NYS DEC Natural Resource Steward (PO-00736043)

The Student Conservation Association (SCA), in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is looking to place 26 Natural Resource Stewards across New York’s Forests and Wilderness areasJoin our program to fill your summer with outdoor adventure and career development!

* 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.*

Candidates selected will become Natural Resource Stewards and be placed on various lands managed by the DEC.  Natural Resource Stewards serve for 16 weeks engaging in various conservation and recreation support activities.  Stewards will be responsible for patrolling marked DEC trails, designated campsites and parking areas, explaining the significance of the natural resource, educating the public as to leave no trace principles, explaining the rules and regulations of the DEC, and encouraging visitors to avoid trampling vegetation and to utilize designated campsites whenever possible.

Through the execution of these duties Stewards gain skills and connections that will open the door for future careers in fields like Conservation, Forestry, Law Enforcement, Ecology, Biology, Recreation, and more.  A 4-day orientation is hosted during the first week of a Stewards term of service.  There, the SCA and DEC will offer training to prepare program members for a successful season. 

Training Opportunities:

  • DEC Radio Rules and Regulations
  • First Aid/CPR/AED
  • Leave No Trace principles
  • Trail tool safety
  • Anti-Harassment Training
  • Driver Safety Training
  • BoatUS Boater Safety Training (when applicable)

The Natural Resource Steward Internship Program begins on May 20th  and runs through September. Most Stewards must be present during anticipated high use times (weekends and holidays) during their field season.  A service event will be hosted during the season as an opportunity for Stewards to reconnect and complete a larger, team-powered project. 

The NRS Program has a range of positions with varying degrees of ruggedness and ideal skills.  Depending on the site, Stewards will be responsible for a general area with potential assignments within a reasonable range of patrol. Stewards will be expected to travel within their area, up to 2.5 hours for an extended stay of up to four nights on location.  Some sites involve using a DEC provided motorboat or canoe to maintain remote trails, while others give you more opportunity to work with the public in a more front-country settings, and others give you the opportunity to monitor and protect delicate shorelines and the near-threatened Piping Plover.  If you’re interested, upon application, the program coordinator can match your skills and interests with a site that meets your abilities and goals.   

A personal vehicle will be required for duty related travel at most sites.

Host Site Areas Include:
The Catskill Mountain Park in DEC Region 3 and Region 4

The Central Adirondack Forest Preserve / Moose River Plains
The Whitney Wilderness in the Adirondacks
St. Regis Canoe Area in the Adirondacks
Lake George Wild Forest in the Adirondacks
Siamese Ponds Wilderness in the Adirondacks
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest in the Adirondacks
Lows Lake in the Adirondacks
Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks
Old Forge in the Adirondacks
Independence River Wild Forest in the Adirondacks
Pharoah Lake Wilderness in the Adirondacks

The Salmon River near the East coast of Lake Ontario

Carpenters Falls in the Finger Lakes Region  

Requirements to Serve:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must have a personal vehicle
  • Must be a Citizen, National or Lawful Permanent Residing Alien of the US

Preferred Qualifications/Required Skills:

  • Ability to work independently or in a team required
  • Ability to communicate with your peers and the public required
  • Must be able to hike multiple miles on rugged terrain
  • Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds
  • Depending on location either French or Spanish speaking skills preferred
  • Some camping experience preferred
  • Some land navigation experience preferred (GPS, maps, compass, etc.)
  • Some hand tool experience preferred
  • Some college level education in Forestry, Biology, Earth Science, Outdoor Education, trail work, Conservation, Geography or related field preferred

$160/week living allowance
$570/month housing allowance if housing is not provided
$80 reimbursement for work pants
$1,718 AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of your term of service

Eligibility for Federal Student Loan forbearance and interest payment deferment through AmeriCorps for qualifying student loans.

*All Allowances are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes.

If you have any questions or would like more information about opportunities with the Natural Resource Stewards, do not hesitate to contact Victoria Yargeau at [email protected] or call 571-895-1742 between the hours of 9 AM – 5 PM (EST). ​

For SCA’s COVID guidance, please refer to www.thesca.org/covid

Position ID: PO-00736043

Expected Dates: May 20, 2024 - September 9, 2024

Professional Development Opportunities: A professional development series is hosted by the New York State SCA Program Coordinators over one month.  Dates TBD but topics include:

  • Resume Workshop
  • Job Board Navigation
  • How to Interview
  • Introduction to GIS and GPS
Depending on your site and workload, you may not be able to attend the live events, but recordings and opportunities for discussion will be made available to you.

Handicap Accessible?: No

Main Area of Focus: Backcountry/Trail work

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Required

A personal vehicle will be needed for personal travel and duty related travel at some sites.

Housing varies based on position placement. Some host sites provide free housing, while others provide a housing allowance of $570/month

Indoor/Outdoor: Outside

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association