Finger Lakes Region Hemlock Conservation Technician Steward (PO-00736007)

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 an enthusiastic Hemlock Conservation Technician 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.

Purpose of the Hemlock Conservation Program: Gorges and streams in the Finger Lakes depend heavily on eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forest communities to regulate water temperature, filter sediment and nutrient loading, and provide habitat benefits to the watershed. The Hemlock Conservation Program seeks to protect hemlock forests in the Finger Lakes from hemlock woolly adelgid through monitoring, mapping, and management of hemlock woolly adelgid.

Community Needs that the Position Serves: Cooler water temperatures and filtration provided by hemlock forests help prevent harmful algal blooms, thereby keeping public beaches open and recreational lake activities possible. Brook trout and other native NY fish rely on cool stream habitats to survive, and hemlocks help maintain clear, cool streams that provide recreation opportunities to anglers. Hemlock forests prevent severe gorge erosion to allow for hiking, biking, foliage viewing opportunities. The work of this program also preserves centuries old vistas within the Finger Lakes.

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.

AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Conduct pre-and post-treatment monitoring of hemlocks to quantify new growth and adelgid density.
  • Prepare areas prior to chemical treatment, including tagging trees, mapping treatment areas, and transporting water to be staged within treatment areas.
  • Candidate should be willing to become a Licensed Pesticide Apprentice, and to apply chemical treatments alongside a Certified Applicator and other certified staff for the preservation of hemlock forests.
  • Candidate should be comfortable applying chemicals and working adjacent to chemicals while in proper protective gear.
  • Communicate with park staff and partners about logistics and work plans.
  • Ability to articulate hemlock preservation needs through education and outreach.
  • Process and input data collected in field to create maps, spreadsheets, and reports.
  • Able to collaborate with partners to plan for future biocontrol of HWA; Finger Lakes Prism and New York State Hemlock Initiative.
  • Member may work with EFT (Environmental Field Team) biologists and FORCES (Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship) on a variety of projects and initiatives including but not limited to Spotted Lanternfly, Benthic Macroinvertebrate sampling, Oak Wilt, Plant Materials Program (growing native, local ecotype plants for restoration), invasive plant management, salamander surveys, mapping or GIS projects, trail work, and volunteer coordination. These activities will be secondary to hemlock work, but will provide a wide range of experiences to members so that they leave having experienced a wide breadth of work as well as depth of work within the Hemlock Conservation Program.
  • Member might also be asked to help staff large events in the region such as I Love My Park Day and Earth Day events
  • Work conditions include uneven terrain, heat, cold, rain, and frequent exposure to poison ivy, thorns, ticks, wild parsnip, and biting insects. Additionally, some days may extend past normal work hours but will not exceed the typical work week hours.

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
Goal 1: Being a contributing member of a fast-paced environmental field team, and completing work tasks safely and professionally.
Goal 2: Enhance surveying, monitoring, GIS, and interpretive skill sets no matter the member’s level of experience initially.
Goal 3: Gain appreciation and thorough understanding of importance of hemlock conservation and the role it plays in watershed dynamics.

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:

  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently or as a part of a team
  • Ability to work in a range of temperatures and conditions
  • Ability to focus on tasks outside and at a computer
  • Professionalism
  • Ability to manage time well
  • Capable of self-starting when turns in weather call for a change in task
  • Enthusiasm to learn and make the position their own
  • Willingness to learn Arc GIS and mapping skills.
  • General knowledge of environmental principles and forest dynamics a plus.

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-00736007

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

Taughannock Falls State Park
1740 Taughannock Blvd
Trumansburg, NY 14886

Handicap Accessible?: No

Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt

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

House shared with other SCA New York State Parks Corps members within Taughannock Falls State Park.

Indoor/Outdoor: Combination

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association