AmeriCorps Forest Keeper Coordinator (Asheville)

MountainTrue, through AmeriCorps Project Conserve, is seeking dedicated individuals to fill 4 full-time positions serving critical conservation needs in western North Carolina. Each full-time member will serve 1700 hours from September 1, 2021 through July 31, 2022. Members serve with host site organizations working to protect the unique natural resources of the southern Blue Ridge Mountain region.

Members connect people with nature and enhance quality of life through conservation education, volunteer recruitment/coordination, and trail creation/improvement. Members also improve environmental conditions in WNC through activities including habitat restoration, water quality monitoring, and public land and river improvements projects.

Project Conserve strives to foster a culture that celebrates and supports equity, diversity, and inclusion, learning and continuous improvement, and high-quality community service. AmeriCorps positions provide unique opportunities for members to develop leadership and professional skills to support their future career goals. Members participate in training and service days up to three days per month with the full Project Conserve team and on an ongoing basis as part of their host site service. Training may cover a broad range of topics including conflict resolution, wilderness first aid and CPR/AED, project planning, non-native invasive species identification, trail construction, volunteer management, and education program development.

Forest Keeper Coordinator Position Summary:
This position includes a combination of volunteer recruitment and coordination, on-the-ground stewardship on public lands, education, and data management. A primary task of the FKC is to build and improve upon a Forest Keeper program to recruit, cultivate, educate and retain dedicated volunteers who monitor and improve our public lands. The position will include opportunities to learn from and network with conservation professionals from a variety of non-profit organizations and government agencies. This service position will require frequent travel and work outdoors to provide an opportunity for the Forest Keeper Coordinator to become more familiar with the Blue Ridge Mountains. This service position will be supervised by the Ecologist & Public Lands Director who will provide training, support, and guidance. The Forest Keeper Coordinator will also benefit from knowledge, expertise, and training by other staff through the teamwork approach practiced among the diverse projects with MountainTrue.

Qualifications – Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Must have: Education or experience in natural resources management, biology, or environmental science/studies/education/policy. Strong organization, communication, and project management skills. Ability to work independently. Gregarious personality. Ability to work outdoors and maintain a positive attitude in challenging conditions and inclement weather. Respect for diverse groups and interests.
  • Would prefer: Community organizing/engagement or event planning skills and experience. Education/knowledge in native and non-native plant identification.
  • Eligible applicants must be at least 18 years of age, be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States, and consent to a criminal history check.

Preferred Service Hours / Weekly Schedule:
9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. A number of weekend hours of work will, however, be required, so an appropriate number of weekdays/hours will be excused to offset these as determined by the member’s supervisor. (Approximately 2-3 weekend days per month; more in spring and fall, less in winter.) 

Position Responsibilities and Duties:

Conservation Education: 25%

  • This aspect will primarily consist of educating volunteers and members of the public through organized education events and workdays. This could also include participation in/presentation at conferences; high school and college PowerPoint presentations and workshops; designing and producing posters and brochures educating about, or promoting events relating to, nature education, forest ecology and management, climate change, non-native invasive plants and insects, and other education projects of interest and need.

At-Risk Ecosystems and Trails: 25%

  • Field inventory/data collection of non-native invasive plant species;
  • Same for the non-native invasive insect, emerald ash borer, which also includes ash tree (several species) ID and measurement training;
  • Manual and chemical treatment of non-native invasive plants, both along trails (National Forest, AT, state, municipal) and in conservation easements;
  • Participating in tree live-staking in riparian zones.
  • Working to address reported issues in the public lands of WNC with ecological sensitivity.

Volunteer Infrastructure Program: 50%

  •  The Forest Keeper Coordinator will be responsible for assisting in the recruitment of volunteers for the Forest Keeper program as well as other opportunities to improve the public lands of WNC. This will include reaching out to diverse groups, and offering regular training/recruitment events.
  • In addition, they are responsible for the management of those volunteers, which includes teaching them restoration techniques, informing them of the risks associated, and supervising them during the workdays.
  • The Forest Keeper Coordinator will also help coordinate our annual BioBlitz, which will entail the recruitment and management of up to 50 volunteers.
  • As part of this work, the FKC will maintain social media presence (Instagram, Facebook) and help promote events and programs.
  • The Forest Keeper Coordinator is expected to keep detailed records of volunteer personnel (including names and contact, liability waivers, hours served, and frequency of participation) in keeping with Project Conserve standards.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to fulfilling host site service responsibilities, all Project Conserve members are required to fully participate in team trainings, service projects and statewide AmeriCorps events. Project Conserve team events will occur approximately twice per month in locations throughout the service area and may require up to three overnight stays.

Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident
  • Be at least 18 years of age at the commencement of service
  • Be available and commit to full-time service for the entire service term: members will serve a minimum of 1700 hours over the 11-month term, which is roughly full-time (40 hours per week).
  • Consent to a criminal history check and be cleared for service
  • Meet minimum education requirements (see individual service descriptions)
  • Meet additional qualifications as listed in the service descriptions
  • Meet essential functions for each position as listed in the individual service descriptions

 

Compensation & Benefits
For full-time (1700 hour) positions in the 2021-2022 program year, members will receive:

  • $16,350 living stipend (paid in equal installments via direct deposit, twice per month, minus taxes)
  • Health insurance reimbursement if eligible. Members are eligible for reimbursement for the full cost of a Health Insurance Marketplace bronze or catastrophic plan, OR up to $100 for a higher-level Marketplace plan. Members who maintain health insurance through a parent or spouse’s employer are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Childcare assistance if eligible. See eligibility requirements for full-time members enrolled in AmeriCorps State & National programs on the AmeriCorps Childcare Fact Sheet
  • Education award of $6,345 upon successful completion of the program. This award can be used to repay qualified student loans and to pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs. Learn more about the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award on AmeriCorps.gov
  • Mentorship, training, and professional development opportunities. Training may include Wilderness First Aid, CPR/AED, Conflict Resolution, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and more

 

HOW TO APPLY

To Apply
Please go to conservingcarolina.org/americorps/projectconserve/ for more information and to apply. Deadline to Apply is May 31, 2021. Contact Amy Stout with any questions at (828) 697-5777, ext 217 or projectconserve@conservingcarolina.org. Conserving Carolina is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to individuals with known physical / mental disabilities.