Environmental Educator

Expected Dates
January 14, 2020 to November 10, 2020
Site
Saratoga Spa State Park, NYS OPRHP
Position ID
PO-00728877
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.

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.

This position is located in Saratoga Springs, New York


Purpose of the Program: To create and provide quality environmental education programs for the local community in order to connect them to the unique natural resources and history of the area and instill stewardship through this connection. Environmental Educators also provide excellent customer service for visitors during the busy summer months.

Community Needs that the Program Serves: The Creekside Classroom provides a year-round environmental center for nature, history, and geology programs. The Classroom also provides a meeting place for school groups, park visitors, and not-for-profit partners for general visits and special events. The Creekside Classroom is the center of the park’s programming and is surrounded by the park’s iconic mineral springs.


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:
Environmental educator duties will include:
  • Leading curriculum based environmental education programs for visiting school groups on topics including the park’s mineral springs and geology, plants and animals, and history.
  • Delivering and assisting with park interpretive programming for the general public.
  • Providing front-desk customer service to summer visitors in the Creekside Classroom. Services may include giving directions, leading tours of the mineral springs, and answering visitors’ questions.
  • Assisting with large events offered by the park, including Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe and Fish Stocking.
  • Outreach to local schools. This includes sharing information of the Connect Kids to Parks initiative, providing teachers with the details and answering questions, and making arrangements with classes and schools to bring more children to the park.
  • Opportunities are welcomed for new program development by ambitious hands-on SCA members; this is a new environmental education center in a busy, well-loved park.
  • Assist with park events, projects, and necessary duties of operating an environmental education center. Duties will include staffing the center, providing informal drop-in education programs on geology and stream ecology, and setting up for events.
  • Assist with large events in other parks and historic sites in the region.



How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:      
The SCA Americorps members’ role goes hand in hand with the mission of NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Our main goals are to provide safe and enjoyable recreation and interpretation for visitors as well as be responsible stewards of the natural, historic, and cultural resources. The environmental educators will help us to provide interpretive programs for visitors as well as school groups. Corps members will be essential in helping to educate the public about the varied recreational opportunities in the park as well as help them to foster a connection to the plants, animals, geology, history, and culture in Saratoga Spa State Park.

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
            Goal 1:      
To enhance interpretive programming for the visiting public and help them to understand and connect with the geology, natural history, and vast cultural history of the park.

            Goal 2:      
To provide high-quality environmental education programs to visiting school groups and assist with growing the Connect Kids grant program.


            Goal 3:       To provide high quality customer service to the diverse visitors of Saratoga Spa State Park. Make them feel welcomed, answer their questions, and assist with other needs they may have to help them have a positive and memorable experience in the park.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Ability to pass a background check.
  • Valid driver license of 3 years with a clean driving record. 
  • Desired candidate will have an associates degree (minimum) or bachelors in geology, environmental science, teaching, or related fields.
  • Skills/Knowledge/Training Necessary to be a successful AmeriCorps Member in this position:       Experience and passion for working with children and the general public, excellent communication and public speaking skills, an outgoing personality, solid organizational/scheduling skills.
  • Skills: Public speaking, teaching outdoors, creating interpretive material
  • Knowledge: Natural history, plants and animals, geology, and similar outdoor fields

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.

 

  • 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
Biology
some coursework or experience
Communications
some coursework or experience
Education
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
History
some coursework or experience
Public Speaking
some experience
Working with Children
some experience