Stream Stewardship Assistant

Expected Dates
June 1, 2021 to November 1, 2021
Site
Sullivan County Soil & Water Conservation District
Position ID
PO-00731738
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 SCSWCD and NYCDEP work cooperatively with local municipalities and landowners to protect water quality within the Rondout and Neversink watersheds, through the Rondout Neversink Stream Management Program (RNSP).  These watersheds are located in the Catskill Mountains and are part of the NYC West of Hudson water supply.  The RNSP seeks to advance watershed management projects, policies and programs to improve and protect the Rondout and Neversink Watersheds. Initiatives include the Stream Management Implementation Program (SMIP), the Catskill Streams Buffer Initiative (CSBI), stream and floodplain restoration projects, stream and watershed assessments, and education and outreach programs.  The RNSP aims to manage, protect and restore stream corridors, floodplains, ecosystems, and riparian buffers, while helping communities to protect public safety and infrastructure near stream systems.  The RNSP conducts stream corridor assessments; provides technical and landowner assistance; conducts education and outreach activities; develops stream management plans; and implements a variety of streambank stabilization projects using natural channel design concepts.

Community Needs that the Program Serves:
The AmeriCorps member will join an effort to provide for the assessment, restoration, protection and management of the Rondout and Neversink Watersheds.  The Rondout Creek and Neversink River watershed is part of the West of Hudson New York City public water supply, which provides 1.4 billion gallons of clean drinking water to over 9 million residents in New York City and some smaller municipalities (nearly half the population of New York State). The stream management program provides:
  • technical assistance for landowners, municipal officials, and highway departments
  • assists with the design and implementation of streambank stabilization projects
  • assists with the design and implementation of riparian buffer projects
  • assists with efforts to conduct Local Flood Analyses for population centers of watershed communities
  • assists with the design and implementation of highway and infrastructure projects
  • provides education and outreach in stream stewardship for watershed communities

The AmeriCorps member will join a team of people to continue providing the many services of our program to the local communities of Denning and Neversink while also providing for the protection of a public drinking water supply that reaches a larger population within New York State. 

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 intern will assist the Sullivan County Soil and Water Conservation District (SCSWCD) and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) in their efforts to assess, restore and protect Catskill Mountain streams that are within the NYC West of Hudson water supply. The selected candidates will work in close association with SCSWCD’s staff to collect and analyze a variety of field data related to stream management and restoration, and assist SCSWCD staff with implementation of the stream management program. Plant care including weeding, watering, and holding facility updates will be required.  Field work may include, but is not limited to: planting trees and shrubs,  stream feature inventories using GPS to collect specific data; project monitoring including survey, photo documentation, pebble counts, bar sampling, and vegetation monitoring; and supporting the design and construction of stream restoration and highway and infrastructure projects. The candidates will also participate in the post processing and analysis of field collected data using GIS and assist with report writing. In addition, the candidates will assist SCSWCD with locally driven education and outreach projects that support local watershed communities in the NYC Watershed.  Specific tasks may include creation of educational material (newsletters, public service announcements, brochures) and assistance with outreach efforts to engage multiple stakeholders in the Towns of Denning and Neversink.

  • 30% of time assisting with stream restoration and riparian planting projects, including plant installation
  • 30% of time assisting with plant care including project site watering. and plant holding center maintenance and prep
  • 10% of time collecting data through stream feature inventory, reference and project monitoring, vegetation monitoring, pebble counts, cross sections and longitudinal profile surveys
  • 5% of time assisting with fish population surveys, including shocking.
  • 5% of time presenting educational material and helping with the organization of public workshops and trainings
  • 5% of time developing and delivering stream program presentations
  • 15% of time will be dedicated to SCA Hudson Valley Corps events and paperwork

All SCA Hudson Valley Corps members are required to attend SCA monthly events and completed SCA/AmeriCorps paperwork and reporting. This will account for roughly 15% of your time.

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:
  The AmeriCorps member will assist the Sullivan County Soil and Water Conservation District (SCSWCD) and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) in their efforts to assess, restore and protect Catskill Mountain streams that are within the NYC West of Hudson water supply. The field work that the member will conduct, and the education programs that the member will participate in, will directly help to serve the local communities that are within the Rondout and Neversink Watersheds and contribute to the long-term goal of water quality protection for the public drinking water supply that reaches over 9 million New York State residents. Rondout Neversink Stream Program has hired SCA interns in the past and considers it an excellent source for committed conservation staff. The service provided by the AmeriCorps member is very valuable to the local communities within Sullivan County and to New York City and State residents, both during their term of service and beyond.    

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:

Goal 1: To support field work efforts of SCSWCD:

  • Participate in stream assessment techniques
  • Participate in stream restoration efforts
  • Participate in project monitoring techniques

Goal 2: To support data processing, data analysis and report writing efforts of SCSWCD:

  • Complete GIS projects related to stream management and conservation
  • Record and Analyze field collected data
  • Contribute to the development of project reports and management plans

Goal 3: To support education and outreach efforts of SCSWCD:

  • Mobilize volunteers for stream restoration activities (i.e. streamside tree plantings)
  • Educate local community members and children regarding watershed issues, conservation and stream management
  • Contribute to the development of educational materials

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Valid driver’s license of at least 3 years with a clean driving record.
  • Ability to pass a federal background check.
  • Skills: Candidate should be able to work in the field in a variety of weather conditions, lifting and carrying equipment for long distances (2+ mile hikes) in steep terrain. Candidate should feel comfortable using hand equipment (shovel, mattock, etc.).
  • Knowledge: Candidates should have a working knowledge of watershed science, streams and surveying techniques.  Candidates should also have some experience using ArcGIS. Candidates must have strong interpersonal and communication skills.  The candidates should also be capable of performing physical activities related to field data collection in fast moving streams.  Personal transportation to office required, although transportation to work sites is usually provided.
  • Training: BA/BS/MS in environmental science/engineering, watershed management, geology, hydrology, botany, or related field. a valid driver’s license. During the term of service, the stream steward intern should receive training in stream assessment techniques, GIS, either through training programs or on-the-job training.  The specific training program(s) will be identified once the member begins the internship.

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. 

 

  • Describe professional, personal, or service-related member development activities and training to be provided for member:
    AmeriCorps and SCA Orientation
    SCA Risk Management
    Sexual Harassment/Drug Abuse in the Workplace
    NYS Certified Defensive Driver
    Wilderness First Aid & CPR
    Project Learning Tree and other Environmental Education Curriculum
    Environmental Leadership Institute
    New York State Outdoor Educator Association Conferences/Events
    Hudson River Ecology
    Leave No Trace Trainer
    American Canoe Association’s QuickStart Your Canoe
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Mathematics & Data Analysis
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Data Entry
some experience
GIS
some experience
GPS
some experience
Data Analysis
some experience
Swimming
competent without supervision