Stream Buffer Educator

Expected Dates
January 17, 2023 to November 14, 2023
Site
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Position ID
PO-00734634

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:

NYSDEC Mission: “To conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being.”

 

NYSDEC Goal: “To achieve this mission through the simultaneous pursuit of environmental quality, public health, economic prosperity and social well-being, including environmental justice and the empowerment of individuals to participate in environmental decisions that affect their lives.”

 

The NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program protects and improves the natural and scenic Hudson River watershed for all its residents. The program was created in 1987 and extends from the Troy dam to upper New York Harbor.
 

Its core mission is to:

  • Ensure clean water
  • Protect and restore fish, wildlife and their habitats
  • Provide water recreation and river access
  • Adapt to climate change
  • Conserve world-famous scenery

 

Community Needs that the Program Serves:

The health and condition of the Hudson River estuary is directly affected by what it receives from the tributaries streams that enter the estuary south of the Troy dam. From the surrounding hills, the Hudson River is fed by thousands of miles of headwater streams and rivers that drain an ever changing landscape. These streams provide essential fish and wildlife habitat, as well as recreational opportunities and drinking water for millions of people.

Riparian (streamside) buffers are a major component to maintaining healthy streams and waters and their conservation is a critical element of any holistic watershed program. Riparian areas are often severely damaged during the land development process, leading to unintended negative impacts to our streams and rivers. Composed of trees, shrubs and grasses, these buffers help to reduce pollution entering waterways by slowing down and filtering runoff, thus extending retention time and improving water quality. Buffers also help to reduce flooding and erosion by stabilizing shorelines and absorbing high velocity flows. In addition, they serve an important role for wildlife as a shoreline transition zone and travel corridor, not to mention increasing overall biodiversity and improving in-stream health.

The Hudson River Estuary Program’s Trees for Tribs Program (“tribs” is short for tributaries) offers free native trees and shrubs for qualifying stream buffer planting /restoration projects in the Hudson River Estuary watershed. The program provides assistance with plant selection, designing a planting plan, and other technical information to improve the odds of success each project. Sites are chosen through an application process and applicants are asked to provide volunteers and long-term maintenance. As a multifaceted citizen stewardship program, Trees for Tribs encourages communities and residents to take an active role in water quality and habitat protection, restoring resources and developing or reinforcing both respect and a sense of stewardship for these resources. Since 2007, the program has provided 62,000 native trees and shrubs, re-vegetating 26 miles of stream buffers, working with more than 9,000 volunteers at 380 sites.
 

 

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 Student Conservation Association member will assist the NYSDEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program and partnering organizations with a stream buffer restoration initiative, known as Trees for Tribs, as well as other watershed outreach programs. The primary responsibility of the position will be to assist the Stream Buffer Coordinator with streamside replanting projects. Assisting with Trees for Tribs will require working with community groups, municipalities, property owners, and volunteers to identify and implement stream buffer restoration projects. Member will be responsible for development & maintenance of a small native plant materials center, conducting plant monitoring, providing one-on-one assistance to landowners, preparing planting sites for projects, leading planting projects and assisting in the development of educational outreach materials.

This position will entail physical labor, operating light machinery (mini-skid steer), driving a pick-up truck w/trailer, and some weekend work during the planting seasons.


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

The Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda serves as a blueprint for public-private partnerships to keep the Hudson River vibrant and its valley green and prosperous and helps the Hudson River Estuary Program achieve its goals, and the Tree for Tribs streamside planting initiative is an ideal example of the public-private

partnerships The health of the Hudson River’s tributaries and riparian buffers are identified as key priorities in numerous goals in our 2020 Action Agenda, and the work of this AmeriCorp member will help us accomplish those goals. As a multifaceted citizen stewardship program, Trees for Tribs encourages communities and residents to take an active role in water quality and habitat protection, restoring resources and developing or reinforcing both respect and a sense of stewardship for these resources. 

 

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:

Goal 1: Develop and maintain a native plant materials center for stream buffer re-planting projects

 

Goal 2: Help facilitate, prepare for, and conduct the planting of native trees and shrubs and engaging hundreds of volunteers at sites throughout the Hudson Valley



Goal 3: Plan and implement monitoring program of planted project sites and providing feedback to participating landowners


Candidate Qualifications:

  • Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
  • Ability to pass a federal background check
  • BA/BS or equivalent in environmental science, natural resource management, forestry, watershed management, landscape architecture, restoration ecology or related field.
  • Must have personal computer and ability to work-from-home if necessary.

Skills:

  • Ability to lead volunteer events and provide one-on-one technical assistance.
  • Self-directed and interested in tackling topics that require learning about issues, diagnosing problems, formulating outreach messages, and discussing these with individual landowners and partner groups.
  • Willingness to drive a truck and trailer and operate a Bobcat with auger attachment (after on-the-job training)   

Knowledge:

  • Familiarity with flora of the Northeast, preferably some background in woody plant identification, monitoring and care.
  • Understanding of stream habitats and geomorphology
  • Familiarity with GIS software including ArcGIS

Training:

  • A multitude of training opportunities exist within the Hudson Valley and the Estuary Program. The SCA member will have the opportunity to partake in many of the trainings, workshops, and conferences that arise.
  • Member will be trained to drive a truck with a trailer and a small Bobcat with auger attachment.
  • Member will be required to take certified excavator training.
  • Member will be required to take DEC mandatory trainings.

Benefits:

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
Sustainability
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Biology
some coursework or experience
Forestry
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Field Research
some experience
GIS
some experience
Plant Identification
some experience
Writing/Publishing
some experience
Data Analysis
some experience