Internship-Natural Resource Steward-Lake Ontario Dunes

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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:

Calling all bird-nerds and beach-bums! Come help protect the beautiful Sand Dunes along Lake Ontario's eastern shoreline while gaining valuable natural resource management skills by becoming a Natural Resource Steward!

* 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.*

This 16-week position seeks to place 2 interns who will work alongside officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) on projects that help preserve and protect this unique natural resource. Interns gain valuable resource management skills and perform a variety of duties which involve the preservation, protection and enhancement of the natural resources and the safety and well-being of the public using these resources.

Objective/Targets:

  • Monitor and offer protection to plovers until they fledge

  • Remove water chestnut from various locations within the WMA's

  • Ensure beaches are clear or debris and garbage

  • Regularly collect user information i.e., number of cars in a parking lot.

  • Submit a written summary at the end of the season

Member Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide information and education to the public relating to the proper use and protection of the natural resource

  • Promote Leave-No-Trace practices

  • Monitoring of Piping Plover nests

  • Patrolling miles of natural beach

  • Notifying DEC law enforcement of potential problems and emergencies

  • Performing minor maintenance (such as snow fence repairs, installing or replacing signage, beach cleanup)

  • Provide support for existing volunteer networks

  • Assist with invasive species mitigation

  • Collect information on user group size, of recreation (biking, boating, hiking, etc.), and user experience, to assist the Department in its visitor use monitoring programs

  • Other conservation-related duties as assigned

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:

Requirements to Serve:

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

Necessary Job Skills:

  • Must be able to work independently and part of a team

  • Must be able to work long hours outdoors

  • Must be able to work in inclement weather

  • Must be able to paddle a cone and/or kayak

  • Must be able to communicate effectively with the public

  • Some college level education in Forestry, Biology, Earth Science, Outdoor Education, trail work, Conservation, Geography, or related field preferred

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.