Geology Educator

Expected Dates
January 15, 2019 to November 11, 2019
Site
Thacher State Park, NYS OPRHP
Position ID
PO-00727018
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. 
 
Purpose of the Program: Thacher State Park is a significant geologic site situated on the Helderberg Escarpment, a fossil rich limestone cliff that rises above the Hudson-Mohawk Valley of upstate New York. The park consisting of over 2,000 acres of protected lands including cliffs, caves, sinkholes, woodlands, wetlands, and a natural lake. Thacher Visitor Center is a new facility that serves to introduce visitors to the variety of educational and recreational resources in the park, including interpretive programs, hiking, rock-climbing, mountain biking, geocaching, and disc golf. The Geology Educator will provide interpretive presentations and guided walks that focus on the geologic resources of the park, and participate in stewardship and conservation projects.
 
 
Community Needs that the Program Serves: Thacher Park offers educational and recreational opportunities to the urban Capital District of New York. The park is a significant geologic site for the study of earth science topics and Thacher Visitor Center offers exhibits and programs to interpret the geology of the region.
 
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: The Geology Educator will present educational programs to school groups and the public interpreting the significant geology of the park and region, including guided walks, presentations, and informal roving interpretation. The member will interact with visitors at Thacher Visitor Center, answering questions and interpreting exhibits. The member will also assist with programming at Thacher Nature Center. Other responsibilities include oversight of the Geocache Challenge and assisting with organization of I Love My Park Day and other volunteer programs. The member will also participate in stewardship and conservation projects, including invasive species management and citizen science projects, and may assist with trail maintenance and improvement projects. Interns are encouraged to pursue development of programs and projects in their area of interest.
 
 
How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization: Member will further the mission of Thacher State Park in providing programs to enhance the visitor experience at the park and in stewardship of over 2000 acres of natural habitat.
 
 
 
 
Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
            Goal 1: Prepare and present educational and interpretive programs on the geology of the park and interact with park visitors, answering questions and providing information.
 
            Goal 2: Assist with stewardship and conservation projects including invasive species control, citizen science and trail improvement projects.

            Goal 3: Expand skills in program development and presentation.
 
Skills/Knowledge/Training Necessary to be a successful AmeriCorps Member in this position:
Required:
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work independently
Coursework, experience, and interest in teaching about geology and earth science
Desire to work with children and prior experience
Passion and commitment for environmental conservation 
Desired:
Artistic skills in graphic design or other visuals art is a plus.
Computer and technology skills are a plus.
Teaching experience is valuable, but enthusiasm, positive energy, and desire to learn are most important   
Training in educational program development and presentation will be provided.

 Candidate Qualifications:
  • Valid driver’s license for 3 years prior to start
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • Member must have bachelor’s degree in Education, Biology, Environmental Science, or other natural science.
  • Skills: Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work independently or with a partner, physically able to perform moderately strenuous activities.
  • Knowledge: Coursework, experience, and interest in natural sciences, wildlife biology, environmental education, or related field, and experience working with children.
  • Passion for environmental conservation.
  • Training in Environmental Education program development and presentation will be provided.

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 QuickStart Your Canoe, and other opportunities that arise. 

  • Located in rural Albany County, west of the Capital District region of New York, Thacher Nature Center provides programming for both rural and urban communities. Thacher Park is a significant geologic site and a Bird Conservation Area, protecting over 2000 acres of habitat. Woodlands, wetlands, fields, cliffs, and lake shore provide an outdoor classroom for children who have limited access to natural areas.
  • The host site will offer instruction in effective methods of environmental education and interpretation and encourage intern’s obtaining additional training as available. Member will receive training in invasive plant identification and control methods.
  • 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
Bird Identification
some experience
Field Research
some experience
Plant Identification
some experience
Public Speaking
some experience
Working with Children
competent without supervision