Internship-Natural Resource Steward-Lake Champlain Island Complex

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About us:

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the largest provider of hands-on environmental conservation programs for youth and adults. Program participants protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks, and community green spaces across the country.

Program Dates: July 22 - positions are rolling-based, starting as early as possible but with flexibility on the start date.

Program Description:

Join our seasonal staff at the Lake Champlain Islands in the Adirondack Park of northern New York to fill your summer with outdoor adventure and career development!

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.*

The Student Conservation Association, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, seeks to place a Natural Resource Stewards Lake Champlain Island Campgrounds.

The primary responsibilities of this Steward will be inspecting campsites at Bluff Point Lighthouse, Seton House and other facilities located on the islands in Lake Champlain Island Campground. Ability to operate a motorboat is required. Stewardship activities include talking with visitors about Leave-no-Trace principals, proper camping practices, interacting with visitors at the historic Bluff Point Lighthouse as well as repairing and maintaining facilities.

This position requires the willingness and ability to travel by foot and work alone or in small groups in remote, sometimes rugged terrain and inclement weather conditions. The interns will mostly work Thursday-Sunday, including holidays. The ability to use a map and compass, a GPS unit and strong backpacking skills are essential.

An ideal candidate will be comfortable alone, or as an outgoing personality. You will be required to approach visitors and campers, educate them about proper activities and answer questions relating to the Department of Environmental Conservations management activities.

Lake Champlain is subject to weather conditions that can quickly result in strong winds and thunderstorms forming white-cap waves. The ability to swim and travel in a boat during small craft warnings is essential. Skilled motorboat operators are preferred.

Most days Stewards will be able to return to the headquarters at Peru Dock in the evening. During the internship you may need to camp alone on one of the islands for several nights. The ability to use a map and compass (or GPS unit) is important. Strong communication skills are essential. Many visitors speak French as their primary language. It is preferred that candidates are bilingual or have a functional use of the French language. You may be required to commute a short distance (less than 10 miles) from your housing site to the Peru Dock headquarters in your personal vehicle.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide information and educate visitors relating to the proper use and protection of the islands

  • Promote Leave-No-Trace practices

  • Aid visitors regarding trail and campsite access

  • Inspect trails and campsites to determine condition and maintenance requirements

  • Perform routine maintenance on trails, outhouses, fireplaces, fire rings and campsites using hand tools (e.g., axe, bow saw, loppers, shovels, pick, rock bar etc.) including the removal of garbage

  • Construct and repair facilities using carpentry skills with hand tools (e.g., drills, saws, hammers, squares

  • Under the direction of a Forest Ranger, assist in back country emergencies, including search, rescue, injuries, and evacuations, camping permit enforcement

  • Provide radio communication for emergency operations

  • Prepare and submit reports relating to daily activities, public use, maintenance needs, and special reports as needed

Member Benefits:

$200/week living allowance
$570/month housing allowance if housing is not provided
$80 reimbursement for work pants
$1,824 AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of your term of service

Eligibility for Federal Student Loan forbearance and interest payment deferment through AmeriCorps for qualifying student loans.

  • All Allowances are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes.

Member Qualifications:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older

  • Must have a valid driver's license

  • Must have a personal vehicle

  • Must be a Citizen, National or Lawful Permanent Residing Alien of the US

  • Must have ankle high hiking boots with lug sole and own camping gear - backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cook stove, water filter, rain gear, orienteering-style compass, etc

  • Must be physically capable of performing field work common to the assigned work area over rough terrain and during inclement weather

Preferred Qualifications/Required Skills:

  • Ability to hike long distances with gear/tools required

  • Ability to work independently and in all weather conditions required

  • Ability to lift 50 pounds and use hand tools required

  • Ability to swim required

  • Ability to operate a motorboat required

  • Ability to work effectively in a low supervision environment required

  • Ability to work solo or in a team required

  • Ability to work in remote areas and in sometimes challenging conditions required

  • Some college level education in environmental education, natural resources management, biology, environmental studies, engineering, forestry, or a related field preferred or 6 months experience in environmental conservation work in a park or recreation setting preferred

  • French language skills preferred

  • Stewards must provide their own backpack camping gear including ankle high hiking boots with lug sole, backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cook stove, water filter, rain gear, orienteering-style compass, etc.

Training Opportunities:

  • 4-Day SCA orientation

  • Trail tool safety

  • DEC / Radio Rules and Regulations

  • First Aid

  • Anti-Harassment Training

  • Driver Safety Training

Professional Development Opportunities:
A professional development series is hosted by the New York State SCA Program Coordinators over one month. Dates TBD but topics include:

  • Resume Workshop

  • Job Board Navigation

  • How to Interview

  • Intro to GIS/GPS

Depending on your site and workload, you may not be able to attend the live events, but recordings and opportunities for discussion will be made available to you.