Plant Materials Program Technician

Expected Dates
June 15, 2021 to November 25, 2021
Site
NYS OPRHP Plant Materials Center
Position ID
PO-00731936
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. 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
.

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:

The OPRHP Plant Materials Program provides sustainable, genetically appropriate native plant materials (NPMs) to support ecological stewardship throughout New York State Parks through consultation, collection, and propagation.​
 
Community Needs that the Program Serves:

Native Plant Materials for Ecological Restoration - Ecological restoration using native plant materials supports critical ecosystem functions, reduces impacts from extreme weather events & climate change, and reduces the impact of overuse in Parks- all benefiting the local community.

Environmental Education - The PMC is open to the public with signage and tours to interpret the program and projects; staff & SCA work with volunteers to connect patrons to environmental stewardship. 

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:
● Implement propagation protocols for a range of native plant species
● Propagate native plant species from various materials including cuttings, seeds, and divisions. Typical work will include:
○ Preparing soil mixes, sowing flats, watering, propagating, transplanting, and maintaining clean production space
○ Controlling greenhouse pests and implementing best IPM practices
● Follow Plant Materials Program Protocols to:
○ Clean, weigh, and label seed collections
○ Process seed for stratification, propagation and/or storage
● Record and upload plant materials processing information to databases
● Prepare summary reports on the results of plant propagation and processing protocols
● Supervise volunteers in plant production, and enthusiastically interpret project work to patrons
● Communicate effectively with park workers and patrons in a positive manner
● Work independently and perform frequent check-ins with supervisor

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:
The Plant Materials Program Technician will be managed by the Plant Materials Program Coordinator. Their daily work will be directly supervised by the Plant Materials Program Greenhouse Technician 2, and they will work alongside program staff to assist in the production of plant materials towards a variety of environmental stewardship projects across New York State Parks. They will be trained in native plant materials propagation techniques (up-potting, fertilizing, manual pest control, and daily greenhouse maintenance) and processing techniques (seed cleaning, moisture control, stratification, and seed banking). This position will support production of 40,000+ plants and require seed processing of 20+ species. The technician will also be responsible for supervision of volunteers to support greenhouse functioning and positive and effective communication and interpretation to patrons during daily interactions and through leading greenhouse tours.


Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:

Goal 1: Mastery of Techniques
Mastery of propagation techniques including up-potting, fertilizing, manual pest control, and daily greenhouse maintenance.
Mastery of seed processing techniques including seed cleaning, moisture control, stratification, and storage.

Goal 2: Production
Support production of 40,000+ plants
Perform seed processing of 20+ species

Goal 3: Leadership & Interpretation
Lead 8-10 volunteer group events
Lead 3-5 greenhouse tours
    
Qualifications for AmeriCorps member:      
  • Valid driver’s license of at least 3 years with a clean driving record.
  • Ability to pass a federal background check.
  • Background in biological/environmental sciences, horticulture, conservation biology, natural resource management, or a related field.
  • Experience with propagation, botany and/or environmental field work.

Applicant should be able to:

  • Understand and implement propagation and seed processing protocols
  • Maintain accurate records and write summary reports of plant propagation and processing experiments and protocols
  • Perform repetitive tasks in a detail-oriented manner
  • Be self-sufficient and work independently
  • Communicate clearly and concisely both verbally and in writing
  • Supervise and work closely with volunteers.



Skills/Knowledge/Training Necessary to be a successful AmeriCorps Member in this position:      

Skills: Plant Propagation, Following Protocols, Plant Identification, Interpretation, Volunteer Supervision
     
Knowledge: Botany and Ecology Background     

Training: Propagation Techniques, New York State Native Plant Identification, Following & Recording Data for Propagation & Seed Processing Protocols, Outreach & Education

Benefits:

  • All members receive a taxable $200/week living 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. 

  • All Parks Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Trail Skills, Project WET, Project WILD and Project Learning Tree curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, American Canoe Association Level 1, CIG
  • Training Opportunities: All Parks Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Leave No Trace Trainer Course, American Canoe Association QuickStart Your Canoe and professional development.  Environmental Educator members receive Project WET, Project Wild, and Project Learning Tree curricula, Certified Interpretive Guide, roving, and other opportunities that arise.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Biology
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Plant Identification
some experience
Public Speaking
some experience