Land Stewardship, Outreach, & Research Assistant

Student Conservation Association - Poughkeepsie, NY4.4

Full-time$200 a week
Expected Dates
January 14, 2020 to November 10, 2020
Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve
Position ID
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.

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.

The Land Stewardship, Outreach, and Research Assistant position will be located at the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Purpose of the Position:
The mission of the Vassar Ecological Preserve is to protect and preserve the ecological diversity of the land to ensure that its educational value will be maintained in perpetuity. The Vassar Ecological Preserve promotes increased understanding and appreciation of the natural systems on the preserve through field-based education and research.

Community Needs that the Position Serves:
The community heavily uses the Vassar Ecological Preserve for recreation. There are 7 miles of trail that need maintenance and improvement to allow for the community to enjoy this resource. The Vassar Ecological Preserve is one of the few open spaces in the City of Poughkeepsie. The Preserve provides access to nature that fills an urgent need of this urban/suburban community. Part of the preserve’s mission is to improve the community’s understanding of the natural world. The outreach and volunteer opportunities that our program provides engages students and community members in experiential learning about the natural world. The stewardship and restoration of the Vassar Ecological Preserve ensures that the land continues to provide valuable ecosystem services to the community. The preserve helps improve water and air quality and provides valuable habitat to wildlife and pollinators.

SCA AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities:
The Land Steward and Research Assistant will work closely with the preserve manager to protect the Vassar Ecological Preserve and promote its use as an educational resource. They assist the preserve manager with biological monitoring that informs land management decisions and helps to assess the health of conservation targets. Current projects include monitoring invasive species, vegetation, deer impacts, water quality, and habitat mapping. They assist the manager with the maintenance of the preserve and ongoing restoration projects. The member works to increase the educational usage of the preserve by developing and implementing educational project(s) and engaging volunteers. They maintain and improve the existing network of trails. They will interact with users of the preserve to answer questions, host educational events, and organize volunteer efforts.

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.

Performance Goals:
Goal 1: The member will assist with data collection and management of existing and new monitoring and research projects.
Goal 2: The member will maintain trails and improve conditions on the preserve.
Goal 3: The member will work to engage the community through outreach and volunteer projects.

Candidate Qualifications:
Valid driver’s license of at least 3 years with a clean driving record.
Ability to pass a federal background check.
SKILLS: The member must be familiar with using hand and power tools. They should have excellent written and oral communication skills. They must have plant and animal identification skills, GIS and GPS skills, and be able to maintain databases
KNOWLEDGE: The member should have knowledge of northeastern habitats, the scientific method, and how to follow research protocols and collect accurate data. Previous experience with research, monitoring, outreach, and stewardship activities are preferred
TRAINING: BS/BA in Ecology, Biology, Botany, Environmental Science, or a related Field

All Hudson Valley Corps members receive a taxable $200/week living allowance
This position will receive a taxable $600/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.

Handicap Accessible?
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
degree minor or extensive experience
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Field Research
some experience
some experience
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
some experience
Trail Maintenance
competent with supervision
Volunteer Coordination
competent with supervision
Further Details
AmeriCorps Eligible
Driving Logistics
Valid Drivers License Needed
Personal Vehicle Required
A personal vehicle is required to access amenities such as grocery store, libraries, etc. as well as travel to Hudson Valley Corps trainings and events.
Housing or Stipend Provided?
It will be the member's responsibility to secure their own housing. Housing allowance provided.
US Citizenship