Sustainability Fellows: Community Forestry

Expected Dates
March 25, 2019 to December 1, 2019
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Position ID
The SCA Sustainability Fellow placed with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) will participate in a full time (40 hours per week) hands-on immersion into tree care across urban, suburban, and rural contexts.  The majority of service will be outside in all weather conditions. The Fellow will also provide community education in the air quality benefits of neighborhood canopy.
Training will be provided in tree biology, tree identification, planting techniques, basic tree maintenance practices, and volunteer and data management. Tool safety, job hazard assessment, and safe driving will also be included.  

A personal vehicle is not required, but a clean driving record IS required because the Fellow will be driving at WPC truck daily.  Candidates MUST be able to pass a driving record background check.  SCA will also provide safe driving training to be fully cleared to drive for position duties.​
Sustainability Fellow will be working as a part of the Community Gardens and Greenspace Department at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Duties will focus on supporting the Community Forestry program projects that WPC has undertaken within Allegheny County. To date, WPC has planted over 25,000 trees through the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh program and other initiatives. Sustainability Fellow will be responsible for basic tree care and maintenance activities throughout the growing season (May-August) for newly planted trees. Activities include but are not limited to: tree watering, weeding, mulching, and pruning during tree establishment periods. Monitoring for signs of pest, disease, vandalism, and other stressors also will be required. Other Community Forestry projects that Fellows may assist on include tree planting events, volunteer maintenance events, collecting and updating databases or spreadsheets, assisting with event planning, and more.

The SCA Sustainability Fellow will also conduct educational outreach to community members during tree planting/care events and at other outreach opportunities to teach the air quality benefits of neighborhood canopy. The fellow will promote air quality education, relating to trees, at the beginning of all of our tree plantings, and compile data for how local urban forests improve air quality and use this information to complete outreach to various authorities and organizations within Allegheny County. 
The Fellow will educate an estimated 800 community members during the position.

Preferred candidates will have at least one previous full-time internship experience and a background in one or multiple of: biology, forestry, ecology, nursery care, landscaping, tree plantings and tree care, farming, urban planning, or a related field.  Successful candidates will demonstrate an ability to positively collaborate in a tight team in a hands-on workplace and an ability to adapt to daily project execution needs. 
5%: Other duties include regular day-to-day tasks of running an office, such as: scheduling meetings; fielding phone calls and emails; other duties as assigned. General office work will be kept to a minimum, so that the Sustainability Interns can focus their time gaining relevant experience.

Interviews will begin January 2019.

*2019 positions are contingent upon funding availability. 
The program manager will notify you if a position has been cancelled prior to interviews. You are encouraged to apply to alternate Sustainability Fellowship positions in this case.*

Compensation: $350/week living stipend (includes living, housing and commuting stipend), extensive training, Americorps Education Award, healthcare insurance, workers compensation, relocation support. Note: Stipends and allowances are subject to state, local and federal taxes.

  • Extensive sustainability training.
  • Sustainability fellows gain significant professional experience through leadership roles in urban sustainability. 
Main Area of Focus
Education, Training & Skills Expected
degree minor or extensive experience
degree minor or extensive experience
Resource Management
degree minor or extensive experience
Data Entry
competent without supervision
Field Research
competent without supervision
Hand Tools
competent without supervision
Plant Identification
competent without supervision
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
Data Analysis
competent without supervision
Volunteer Coordination
competent with supervision