Environmental Educator

Expected Dates
January 20, 2022 to November 17, 2022
Site
Finger Lakes State Parks, NYS OPRHP
Position ID
PO-00732520
Conditions of Employment Required to demonstrate full vaccination status for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine; OR Receive from SCA a reasonable accommodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements based on a medical disability or because of a sincerely held religious belief. Additional information and instructions regarding how to request a reasonable accommodation will be provided at the time of selection.

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. (**See COVID caveat below for potential exceptions to 2022 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:  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 of 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 rules 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 was recently 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 educators and styles.
  • SCA members will also 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 also be working with the Finger Lakes Region Scalers to help ensure the safe and timely opening of the gorge trail in our 6 gorge parks. Our regional scaling team repels the gorge walls that have trails below them each spring 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, Summer Concert Series 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: SCA members will embody the mission of parks first by helping our visitors enjoy the parks safely as well providing interpretation to substantially enhance their visit. The lessons created for Watkins Glen specifically to be used in the new main entrance interpretive pavilion will be seen by thousands of visitors, along with gorge tours and existing programs the members will be the majority of environmental and outdoor education in the region.  Programs will focus on geology, natural history, park history and local history. Members will learn how to research and create programs that are dynamic and that will be usable by multiple educators. Members will also receive instruction and training to help become very effective presenters and educators utilizing multiple styles.  Second, by participating in trail maintenance and stewardship activities with regional staff and the FORCES program SCA members will be directly enhancing and protecting the natural, cultural and historical resources in ways that regional staff rarely has time to. Stewardship projects will likely include working on projects related to the invasive Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA), Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), hydrilla, pale swallow-wort just to name a few. Along with restoration work SCA members will be part of projects that help guide management decisions and habitat restoration.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Members must be at least 17 years of age at the commencement of service. Members must be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States; and must Satisfy the National Service Criminal History Check eligibility criteria pursuant to 45 CFR 2540.202.
  • We seek a person with passion and enthusiasm for sharing the natural world with others.
  • Comfortable with public speaking.
  • Basic knowledge of area natural history (training will be provided).
  • Works well in small groups and individually
  • Comfortable working outdoors and walking 5 miles or more per day.
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Computer skills-digital design experience is highly desired
  • At a minimum, members must be high school graduates, GED recipients, or working toward attaining a high school diploma or GED during their term of service

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


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

  • Members will receive AmeriCorps orientation that includes training on prohibited and unallowable activities, an orientation that covers risk management, reporting requirements, and a benefits overview, and Wilderness First Aid and CPR training.
  • Training 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/eligibility notes related to this position. All applications received by the deadline will be reviewed.
 

  • 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
Community Engagement
competent with supervision
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
Writing/Publishing
competent with supervision
Volunteer Coordination
competent with supervision