Environmental Educator

Expected Dates
January 18, 2018 to November 14, 2018
Site
Grafton Lakes State Park NYS OPRHP
Position ID
PO-00724362
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 will develop and offer environmental education programs, service opportunities, and other public events at Grafton Lakes State Park, Cherry Plain State Park, and Bennington Battlefield Historic Site.  

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.
 
AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities:
The Assistant Park Naturalist will develop a broad range of programs, serving our diverse audience. We aim to foster new connections  with nature as well as deepen those connections for those who already enjoy the outdoors. 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.
 
Assisting in developing and offering environmental education programs to schools & general public in all seasons.
- Events: For Grafton lead coordination of National Trails Day and other service days, may lead on other large events depending on areas of interest; Cherry Plain State Park – provide campers weekend programs; Bennington Battlefield – Assist historic site staff occasionally with history programming and annual Battle Commemoration event.

-Welcome Center Opening: Interns have the opportunity to assist in the opening of our new building, helping us work with the growing audience we anticipate visiting the park. Interns also may play a role in ongoing exhibit curation and graphic design work for exhibits that will be underway throughout the year.
-Program and Community Connections: Work on parks connection to local schools, promoting young people’s awareness of the Rensselaer Plateau. Develop programming and service opportunities for families in all seasons. Support Friends of for Grafton Lakes State park and links with local community.
- Participate in all SCA Corps – wide trainings and service projects, as well as project evaluation and reporting – this will require approximately 15% of your service time.
 
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: Create a legacy for the park, either through developing new programs or exhibits that will help further our mission.

Goal 3: Expand skill set through personalized environmental education goals, to be determined by intern with support of supervisor

Candidate Qualifications:
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • Degree in biology, environmental studies, or education
    Comfort working with the public, Ability to organize tasks and self-motivate
  • Knowledge of ecology of northeastern United States is preferred but not required
  • Required trainings (such as First Aid and environmental education best practices) will be provided as part of position

Benefits:

  • All Hudson Valley Corps members receive a taxable $200/week living allowance and EITHER housing provided OR a taxable $600/month housing allowance for positions north of NYC metro area OR $800/month housing allowance for positions in NYC metro area.
  • Upon successful completion of the term, members receive a taxable 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 WET, Project WILD and Project Learning Tree curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, American Canoe Association Level 1, and other opportunities that arise. 

  • No
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Education
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Community Engagement
some experience
Plant Identification
some experience
Working with Children
competent without supervision