2021 Conservation Steward - The Nature Conservancy

Expected Dates
March 29, 2021 to October 22, 2021
The Nature Conservancy Western Massachusetts Program
Position ID
This position is a part of SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps, a 30-week AmeriCorps program focused on leadership development, completing critical conservation service projects, and building a sense of community.  If you’ve ever wanted to learn the hard and soft skills of being a conservation leader, come join this community of like-minded, service oriented individuals and help us tackle some of Massachusetts most pressing conservation issues.
The SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps is a partnership between SCA, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), AmeriCorps, and The Massachusetts Service Alliance.

The Conservation Steward will work with The Nature Conservancy staff to provide field support for over 8,000 acres of Conservancy’s preserves and conservation easements in Western Massachusetts. This position will provide a broad range of conservation work and will require regularly working independently in the field and office. Primary responsibilities will include assisting with general preserve stewardship activities, habitat management, and rare species conservation efforts. The Conservation Steward will be supervised by the Land Steward and Stewardship Manager and will include preserve and conservation easement monitoring; natural resource mapping using Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS); controlling invasive plant species; ecological monitoring; maintenance of stewardship equipment and facilities; and other land stewardship tasks, as needed and appropriate. This position will assist in monitoring numerous rare species, including two turtle populations. The turtle monitoring project will by supervised by the TNC Stewardship Manager along with a graduate student and will include assisting in using trapping, surveys and radio-telemetry to monitor individuals. They will be required to record locations via GPS and take detailed notes. Additionally, this position may assist with community outreach by developing content for public webinars, coordinating and supervising volunteer workdays, and participating in a select number of outreach events to provide program information to our target communities.

Required Member Responsibilities (Essential Functions)
  • Must be capable of completing physically strenuous field work for 8 hours per day
  • Hiking long distances over steep and challenging terrains (forest and wetlands)
  • Working in challenging weather conditions (rain, heat, humidity) 
  • Must be willing to perform land management activities with various tools and equipment, including operating a chainsaw, brush saw, hand-tools, and backpack herbicide sprayer
  • Capable of following details instructions and using mobile devices (i.e. iPad) to complete monitoring for preserves and conservation restrictions
  • Excellent note-taking and record-keeping skills needed to record field observation and translate into formal reports

Required Qualifications

  • High School diploma or GED equivalent
  • Valid Driver’s license
  • Experience writing reports
  • Ability to quickly learn new skills and technology

Recommended Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Conservation, Resource Management, Ecology, or other related field(s)
  • Experience with GIS
  • Some field work or other work-related experience requiring extended periods of time working outside
  • Knowledge of comon and non-native plants and animals in the Northeast
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office suite, particularly Excel

* This position is not eligible for travel reimbursement to site.*

**This position is part of a specialized SCA AmeriCorps program and if you are selected, you will be serving as an SCA AmeriCorps member. ** 

*** The COVID-19 pandemic has required SCA to implement several safety protocols and policies to help our teams manage the risks associated with the pandemic.  While it is likely these will change slightly before the position starts, please review the documents below for SCA’s updated organizational response plan and participant agreement form to learn more how our teams will be operating in the field. ***

SCA COVID Response Plan

It is our strong belief that equal opportunity for all members is central to the continued success of our programs. We will not discriminate against an applicant because of race, religious creed, religion, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, age, physical disability, mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity characteristics or expressions in selections, terminations and or recommendations. Opportunity is provided to all applicants in the basis of qualifications and program requirements. Upon request, reasonable accommodations will be provided to applicants during the selection process and to members during service.

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  • Member will serve in a small office (3-4 people) that includes TNC staff (2) and possibly partner organization staff (1) and graduate student (1). The office is located near downtown Great Barrington and serves a number of rural communities.
  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Game of Logging Level 2 Chainsaw certification, radio-telemetry, MA Pesticide Core Applicator License, GPS/GIS (ESRI ArcGIS Online, FieldMaps), easement monitoring, boundary marking, invasive plant ID and control techniques
  • Educational: Webinars, training resources, and virtual conferences are offered by TNC.
    Recreational: Opportunities for hiking, swimming, biking, canoeing, and kayaking, as well as arts and entertainment venues, are abundant in the Berkshires.
  • In addition to all of the previously listed trainings and certifications, the member will be invited to participate in a number of team and project meetings to better understand the workings of conservation land management. They will specifically be involved in research projects and an interagency team that manages rare wetlands, allowing significant opportunity for networking and professional development. 
  • Chainsaw
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Data Entry
competent with supervision
competent with supervision
Hand Tools
competent without supervision
Working with Animals
some experience
Plant Identification
competent with supervision
Trail Maintenance
some experience
Volunteer Coordination
some experience