Environmental Educator

Expected Dates
January 22, 2020 to November 18, 2020
Finger Lakes State Parks, NYS OPRHP
Position ID
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 NYS Parks Corps Overview: The SCA New York State Parks Corps covers five regions of New York State: Allegany, Central, Finger Lakes, Niagara, and Thousand Islands. Corps members are placed at one of these host sites and serve at the state parks in their region. Service activities range from providing environmental education and interpretation, to trail restoration and volunteer initiatives. Members join together regularly for trainings, service projects, or other community events.  The mission of the New York State 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.

Purpose of the Program: We are a NYS agency that maintains public parks and historic sites for outdoor recreation and enjoyment. An environmental education intern will plan, create and conduct environmental interpretive programs and/or materials for the public in the Finger Lakes State Parks. Activities include gorge tours, hikes, programs (geology, historical and wildlife) and assisting with interpretive media related to the Finger Lakes State Parks.  Intern will also assist with FORCES (Friends, of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship) activities and trainings.

Community Needs that the Program Serves: The Finger Lakes Region of New York State Parks sees millions of visitors from around the world each year. Parks like Watkins Glen State Park will see well over 800,000 visitors on its gorge trail between May and October.  The Overlook area Taughannock Falls State Parks is visited by as many as 2 million visitors each year. With growing attendance each year at all our facilities, the need for education and interpretation has also grown. By providing education at multiple facilities our visitors experience will be enhanced by understanding how areas like our gorge parks formed, what our natural resource challenges are, the history of each site, why certain rules are in place and what local hazards exist. 

AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities:
  • SCA members will be responsible for new programs to be used for the interpretive pavilion that will be built in the main entrance area as part of the $6.5 million Watkins Glen Main entrance redesign. Members will help create/deliver programs that will enhance the visitor experience and helps visitors that cannot physically hike the gorge trail to experience the park in a different and meaningful way.  SCA members will also lead gorge tours at Watkins Glen and tours and programs at Taughannock Falls, Robert H. Treman and Buttermilk Falls State Park.
  • Members will research and format presentations to have solid content but to be dynamic enough to be used by multiple educator and styles.
  • SCA members will work with FORCES (Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship) on a variety of projects and initiatives including but not limited to HWA (hemlock wooly adelgid) surveys, mapping projects, trail work, and volunteer coordination.
  • Members will be working with the Finger Lakes Region Scalers to help ensure the safe and timely opening of the gorge trail in our seven gorge parks. Each spring, our regional scaling team repels the gorge walls that have trails below them to knock off rocks that have loosened during the winter months. Members will act as spotters and trail clean-up crew.
  • Member might also be asked to help staff large events in the region such as the Cayuga Lake Triathlon, I Love My Park Day, and/or Silent Movie Under the Stars.
  • All SCA Parks Corps members are required to attend monthly SCA events and complete SCA/Americorps paperwork and reporting. This will account for roughly 15% of your time.

Performance Goals:
Goal 1: Effective environmental/outdoor program creation and delivery including hikes up to 5 miles in length.
Goal 2: To work collaboratively with the Finger Lakes Regional Scaling team, NYSOPRHP F.O.R.C.E.S (Friend or Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship) program, Finger Lakes Stewardship program and Trail Crew.
Goal 3: 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 
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • Seeking a person with passion and enthusiasm for sharing the natural world with others
  • Comfortable with public speaking
  • Must be excellent self-directed learners 
  • Basic knowledge of area natural history (training will be provided)
  • Works well in small groups and individually
  • Comfortable working alone outdoors and walking 5 miles or more per day
  • Basic computer skills
  • Computer skills-digital design experience is highly desired 


  • All NYS Parks Corps members receive a taxable $200/week living allowance and housing provided 
  • 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 Parks Corps members receive:

  • Wilderness First Aid and CPR
  • Leave No Trace Trainer Course
  • American Canoe Association QuickStart Your Canoe
  • Professional development
  • Environmental Educator members receive Project WET, Project Wild, and Project Learning Tree curricula, Certified Interpretive Guide, roving, and other opportunities that arise.

Trainings to be included by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation:

  • Member will be required to complete all NYS season trainings including Internal Controls, NYS Right to Know Law, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Prevention of Workplace Violence, Fire Safety and Emergency Evacuation,  Cyber Security Information and Security Awareness
  •  Environmental Education Program Creation and Program Delivery trainings.
  • Leading effective and enjoyable educational hikes training
  • Any other applicable trainings offer by the Finger Lakes Region

*Please ignore fit rating/eligibiity notes related to this position. All applications received by the deadline will be reviewed.

  • Training Opportunities: All Parks Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Leave No Trace Trainer Course, American Canoe Association QuickStart Your Canoe and professional development.  Environmental Educator members receive Project WET, Project Wild, and Project Learning Tree curricula, Certified Interpretive Guide, roving, and other opportunities that arise.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Leadership Experience
some experience
Community Engagement
some experience
Public Speaking
some experience
some experience
Trail Maintenance
some experience
Working with Children
some experience