Environmental Educator

Expected Dates
February 2, 2021 to November 30, 2021
Site
Taconic Outdoor Education Center, NYS OPRHP
Position ID
PO-00731282
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. 
 
Organization/Agency Mission and/or Goals:  
The mission of the NYS OPRHP 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.          
 
Program Mission and/or Goals:
The Taconic Outdoor Education Center (TOEC) provides residential and day environmental education experiences and team building programs for public and private schools, college, universities and civic groups. TOEC also offers public programs to the surrounding communities.
 
Community Need:
TOEC serves the public, local school groups, scout troops and other groups as needed.  Of the school groups, TOEC serves a large NYC base.  Most of these students are from underserved and overwhelmingly minority areas; the schools in the NYC have 62-78% of their students receiving free lunch. The areas are predominantly Hispanic and Latino (44-67%) and African American (18-20%), but overall, minority populations make up 77-94% of the school populations TOEC serves.  Latino youth under 18 years old make up 23% of US population yet only 5.8% of them participate in outdoor recreation activities. There has been a decline in outdoor activity for youth across the board as well.  Research shows that playing in nature improves mental and physical health and increasing emotional well-being. Outside play also helps reduce stress in children and children have more active imaginations, stronger immune systems, and have more respect for themselves and others.  Hosting an AmeriCorps member will allow TOEC to meet its programming goals and reach as many children as possible.
 
Member Position Summary:
As an Outdoor Educator the SCA member will work with other education staff members to provide educational and recreational programs to schools, civic and public groups. The member will be responsible for working independently with his/her own group of students in providing environmental education and team building programs. He/she will also provide high and low ropes programs on our courses.  In addition the member will be assisting with daily operations of the facility and delivery of program goals.
 
Necessary Training or Training Plan to be implemented prior to Member Placement:
No specific formal training is needed.  OPRHP will provide diversity and sexual harassment prevention training.  TOEC will offer informal belay training for our ropes courses and a variety of other Interpretation, Outdoor Education and Natural history trainings as they are offered.  SCA will offer Risk Management, WFA/CPR, Communication and Conflict Resolution, Professional Development among other trainings.
 
Member Impact:
There are a number of responsibilities undertaken by the SCA member that will benefit the community and specifically the students that are engaged in lessons/activities/experiences at the TOEC. The direct contact that the SCA member will have with public and private NY City school students will have a long lasting impact.  The hands-on activities that the SCA member provides will emphasize the importance of being good stewards of the natural environment.
 
NY City public and private school students benefit directly from the services provided by the SCA member. Hundreds of 4th-6th grade students will have the opportunity to experience overnight environmental education trips that teach the importance of a healthy environment and how that contributes to clean drinking water and fresh air. Students often have first time experiences out of NY City during these trips.
 
Essential Functions of Position:
Develop outdoor education and team building lesson plans and provide programs to residential and day trip school and community groups. 60%
 
Assist in implementing annual public programs and trail stewardship initiatives that reach out to the local community.  15%
 
Assist with park operations that include maple syrup production and cross country ski center applications. 10%
 
Participate in all required SCA training and service projects as well as project evaluation and reporting.15%
 
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Strong communication and interpersonal skills; comfortable working with the public in various settings; Able to work outdoors in all weather conditions and lead groups on hiking trails through forested areas with varying degrees of  terrain.
  • Valid driver’s license for 3+ years
  • Ability to pass a background check

Required Academic and Experience Qualifications:
BS in Life/Earth Science, Outdoor Education, Environmental Studies, Nature Interpretation or related field.  Previous formal or informal teaching experience is desirable. Low and high ropes course operation experience a plus.
 
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
Biology
some coursework or experience
Education
some coursework or experience
Arts/Humanities
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
History
some coursework or experience
Bird Identification
some experience
Boating
some experience
Plant Identification
some experience
Trail Maintenance
some experience
Working with Children
competent with supervision