Environmental Educator and Event Coordinator

Expected Dates
January 13, 2022 to November 10, 2022
Site
Grafton Lakes State Park NYS OPRHP
Position ID
PO-00732393
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 & Event Coordinator will be part of the park education team and also help to organize events throughout the year. We aim to foster new connections with nature as well as deepen those connections for those who already enjoy the outdoors through exploration, interpretation and service. Given the range of our audience throughout the seasons, educators can learn effective programming techniques for people from age 3 to 99, with subjects ranging from local ecology to environmental history to playful treasure hunts in the woods. The member will be highly involved in arranging school programs and programs for children of all ages. The member will also serve as a liaison between other Rensselaer Plateau organizations to better the outreach for youth. As part of the Event Coordinator duties, the service member will assist and lead in the organization of events; including but not limited to designing events from the ground up, arranging donations, publishing flyers/press releases/and doing interviews, organizing personnel needed, and contacting vendors/exhibitors/volunteers/etc.

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 over 5,000 patrons per year through their education programs. 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:

Assisting in developing and offering environmental education programs, organizing events, and organizing/leading school programs in all seasons. 

Environmental Education: Develop programming and service opportunities for public and families in all seasons. Serve as lead for school program organization. Help to promote young people’s awareness of the Rensselaer Plateau through programs on and off-site. (35%)

Events: Grafton Lakes – assist with the coordination of all park events including but not limited to I Love My Park Day, National Trails Day and Trick or Treat Trail and serve as the lead coordinator for Bark and Brew; Cherry Plain State Park – provide campers weekend programs; Bennington Battlefield – Assist historic site staff occasionally with history programming and annual Battle Commemoration event. (30%)


Welcome Center: Service members can assist with growing our audience for our new building, by helping us develop new programming and service learning. Members help promote the site on social media. Responsible for the care and wellbeing of our nature center animals including feeding, cleaning, and enrichment. (10%)

Education Community Engagement: Work with other Plateau organizations to better the outreach for youth such as Ren. Youth Outdoors (RYO), Ren. Plateau Alliance (RPA), and Dyken Pond. (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. The Environmental Educator and Event Coordinator plays an essential role in fulfilling this mission.

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
              Goal 1: Develop monthly programs for a variety of audiences, from families to students that foster a sense of wonder and connection with nature.
              Goal 2: Assist and lead in the organization of the design and production of park events.
              Goal 3: Create a legacy for the park, either through developing new programs, expanding upon annual events, or deepening ties with other Rensselaer Plateau organizations that will help further our mission.

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
  • Excellent communication and ability to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Some background or work experience in environmental or education fields
  • Some background or work experience with event planning
  • Some background or work experience working with schools and teachers
  • Must be comfortable working with children of all ages
  • General comfort organizing and being in charge of many moving parts
  • Ability to navigate social media pages such as Facebook and Instagram

Knowledge:

  • BA/BS in biology, environmental science, education or related field 
  • Leading hikes of at least 2 miles on footpaths over uneven terrain
  • Experience being the lead in the organization and production of events
  • Experience working with partnering organizations
  • At ease in front of a crowd, strong background in public speaking (training will be provided)

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
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Social Sciences
some coursework or experience
Biology
some coursework or experience
Communications
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Social Media
some experience
Community Engagement
competent with supervision
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
Writing/Publishing
some experience
Volunteer Coordination
competent with supervision