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.
This position is located in Wallkill, New York.
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.
The Invasive Species Unit (ISU) is part of the Division of Environmental Stewardship and Planning (DESP) within OPRHP. The ISU’s mission is to safeguard and enhance the intrinsic values of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in New York State Parks and Historic Sites through the prevention, control, and management of invasive species. This is accomplished by identifying, prioritizing, and guiding invasive species projects and initiatives within the State Parks and Historic Site system.
The ISU works with statewide and regional staff towards the responsible stewardship of our natural resources throughout the New York State Park system. The ISU directs the management of invasive species with a focus on the protection of rare, threatened and endangered species and significant natural communities.
The ISU is led by the Invasive Species Biologist and includes two coordinators and a specialist. Projects include surveying, monitoring and management of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species, and forest pests and pathogens
Community Needs that the Program Serves:
Invasive species are non-native species that can cause harm to the environment, the economy or to human health. Invasive species threaten nearly every aspect of our world and are one of the greatest threats to New York’s biodiversity. They have changed the way our natural areas look, feel, and function. They cause or can contribute to habitat degradation and loss, the loss of native flora and fauna, loss of recreational opportunities and income and even threaten our food supply and drinking water. The cost of invasive species on the United States has been estimated at as much as $120 billion in damages every year. The ISU works to identify, monitor, control and/or eradicate invasive species throughout New York State Parks.
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:
The member will receive a thorough introduction to the invasive plants and insects that can be found in New York State. They will gain hands-on experience in the field of invasive species management and will be able to participate in all aspects of management – from assisting in invasive species surveys and identification, to hands-on control and monitoring, to the development of educational and guidance documents and assisting with trainings. Example projects include (but aren’t limited to): Biological control insect emergence monitoring, surveying and mapping of Japanese hops in Minnewaska State Park Preserve, assessments of pitch pine stands affected by Southern Pine Beetle in Long Island and the Hudson Valley, and assisting with educational programs.
The member will receive formal training in iMap Invasives– an online database which is used by organizations throughout New York State to track and monitor infestations. During the field season, the member will assist field staff with invasive species surveys, monitoring and control projects and will use various ESRI-based data collection techniques (Field Maps, Survey123) to enter information into ArcGIS Online and the iMap database.
The position will be based out of the Invasive Species Field Office located at Minnewaska State Park Preserve near New Paltz, NY. There will be the opportunity to travel throughout New York visiting some of the system’s most spectacular parks – from the shores of Long Island, to the gorges of the Finger Lakes, and the extensive forests of the Allegany plateau. The member will be introduced to a wide array of projects and topics relating to natural resource stewardship and get the chance to interact with staff from across the agency and its partners. The position will entail a combination of office and field work designed to suit the experience, skills, and interests of the member.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Conduct invasive species surveys and monitoring including early detection of new species, site assessments, and pre- and post-treatment monitoring (25%)
- Contribute to on-the-ground invasive species management including biocontrol release and monitoring, manual/mechanical control, and site restoration efforts (20%)
- Conduct literature reviews and gather information to develop guidance documents, manuals, management plans and reports to be used by Invasive Species Unit and other staff (15%)
- Manage data and create maps using ArcGIS software (10%)
- Develop education materials, assist with trainings and events (10%)
- Assist with other stewardship projects, including those related to water quality, wildlife management and ecology (5%)
- Participate in SCA trainings, service projects and other member development events (15%)
How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:
The member will play an integral role in the ISU by supporting the Project Coordinators in the overall management of invasive species in state parks, as well as working closely with Parks’ Stewardship staff, increasing the direct impact the program can have protecting the natural resources within state parks.
Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
Goal 1: Complete stewardship projects aimed to safeguard and enhance the intrinsic values of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in New York State Parks and Historic Sites through the prevention, control, and management of invasive species
Goal 2: Assist in the creation of educational and guidance documents such as manuals, fact sheets, and Invasive Species Management Plans.
Goal 3: Contribute towards data quality control and analysis for the purpose of improving the agency’s ability to understand and manage invasive species.
- Ability to pass a background check.
- Valid driver license of 3+ years with a clean driving record.
- Knowledge and experience with ArcGIS is strongly preferred.
- At least two years of college experience in a relevant field
Skills/Knowledge/Training Necessary to be a successful AmeriCorps Member in this position:
Skills: General comfort hiking and working outdoors in varying terrain and in all weather conditions.
Knowledge: Desire to learn about invasive species identification and management. Some knowledge and identification skills of flora and fauna including invasive species and forest pests common to New York State is desirable, but not required. Strong interest in and commitment to environmental stewardship and team-oriented approach to solving environmental challenges.
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
$1,100/month housing allowance in NYC
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-00736090
Expected Dates: January 22, 2024 - November 18, 2024
51 Beecherhill Road
Wallkill, NY 12589
Professional Development Opportunities: All Hudson Valley Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Hudson River Citizen Science curricula, Trail Skills, Project WET, Project WILD and Project Learning Tree curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, and other opportunities that arise.
During the spring/summer field season, the member will be able to participate in the Invasive Species Strike Teams’ and Forest Health Specialists’ training programs. This will give them a good introduction to the identification and control of the invasive plant species and invasive forest pests/pathogens that are currently threatening New York State Parks. They will also receive formal training in iMap – the online database which is used by many organizations throughout New York State to track and monitor infestations.
Throughout the field season, the member will be able to gain hands-on experience in the field of invasive species management. They will assist NYS OPRHP’s Invasive Species Strike Teams in invasive species removal projects throughout eastern New York.
Handicap Accessible?: No
Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt
AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible
Driving Logistics: Required
A personal vehicle is required for travel between housing and the park, 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.
It is the members' responsibility to find suitable housing in the area.
US Citizenship: Yes