Stream Stewardship Intern

Expected Dates
January 22, 2018 to November 16, 2018
Site
Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District
Position ID
PO-00724365
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 GCSWCD and NYCDEP work cooperatively with local municipalities and landowners to protect water quality within the Schoharie watershed, through the Schoharie Watershed Stream Management Program (SWSMP).  The Schoharie watershed is located in the Catskill Mountains and is part of the NYC West of Hudson water supply.  The SWSMP seeks to advance state-of-the-art watershed management projects, policies and programs to improve and protect the Schoharie Watershed. 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 SWSMP 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 SWSMP 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 Schoharie Creek Watershed.  The Schoharie Creek 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 watershed is approximately 315 square miles and includes 706.62 miles of stream within the entire Schoharie watershed, of which 539.12 miles are within eight Greene County municipalities.  There are over 3,000 Greene County tax parcels adjacent to a stream channel within the watershed.  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 Greene County while also providing for the protection of a public drinking water supply that reaches a larger population within New York State. 
 
AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities:
The Student Conservation Association intern will assist the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District (GCSWCD) 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 GCSWCD’s staff to collect and analyze a variety of field data related to stream management and restoration, and assist GCSWCD staff with implementation of the stream management program.  Field work may include, but is not limited to: 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 AutoCAD and/or GIS and assist with report writing. In addition, the candidates will assist GCSWCD 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 Greene County portion of the NYC Watershed.
 

  • 30% of time collecting data through stream feature inventory, reference and project monitoring, vegetation monitoring, pebble counts, cross sections and longitudinal profile surveys
  • 20% of time processing and analyzing collected data and report on findings
  • 15% of time presenting educational material and helping with the organization of public workshops and trainings
  • 15% of time assisting with stream restoration and riparian planting projects
  • 5% of time developing and delivering stream program presentations
  • 15% of time will be dedicated to SCA Hudson Valley Corps events and paperwork

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
Goal 1: To support field work efforts of GCSWCD:

  • 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 GCSWCD:

  • 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 GCSWCD:

  • 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
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • BA/BS/MS in environmental science/engineering, watershed management, geology, hydrology, botany, or related field.
  • Candidates should have a working knowledge of watershed science, streams and surveying techniques.  Candidates should also have some experience using either ArcGIS or AutoCAD. 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 required, although transportation to work sites is usually provided.
  • During the term of service, the stream steward intern 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 and EITHER housing provided OR a taxable $550/month housing allowance for positions north of NYC metro area OR $750/month housing allowance for positions in NYC metro area.
  • Upon successful completion of the term, members receive a taxable 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 WET, Project WILD and Project Learning Tree curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, American Canoe Association Level 1, and other opportunities that arise. 

  • 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