Land Stewardship, Outreach, & Research Assistant

Expected Dates
January 13, 2022 to November 10, 2022
Site
Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve
Position ID
PO-00732351

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. 

Purpose of the Program:

The mission of the Vassar Ecological Preserve is to protect and preserve the ecological diversity of the land to ensure that its educational value will be maintained in perpetuity. The Vassar Ecological Preserve promotes increased understanding and appreciation of the natural systems on the preserve through field-based education and research.

Community Needs that the Program Serves:

The community heavily uses the Vassar Ecological Preserve for recreation. There are 7 miles of trail that need maintenance and improvement to allow for the community to enjoy this resource.  The Vassar Ecological Preserve is one of the few open spaces in the City of Poughkeepsie. The Preserve provides access to nature that fills an urgent need of this urban/suburban community.  Part of the preserve’s mission is to improve the community’s understanding of the natural world. The outreach and volunteer opportunities that our program provides engages students and community members in experiential learning about the natural world.  The stewardship and restoration of the Vassar Ecological Preserve ensures that the land continues to provide valuable ecosystem services to the community. The preserve helps improve water and air quality and provides valuable habitat to wildlife and pollinators.

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 Land Steward and Research Assistant will work closely with the Preserve Director to protect the Vassar Ecological Preserve and promote its use as an educational resource. They assist with biological monitoring that informs land management decisions and helps to assess the health of conservation targets. Current projects include monitoring invasive species, vegetation, deer impacts, water quality, and habitat mapping.  They assist with the maintenance of the preserve and ongoing restoration projects. The member works to increase the educational usage of the preserve by developing and implementing educational project(s) and engaging volunteers. They maintain and improve the existing network of trails. They will interact with users of the preserve to answer questions, host educational events, and organize volunteer efforts.

 

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:

The monitoring efforts the member assists with helps to ensure sound management of the land.  The stewardship and volunteer opportunities that the member provides ensures that the land will remain a valuable educational resource. The outreach and volunteer events that they host increases the educational usage of the Preserve and promotes environmental literacy.

 

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:

Goal 1:      

The member will assist with data collection and management of existing and new monitoring and research projects.

Goal 2:      

The member will maintain trails and improve conditions on the preserve.

Goal 3:      

The member will work to engage the community through outreach and volunteer projects.

 

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Valid driver’s license of at least 3 years with a clean driving record.
  • Ability to pass a federal background check.
  • Skills: The member must be familiar with using hand and power tools. They should have excellent written and oral communication skills. They must have plant and animal identification skills, GIS and GPS skills, and be able to maintain databases.  They must have strong leadership skills.
  • Knowledge: The member must be familiar with using hand and power tools. They should have excellent written and oral communication skills. They must have plant and animal identification skills, GIS and GPS skills, and be able to maintain databases.
  • Training: BS/BA in Ecology, Biology, Botany, Environmental Science, or a related Field; a valid driver’s license

 

Benefits:

  • All Hudson Valley Corps members receive a taxable $200/week living allowance
  • This position will receive a taxable $700/month housing allowance 
  • Upon successful completion of the term, members receive a taxable Full-time 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 WILD curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, American Canoe Association Quick Start Your Canoe, and other opportunities that arise.


 

  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Biology
degree minor or extensive experience
Communications
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Field Research
some experience
GIS
some experience
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
Writing/Publishing
some experience
Trail Maintenance
competent with supervision
Volunteer Coordination
competent with supervision