Land Stewardship, Outreach, & Research Assistant

Expected Dates
January 17, 2023 to November 14, 2023
Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve
Position ID

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. Such changes include, but are not limited to: trainings being held remotely, elimination of large-scale gatherings, and a reduction of education programs.

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 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 Preserve and promote its use as an educational resource. They take a leadership role in coordinating teams of Vassar student interns who work on stewardship, monitoring, and restoration.  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 outreach and volunteer projects.  They will work to engage students in the monitoring and management of the Preserve.


Candidate Qualifications:

  • Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
  • Ability to pass a federal background check.

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.

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.

BS/BA in Ecology, Biology, Botany, Environmental Science, or a related field; a valid driver’s license


Amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award being offered for successful completion of the member’s term of service: $6,495


Amount of living allowance member will receive:

$300/week living allowance

$1,000/month housing allowance upstate

$1,100/month housing allowance in NYC


Healthcare coverage (if applicable): 

Eligible for free health insurance


Childcare coverage (if applicable): 

Eligible for childcare assistance through AmeriCorps


Student loan forbearance and interest payments, (if the member qualifies): Eligible for Federal Student Loan forbearance and interest payment deferment through AmeriCorps for qualifying student loans.


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
degree minor or extensive experience
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Field Research
some experience
some experience
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
some experience
Trail Maintenance
competent with supervision
Volunteer Coordination
competent with supervision