Environmental Educator

Expected Dates
January 26, 2021 to November 23, 2021
Site
Thousand Islands Regional Parks, NYS OPRHP
Position ID
PO-00731289
SCA and New York State Parks seek enthusiastic conservationists to provide critical environmental education and stewardship for State Parks in the Allegany, Finger Lakes, Central, Niagara, and Thousand Islands regions of New York State. Members share housing in groups of 3-5 members per location. Service activities range from providing environmental education and interpretation, to trail restoration, wildlife management, and organizing volunteer events. All 21 Parks Corps members will join together regularly in Central NY for SCA trainings that include Wilderness First Aid Certification, CPR, Leave No Trace Trainer, and other professional development opportunities as they arise. Members serving in a stewardship role will also receive Game of Logging Chainsaw Certification, while members serving in an education role will receive Project Learning Tree and/or Certified Interpretive Guide. 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. NYS Parks Corps members serve under the direction of regional Parks staff to assist in accomplishing this mission.  

Due to Covid-19, events and trainings are subject to change in response to an increase in the number of cases in the state of NY. 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.  

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
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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: 
Wellesley Island State Park is the largest park in the Thousand Islands Region. Serving at Minna Anthony Common Nature Center (MACNC) will be a valuable experience involving exceptional biodiversity, diverse park patrons, seasonal school and public programming, and stewardship projects. Members will serve as essential education staff – leading programming, stewarding the nature center, grounds, and exhibits, and connecting with the larger community. They will be a vital team member that contributes to making MACNC a flagship nature center and a treasured resource for the community.

Community Needs that the Program Serves: As front line staff, members will be greeting and interacting with park patrons daily. Members will be visible park ambassadors – whether at the nature center, out on the trail, or walking through the parking lot – committed to being friendly and welcoming to all.

Connecting park patrons to the natural world is the core principle of our programming. Members will be teaching school groups, leading public programs, and facilitating activities at special events. They will be trained to design family-based programming, inclusive and adapted to engage all audiences.

Members will serve as stewards of the nature center, and surrounding gardens and trails. They will provide animal care for our aquarium and terrarium interpretive exhibits. Additionally, members will connect with the larger community through social media, off-site programs and events, and collaborative projects with local environmental organizations.

Number of Positions: 3

Work Schedule: 5 days on, 2 days off. 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM, occasional evening programs. 40 hours per week on average, including some weekends and summer holidays. Staff schedules vary depending on our needs throughout the year. We are a building-based crew. 
  
Member Duties and Responsibilities: 
1.  Design and lead programs (50%)
•  School Programs: Members will lead K-12 school programs, predominately in May and June. The majority of our classes are K-4.    
•  Summer Programs: Members will develop five public programs to lead for the general public in July and August. Topics can include natural sciences, ecology, environmental conservation, outdoor recreation, arts and crafts, or historic interpretation. We encourage you to develop programming that merges your own interests with the topics above. 
•  Off-site Programs: Members will be scheduled to lead off-site programs in locations around the region in July and August. One to two programs per month are possible. 


2.  SCA Focus Area (40%)

See descriptions below. 


3.  Nature Center Stewardship (10%)

The Nature Center will be your second home – we all participate in the daily maintenance and operations of the building. We are the ones to ensure that the Nature Center is safe and inviting for the public. This includes daily cleaning and tidying tasks, including resetting exhibits, cleaning and restocking bathrooms, sweeping and mopping floors, washing and de-cobwebbing windows, and watering and weeding gardens. 


Seasonal Variability in Job Responsibilities: This is subject to change
Winter Season: January-Mid-April
Wellesley Island State Park is open year-round, but winter is our slowest and quietest season. Nature Center visitors are mainly locals recreating on our winter trails. Members will lead occasional school field trips and weekend public programs. In-house and SCA trainings are conducted mainly in winter. The quiet winter months are the time to develop programs that you will lead during the summer season. This is also a good time to develop a firm foundation in your focus area. 

Spring Season: Mid-April-June
The spring season is much busier than the winter season. In April, we will conduct school field trip training to prepare you for the spring school field trip season. Members will have much less time to work on long term projects during this season as you will be teaching school programs most days.

Summer Season: End of June-Labor Day Weekend
The summer season is extremely fast paced. Members will lead the programs they developed during the winter season. Similarly to the spring season, there will be less time to work on long-term projects during the summer. Off-site programming occurs at community events and in nearby parks.   

Fall Season: Early September-November
In September we are primarily preparing for Autumn Festival, our largest event of the year. There will also be time to debrief your year and finish up any remaining parts of the projects you were working on.

SCA Focus Areas
You will have a project area to focus on during your term at the Nature Center. Please be prepared to identify which focus area you are most interested in during your interview. 

Live Animal Exhibits:
The member in charge of animal care will be the primary person responsible for feeding and caring for our live animals. This will require cleaning filters and aquariums on a regular basis. The person who takes this focus area will need to enjoy taking care of animals and be comfortable interacting with turtles, fish, frogs, and a chipmunk. They will get wet and dirty climbing into aquariums to clean glass and rocks and will use a sump pump to drain 300-gallon aquariums. 

Outdoor Stewardship:
This member will be responsible for caring for our Butterfly House. They will feed and care for caterpillars, tend the pollinator gardens on site, and maintain the surrounding trails that are used for school groups. They will need to be comfortable interacting with caterpillars and butterflies, frogs, chipmunks, and snakes often found in the Butterfly House. They should have an interest in gardening and composting.  

Publicity & Social Media:
This member will be responsible for making daily posts to our Facebook and Instagram pages, writing blog posts for the NYS Parks Nature Blog, and photographing all programs. This member will create program and event flyers and distribute promotional material throughout the Thousand Islands Parks. They will keep a record of the daily activities of all SCA members and write weekly reports to send to our Regional Director. The person who takes this focus area will need to have an interest in graphic design, photography, have strong writing and organizational skills, and be a good communicator. 

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization: The SCA New York State Parks Corps supports the mission of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation (OPRHP). The mission of 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.

Candidate Qualifications:
-Valid driver’s license
-Ability to pass a background check
-Strong interest in outdoor education
-Willing to develop public speaking skills -Comfortable working with children
-Well organized and goal-oriented to meet deadlines
-Able to work independently and within a team -Emotional intelligence and strong interpersonal communication skills
-Comfortable working around animals (live animal exhibits, leashed dogs, wildlife) -Comfortable paddling small water craft (kayak and canoe)
-Flexibility to adapt to weather-driven schedule changes

Benefits:
-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, CPR, Leave No Trace Trainer Course, American Canoe Association QuickStart Your Canoe and professional development. Trail Steward members receive Game of Logging Levels 1 and 2, Conservation Work Skills, and other opportunities that arise.

*All applications received by the deadline will be reviewed.

  • Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Leave No Trace Trainer Course, American Canoe Association QuickStart Your Canoe and professional development.  Environmental Educators receive Project WET, Project Wild, and Project Learning Tree curricula, CIG, and roving
  • There are plenty of local trail systems to hike and lakes to kayak. The St. Lawrence River is a great place to swim in the summer. We are located in a truly beautiful region that offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities.
  • 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
Education
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Bird Identification
some experience
Boating
some experience
Customer Service
some experience
Social Media
some experience
Plant Identification
some experience
Working with Children
some experience