Environmental Educator and Conservation Coordinator

Expected Dates
January 13, 2022 to November 10, 2022
Site
Grafton Lakes State Park NYS OPRHP
Position ID
PO-00732396
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. Specific duties aligned with this position may also be subject to change. Such changes include, but are not limited to: trainings being eliminated or held remotely, elimination of large-scale gatherings, reduction of education programs, and a transition to teleworking.  


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. 


Purpose of the Program:
The Environmental Educator & Conservation Coordinator will be part of the park education team and also work with the regional natural resource and regional trails teams to better the natural health of the park. In 2012, Grafton Lakes redid its Master Plan to make the trail system easier to understand. As a part of the Conservation Coordinator duties, the service member will work with the regional trails team to update and redesign parts of the trail system. Their duties will also include expanding the current field studies under way at the park such as the bluebird nesting box monitoring program, HWA surveys, hazard tree removal, invasive species removal, etc. As a part of their educator duties, the member will assist with school groups on and off-site, fostering new connections with nature. Educator duties will also include arranging and leading programs, trainings, and citizen science initiatives to educate and gain support for conservation of the park from the public.

Community Needs that the Program Serves:
Grafton Lakes State Park, along with its sister sites Cherry Plain State Park and Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site, serve around 500,000 visitors a year. This amount of attendance affects the natural health of the park(s). Our audience comes from surrounding rural communities as well as the Capital Region urban/suburban populations in and around Troy, Albany, and Schenectady, New York. Visitors range in age from preschoolers to retirees. The park is located on the Rensselaer Plateau, which contains the fifth largest forest in New York State and is home to moose, river otter, and black bear
 

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:

Assist with the trail revamp project, conservation projects, school groups, and conservation efforts for public outreach.

Park Steward: Work with the regional natural resource team to tackle rampant invasive species, conduct surveys for potential invasive threats, and continue wildlife monitoring projects. Also, assist with general trail work and hazard tree removal. (30%)

Programing and Community Connections: Develop programming and service opportunities for adults & families. Help with the Park’s connection to local schools, promoting young people’s awareness of the Rensselaer Plateau. (30%)

Trail Revamp Project: Work with the regional trails team and park staff on the trail revamp project to redesign the trails system of Grafton Lakes State Park. Coordinate work groups to carry out changes implemented. (15%)

Events: Assist with prep and day-of activities for events at the park. Serve as lead coordinator for National Trails Day. (10%)

Participate in all SCA Corps: wide trainings and service projects, as well as project evaluation and reporting. (15%)


How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:
The mission of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation 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. Hence the Conservation Coordinator plays an essential role in fulfilling this mission.

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
              Goal 1: Assist and lead park stewardship projects including but not limited to trails, invasive species removal, wildlife monitoring, citizen science, etc.
              Goal 2: Create a legacy for the park, either through developing new programs, leading National Trails Day, or developing materials that will help further our mission.
              Goal 3: Assist and lead in implementing the next steps of the trail revamp project to make the trails more understandable, sustainable, and cohesive.
                  Goal 4: Develop skills or gain experience specific to the individual to enhance future or past academic studies, in order to strengthen personal resume and/or to identify potential future career paths.  

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Valid driver’s license of at least 3 years with a clean driving record.
  • Ability to pass a federal background check.

Skills:

  • Must be detail-oriented, dependable, self-motivated, have good time management and organization skills and work well independently
  • Some background or work experience in coordinating with teams for conservation purposes
  • Some background or work experience in environmental or education fields with children
  • Some background or work experience with trail work, citizen science, and/or other stewardship projects
  • General comfort being outside in all weather conditions and ability to perform physically demanding work outdoors
  • Being able to hike for at least 2 miles on footpaths over uneven terrain
  • Excellent communication and ability to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds

Knowledge:

  • BA/BS in biology, environmental science, forest ecology, or related field 
  • Experience leading citizen science projects and conducting natural resource studies
  • Background in wildlife monitoring or invasive species removal
  • Experience working with a team to design new trails
  • At ease in front of a crowd, strong background in public speaking (training will be provided)
  • Basic knowledge of the natural history of the region (training will be provided)
  • Background redesigning a trail system

Benefits:

  • All Hudson Valley Corps members receive a taxable $200/week living allowance
  • Upon successful completion of the term, members receive a taxable Full-time Segal Education Award through AmeriCorps.
  • Student loan forbearance and interest repayments for federal student loan through AmeriCorps.
  • Eligible for free health insurance
  • Eligible for childcare assistance through AmeriCorps

Training Opportunities:
All Hudson Valley Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Hudson River Citizen Science curricula, Trail Skills, Project WILD curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, American Canoe Association Quick Start Your Canoe, and other opportunities that arise. 

 

  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Communications
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Leadership Experience
some experience
Community Engagement
competent with supervision
Plant Identification
some experience
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
Trail Maintenance
some experience
Working with Children
competent without supervision