Environmental Education Fellow
January 17, 2023 to November 14, 2023
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center NYS DEC
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. Such changes include, but are not limited to: trainings being held remotely, elimination of large-scale gatherings, and a reduction of education programs.
Conditions of Employment Required to demonstrate full vaccination status for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine; OR Receive from SCA a reasonable accommodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements based on a medical disability or because of a sincerely held religious belief. Additional information and instructions regarding how to request a reasonable accommodation will be provided at the time of selection.
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:
To provide environmental education to Capital District communities, including underserved populations, through outdoor programs, classroom visits, as well as other public presentations.
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.
Community Needs that the Program Serves:
As the ethnic diversity of New York State has grown in recent decades, access to and participation of urban and minority audiences in environmental education activities, services, and organizations has not kept pace, leaving these critical markets woefully underserved. Because the racial/ethnic diversity of the state will continue to ﬂourish, there will be even more of a need to provide access to environmental education programs and services among underserved audiences, especially among urban sub-markets. Five Rivers Environmental Education Center is uniquely positioned between three defined metropolitan areas: Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Five Rivers provides quality outreach programming to inner city schools and youth groups in those three urban areas. The support of SCA/AmeriCorps enables Five Rivers to pay significant attention to providing environmental education programs and services to these important markets. Interns also do informal interpretation on site at Five Rivers with a wide variety of audiences of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities*:
- Develop, plan, and implement in-school outreach programs, including DEC’s Nature’s Schoolyard initiatives, for underserved schools in defined urban areas of Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Develop and present outreach programs for community programs serving underserved youth from New York‘s Capital District (30%)
- Develop and present on-site environmental education programs, including programs for students from pre-K to high school, as well as interpretive programs and walks for the public, based from the visitor center at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center. (20%)
- Participate in stewardship activities through community/citizen science research, invasive species removal, trail checks and other duties as assigned (15%)
- Present special programs, exhibits and/or services at local events, as well as for special needs audiences such as senior or nursing home facilities. (10%)
- Participate in training and professional development including staff meetings and planning sessions, in-house training sessions on teaching methods, natural history and environmental science, and interpretation techniques. (10%)
- Participate in all SCA Corps-wide trainings and service projects, as well as project evaluation and reporting. (15%)
*Some of the activities listed under “Duties” may be replaced with virtual options if COVID-19 conditions require
How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:
The Mission of the Department of Environmental Conservation is “to conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being.”
At Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, the interpretive programs and guided school lessons promote awareness, knowledge and appreciation of New York State’s environment year-round. With over 10 miles of trails for exploration, Five Rivers fosters discovery, connection to nature, and physical fitness through wholesome outdoor recreation.
Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
Goal 1: Members will be certified in at least two (2) Guided School Program (GSP) outdoor lessons, do research and present three (3) presentations to staff, volunteers or public, as well as lead at least one month of Nature’s Schoolyard in-class lessons.
Goal 2: Will assist in invasive species removal.
Goal 3: Will grow and expand professional and educational skills as well as conservation and natural ecology knowledge through mentoring and various trainings.
Goal 4: Will participate in and/or assist with at least one (1) community/citizen science initiative.
- Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
- Ability to pass a federal background check.
- BA/BS degree in education, environmental studies, conservation/wildlife sciences or related disciplines preferred.
- Some experience dealing with youth.
- Some experience in public speaking contexts.
- Must be able to model respectful behavior towards the natural world including insects, mammals, birds, trees, plants, etc.
- Ability to perform a variety of outdoor functions, from manual labor to leading trail hikes, lessons and field studies.
- Familiarity with/interest in natural resources.
- Ability to develop a positive rapport with a broad range of people, as well as with staff.
- Ability to work with minimal oversight.
- Ability to accept adjusted work schedule.
- A passion for sharing knowledge about the environment and for building capacity to work together towards a better tomorrow.
- A state vehicle is provided for all job-related duties, but personal transportation is necessary for any/all non-job-related tasks.
Amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award being offered for successful completion of the member’s term of service: $6,495
Amount of living allowance member will receive:
$300/week living allowance
Housing is provided on-site
Healthcare coverage (if applicable):
Eligible for free health insurance
Childcare coverage (if applicable):
Eligible for childcare assistance through AmeriCorps
Student loan forbearance and interest payments, (if the member qualifies): Eligible for Federal Student Loan forbearance and interest payment deferment through AmeriCorps for qualifying student loans.
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.