AmeriCorps Water Quality & Habitat Restoration Associate (Murphy)

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, 2022 through July 31, 2023. 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.

Position Summary
The position works in southwestern North Carolina across both our Clean Waters and Resilient Forests program areas. It includes a combination of volunteer recruitment and coordination, water quality monitoring, on-the-ground stewardship of public and conserved lands, and public outreach. It involves a lot of time outdoors in all seasons and regular travel across several counties. Primary responsibilities are to (1) coordinate and expand the region’s microplastics sampling program; (2) work with partners to engage volunteers in other aspects of volunteer monitoring of water quality, aquatic communities and habitat; and (3) help control nonnative invasive plants and restore native plant communities in parks, along greenways, and on other public lands.

Qualifications – Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Organized, with a high level of attention to detail.
  • Education or experience in natural resources management, environmental science/studies, sustainability, chemistry, ecology, or related earth science-type field.
  • Experience working with volunteers, or as a volunteer
  • Experience working with diverse people (e.g. youth, retirees, rural, urban, people of color, people with varying levels of education or income).
  • Strong planning and time management skills. Ability to manage multiple projects at once.
  • Ability to work outdoors and maintain a positive attitude in challenging conditions.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, as well as independently.
  • Be a quick learner, unafraid to ask questions, and also have patience to tackle complex problems.
  • Excellent oral (including public speaking) and written communication skills. Must be willing to regularly use email as a primary communication tool.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office and Google suite programs and applications.
  • Some ability to identify non-native invasive plants preferred.
  • Training and/or teaching experience a plus.
  • Experience using GIS a plus.
  • 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, some evenings and weekends

Position Responsibilities and Duties

Conservation Education: 10%

  • Educate volunteers and members of the public through organized events (both in-person and virtual) and workdays provided throughout MountainTrue’s western region.
  • Focus educational efforts around climate change adaptation and mitigation, nonpoint sources of water pollution, native and invasive plants, and litter and plastic pollution.
  • Participate in the community as a MountainTrue team member contributing to the success of the organization.

At-Risk Ecosystem Impacts and Trails: 40%

  • Field inventory/data collection, including photo documentation, of non-native invasive plant species on public lands and conservation easements. Create reports for prioritization of future treatments and workdays.
  • Assist with prioritization of sites for treatments and work with partners and the Western Region Program Coordinator to organize volunteer workdays.
  • Physical work of manual and chemical treatment of non-native invasive plants on public and conserved private lands sites in the MountainTrue western region.
  • Analyze water samples for microplastics.
  • Assist with lake shoreline cleanups organized by partner organizations.
  • Collect data on sedimentation from forest roads and trails and coordinate western region volunteers’ collection of same.

Volunteer Engagement: 50%

  • Coordinate and expand the western region’s microplastics sampling program by recruiting, training, mentoring, and organizing volunteers for the program; establishing locations for samples to be dropped off; and picking up samples from each location on a regular schedule.
  • Recruit, train, mentor, and organize volunteers and assist with implementing the region’s Swim Guide bacteria monitoring program.
  • Work with partners to engage volunteers in other aspects of volunteer monitoring of water quality, aquatic communities, and habitat.
  • Assist in the recruitment and management of volunteers for non-native plant control, teaching them restoration techniques including manual and chemical treatment techniques, informing them of the associated risks, and supervising them during workdays.
  • Keep detailed records of volunteer personnel, including names and contact, liability waivers, hours served, and frequency of participation.
  • Help guide the organization’s efforts around equity, diversity, and inclusion by targeting volunteer recruitment and service activities to reach underserved people and communities.
  • Host at least one volunteer appreciation event.

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 2022-2023 program year, members will receive:

  • $19,880.00 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 $6,495.00 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/americorps-education-award
  • 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. Contact Susan Bean with any questions at (828) 258-8737 x218 or susan@mountaintrue.org. MountainTrue is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to individuals with known physical/mental disabilities.