Stream Stewardship Assistant

Expected Dates
January 13, 2022 to November 10, 2022
Site
Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District
Position ID
PO-00732405

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 Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District (GCSWCD) and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) work cooperatively with local municipalities and landowners to protect water quality within the Schoharie Reservoir watershed, through the Schoharie Watershed Stream Management Program (SWSMP). The Schoharie Reservoir watershed is the area of land where the streams and precipitation drain to the Schoharie Reservoir, which is one of 19 reservoirs within the New York City Water Supply System. The Schoharie Reservoir watershed is approximately 315 square miles in size, spans across portions of three counties (Greene County, Delaware County, and Schoharie County), and includes over 700 miles of stream, of which nearly 540 miles are located within Greene County. The Schoharie Reservoir watershed is located in the Catskill Mountains and is part of the New York City West-of-Hudson Water Supply Watershed. The entire New York City Water Supply System provides over one 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 SWSMP is one of four stream management teams working within the New York City West-of-Hudson Water Supply Watershed in close collaboration, funded, and supported by the DEP Stream Management Program. The SWSMP was established in 1996 as a partnership program with GCSWCD and DEP. Through this program, the GCSWCD and DEP work cooperatively with local municipalities and landowners to provide many services to the local communities within the Schoharie Reservoir watershed, while also contributing to the protection of a public drinking water supply that reaches a larger population within New York State. The SWSMP seeks to advance watershed management projects, policies, and programs to improve and protect the Schoharie Reservoir watershed. Some of the SWSMP 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. 

 

Community Needs that the Program Serves:

The Schoharie Watershed Stream Management Program (SWSMP) aims to protect water quality through the management, protection, and restoration of stream corridors, floodplains, ecosystems, and riparian buffers, while helping communities to protect public safety and infrastructure near stream systems. The SWSMP provides communities within the Schoharie Reservoir watershed with the following: 

  • stream corridor and watershed assessments
  • management plans for several major streams within the Schoharie Reservoir watershed
  • technical assistance for landowners, municipal officials, and highway departments
  • assistance with the design and implementation of streambank stabilization projects using natural channel design concepts
  • assistance with the design and implementation of riparian buffer projects
  • assistance with efforts to conduct Local Flood Analyses for population centers of watershed communities
  • assistance with the design and implementation of highway and infrastructure projects 
  • education and outreach in stream stewardship for watershed communities

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 Stream Stewardship Assistant will assist the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District (GCSWCD) and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in their efforts to assess, restore, and protect Catskill Mountain streams that are within the Schoharie Reservoir watershed through the implementation of the Schoharie Watershed Stream Management Program (SWSMP). This may include assisting SWSMP staff at GCSWCD with collecting and analyzing a variety of field data related to stream management and restoration as well as participating in education and outreach projects.  

Field work may include, but is not limited to: stream corridor assessments using GPS to collect data and identify management needs; project monitoring including survey, photo documentation, pebble counts, bar sampling, and vegetation monitoring; and supporting the design and implementation of riparian buffer planting, stream restoration, and highway and infrastructure projects. The Stream Stewardship Assistant will also participate in the post processing and analysis of field collected data, predominantly through the use of ESRI ArcGIS and Microsoft Excel. The occasional use of AutoCAD may be required. SWSMP staff at GCSWCD will require assistance with report writing associated with stream management projects, including stream corridor assessments, project monitoring, and stream project design reports. In addition, the Stream Stewardship Assistant will assist SWSMP staff at GCSWCD with locally driven education and outreach projects that support watershed communities. Specific education and outreach tasks may include, but not be limited to, the creation of educational material (newsletters, public service announcements, and brochures) and assistance with outreach efforts to engage multiple stakeholders within the Schoharie Reservoir watershed area.

The following list provides approximate percentages for the time spent on the variety of duties and responsibilities throughout the term:

  • 30% of time collecting field data through stream corridor assessments, vegetation monitoring, and reference reach and restoration project monitoring (pebble counts, cross section survey, and longitudinal profile survey) 
  • 20% of time processing/ analyzing collected data and assist in report development based on findings
  • 20% of time developing educational material, delivering stream program presentations, and assisting with the coordination of public workshops, trainings, and events 
  • 15% of time assisting with stream restoration and riparian planting projects, as well as assisting to maintain the inventory of native plants used on project sites
  • 15% of time will be dedicated to SCA Hudson Valley Corps events and paperwork

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

Stewardship Assistant will join the SWSMP staff at GCSWCD to continue providing the many services of the program. The field work that the member will conduct, as well as the education programs that the member will participate in, will directly help serve the local communities within the Schoharie Reservoir watershed. These efforts will also contribute to the long term goal of water quality protection for the public drinking water supply that reaches a larger population within New York State. One 10-month term can greatly impact the local community, both during the term of service and beyond.

 

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:

Goal 1:       To support SWSMP staff at GCSWCD with the following field work efforts: 

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

Goal 2:       To support SWSMP staff at GCSWCD with the following data processing, data analysis, and report writing efforts: 

  • 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 SWSMP staff at GCSWCD with the following education and outreach efforts: 

  • Mobilize volunteers for stream restoration activities (e.g., streamside tree plantings)
  • Educate local community members (youth and adults) about 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.
  • BA/BS/MS in environmental science/engineering, watershed management, geology, hydrology, botany, or related field.
  • Skills: Candidates should have experience or training in ArcGIS. Experience or training in AutoCAD is preferred but not required. 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, as well as the installation of native vegetation on riparian restoration sites. Personal transportation required, although transportation to work sites is usually provided.
  • Knowledge: Candidates should have a working knowledge of watershed science, streams and surveying techniques, a background in conservation science and a basic understanding of field data collection techniques and data analysis.
  • Training:  During the term of service, the Stream Stewardship Assistant should receive training in stream assessment techniques, GIS and/or AutoCAD, 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. 


 

  • No
Main Area of Focus
Geographic Info Systems (GIS, includes GPS)
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