: The Finger Lakes Region of New York State Parks sees millions of visitors from around the world each year. Parks like Watkins Glen State Park will see well approximately 1 million visitors on its gorge trail between May and October.  The Overlook area Taughannock Falls State Parks is visited by as many as 2 million visitors each year. With growing attendance each year at all of our facilities the need for education and interpretation has also grown. By providing education at multiple facilities our visitors experience will be enhanced by understanding how areas like our gorge parks formed, what our natural resource challenges are, stewardship work underway, the history of each site, why rules certain rules are in place and what local hazards exist.

AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities: SCA members will be responsible for new programs to be used for the interpretive pavilion that was recently built in the main entrance area as part of the $6.5 million Watkins Glen Main entrance redesign. Members will help create/deliver programs that will enhance the visitor experience and helps visitors that cannot physically hike the gorge trail to experience the park in a different and meaningful way.  SCA members will also lead gorge tours at Watkins Glen and tours and programs at Taughannock Falls, Robert H. Treman and Buttermilk Falls State Park. Members will research and format presentations to have solid content but to be dynamic enough to be used by multiple educators and styles. SCA members will also work with FORCES (Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship) on a variety of projects and initiatives including but not limited to HWA (hemlock wooly adelgid) surveys, mapping projects, trail work, and volunteer coordination.
Members will also be working with the Finger Lakes Region Scalers to help ensure the safe and timely opening of the gorge trail in our 7 gorge parks. Our regional scaling team repels the gorge walls that have trails below them each spring to knock off rocks that have loosened during the winter months. Members will act as spotters and trail clean-up crew.
Member might also be asked to help staff large events in the region such as the Cayuga Lake Triathlon, I Love My Park Day, Summer Concert Series and/or Silent Movie Under the Stars.

Values and Standards of the Program/Position: 
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. 

The Mission of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is to provide safe and enjoyable recreation and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic and cultural resources.

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization: SCA members will embody the mission of parks first by helping our visitors enjoy the parks safely as well providing interpretation to substantially enhance their visit. The lessons created for Watkins Glen specifically to be used in the new main entrance interpretive pavilion will be seen by thousands of visitors, along with gorge tours and existing programs the members will be the majority of environmental and outdoor education in the region.  Programs will focus on geology, natural history, park history and local history. Members will learn how to research and create programs that are dynamic and that will be usable by multiple educators. Members will also receive instruction and training to help become very effective presenters and educators utilizing multiple styles.  Second, by participating in trail maintenance and stewardship activities with regional staff and the FORCES program SCA members will be directly enhancing and protecting the natural, cultural and historical resources in ways that regional staff rarely has time to. Stewardship projects will likely include working on projects related to the invasive Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA), Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), hydrilla, pale swallow-wort just to name a few. Along with restoration work SCA members will be part of projects that help guide management decisions and habitat restoration.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Valid driver license.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Two years of college or other post-secondary school experience in a relevant field.

Skills, Knowledge, and Training:

  • We seek a person with passion and enthusiasm for sharing the natural world with others
  • Computer skills-digital design experience is highly desired
  • Comfortable with public speaking.
  • Works well in small groups and individually
  • Basic knowledge of area natural history (training will be provided).
  • Comfortable working outdoors and walking 5 miles or more per day

Benefits
Amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award being offered for successful completion of the member’s term of service: $6,495

Amount of living allowance member will receive: $350/week living allowance

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 SCA NYS Parks Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Leave No Trace, Mental Health First Aid, and professional development. Environmental Education Stewards receive Certified Interpretive Guide training while Conservation Stewards receive Game of Logging 1 & 2. Optional trainings include NYSOEA, the American Canoe Association Quick Start Your Canoe Training, and other opportunities that arise through the SCA and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Position ID: PO-00736006

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

Location:
Taughannock Falls State Park
1740 Taughannock Blvd
Trumansburg, NY 14886
US

Handicap Accessible?: No

Main Area of Focus: Education and Interpretation

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Recommended

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

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

Three bedroom house located in a state park shared with other SCA New York State Parks Corps members within Taughannock Falls State Park.

Indoor/Outdoor: Combination

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association