Natural Resource Steward - Whitney Wilderness

Expected Dates
May 22, 2022 to September 10, 2022
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Position ID
Calling all paddlers! Come be a part of the Natural Resource Steward program, and help protect the scenic Whitney Wilderness in the Adirondack park while gaining valuable natural resource management experience.

This 16 week internship position provides a paid weekly stipend of $160, a monthly housing allowance of $570, and candidates are eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award stipend at the completion of their service.

What your day-to-day will look like: You’ll be canoeing to inspect scattered campsites, and talking with visitors about Leave-no-Trace principals and proper camping practices.  At times interaction with visitors will occur at parking areas.  Most of the time will be spent working alone, or with DEC personnel as needed.

This position requires the willingness and ability to travel by canoe and by foot and work alone in remote, rugged terrain and during inclement weather conditions. The campsites are located on lakes that are subject to conditions that can quickly result in white-cap waves forming. Strong canoe skills are essential. 

You will be required to work weekends. Most days will be spent in the field. On most days you would return to the headquarters area in the evening. Over the summer you may need to camp alone in the backcountry for several nights. The ability to use a map and compass (or GPS unit) is important. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential. You may be required to drive your personal vehicle on a dirt road that may be in rough condition.  Specific duties and responsibilities include the following:

- Provide information and education to visitors relating to the proper use and protection of the natural resource
- Promote Leave-No-Trace practices
- Inspect trails and campsites to determine condition and maintenance requirements
- Perform routine maintenance on trails and campsites using hand tools (e.g. axe, bow saw, loppers, etc.) including the removal of garbage
- Assist with other SCA and volunteer trail maintenance projects
- Under the direction of a Forest Ranger, assist in back country emergencies, including search, rescue, injuries, and evacuations
- Provide radio communication for emergency operations
- Prepare and submit reports relating to daily activities, public use, maintenance needs, and special reports as needed.

Minimum Qualifications
- Must be 18 years of age or older;
- Must have Associates Degree or 60 college credit hours in environmental education, natural resources management, biology, environmental studies, or a related field preferred or 6 months experience in environmental conservation work in a park or recreation setting;
- Must have a valid driver’s license;
-Must have ankle high hiking boots with lug sole and own backpack camping gear - backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cook stove, water filter, rain  gear, orienteering-style compass, etc
- Must be physically capable of performing field work common to the assigned work area, traveling over rough terrain, and during inclement weather; and
- Must have experience canoeing
The SCA is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.

Conditions of Employment

Candidates will be 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;
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.
  • The 14,700-acre William C. Whitney Wilderness Area is located near the center of the Adirondack Park in the Town of Long Lake, Hamilton County. The area’s chief attributes are its numerous lakes and ponds, including Little Tupper Lake (2,300 acres) and Lake Lila (1,400 acre). Canoeing, camping, and fishing are the main recreational pursuits. The Adirondack Park is a mix of private and public lands. The private lands include sizable, but scattered, villages and communities. The nearest village to the work area is about 10 miles away.
  • A training session will cover the basic knowledge for this position.
  • This position is in the heart of the Adirondack Park, which is a prime destination for a wide range of recreational experiences. Hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, rock climbing, wildlife watching are a few of activities that the area provides.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Backcountry/Trail work
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Recreation Management
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
competent without supervision
Hand Tools
competent without supervision
competent without supervision
Trail Maintenance
competent without supervision