AmeriCorps Stewardship and Volunteer Engagement Associate Job at Hemlock Restoration Initiative, Asheville, NC

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  • Hemlock Restoration Initiative
  • Asheville, NC

Job Description

Summary of Position:

The purpose of the AmeriCorps HRI Stewardship and Volunteer Engagement Associate position is to ensure ongoing protection of eastern and Carolina hemlock trees from HWA by increasing the capacity of HRI partner agencies to treat trees using chemical and biological control methods; to educate, engage, and empower more community members and groups to understand why hemlocks are an imperiled, yet important natural resource in our region’s communities and forestlands; and to actively participate in hemlock conservation.

Position Responsibilities and Duties

Volunteer Infrastructure Program: 45%

  • Create volunteer workday opportunities; recruit and train volunteers to participate in HWA chemical and biological control programs on public and conserved lands, coordinating efforts with the appropriate land managers.
  • Schedule and facilitate volunteer workdays to support the work of HRI partners.
  • Recruit volunteers to help with educational events.
  • Communicate with volunteers and program partners by phone and email as needed both before and after scheduled events.
  • Educate volunteers on importance of hemlocks, associated ecosystems, and options for control and restoration.
  • Develop and/or improve job descriptions, training materials, and recognition protocols for volunteers.
  • Track volunteer activity, time, and skills.
  • Track volunteer inquiries and match volunteers to appropriate activities.
  • Acknowledge volunteers for their time, effort, and dedication through follow-up communication, recognition, and celebratory events.

At-Risk Ecosystem Impacts: 35%

  • Fall through spring, perform stand assessments and HWA-control treatments on federal and state public lands and conserved lands, coordinating efforts with other crew members and volunteers.
  • Support additional crew members or volunteers to perform treatments effectively and safely.
  • Install hemlock treatment impact plots and collect baseline data for long-term monitoring.
  • Review and update Hemlock Treatment Plans (HTPs) as needed.
  • Compile Hemlock Conservation Area HTPs, maps, and other documents into organized binders.
  • Maintain and keep track of all equipment used and data generated during treatment workdays.
  • Fall through spring, provide HWA and predator beetle monitoring and collection support to HRI and partners in insectaries, hemlock conservation areas and other identified locations.
  • Help private partners with hemlock inventories and management plans as needed.

Conservation Education: 20%

  • Increase awareness of the threats to hemlocks and related forest health, including pests, pathogens, and climatic factors.
  • Share HRI and partner activities and accomplishments, including volunteer events and HRI-related stories and research on Facebook or Instagram and HRI website.
  • Assist with youth education programs when needed and as appropriate.
  • Assist with landowner site-visits and follow-up reports as needed.
  • Write descriptions to incorporate into the interactive HCA story-map to introduce the public to established hemlock conservation areas across western North Carolina.
  • Produce short videos that highlight hemlock conservation areas and HRI restoration activities.

Support the Conservation Education Associate with the following:

  • Organize and/or lead public presentations, hikes, and outreach events to introduce community members to HRI and the importance of hemlocks and associated ecosystems, the impact of HWA, and options for control and restoration.
  • Contribute to newsletters and blog posts about HRI activities.
  • Answer questions from public and partners as needed. Work with HRI outreach manager and HRI director to develop appropriate answers.
  • Help plan and lead workshops and trainings on hemlock conservation and best management practices.
  • Develop and improve outreach materials that are useful and specific to the audiences being served, especially underserved communities.

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.

Essential Functions

  • Using computer software and online programs for conservation-based education and outreach initiatives, including social networking, written articles and press releases
  • Leading, coordinating, and interacting with diverse individuals in field-based and office settings (ex. landowners, students, low-income residents, partner organizations).
  • Developing and implementing educational programs and events for groups (presentations, workshops, educational hikes and outings, etc).
  • Training, supporting, coordinating, and recognizing volunteers for conservation-based volunteer opportunities.
  • Conducting field-based monitoring, assessment, and management of conservation properties, public lands, and/or water quality monitoring sites.
  • Using mapping software and other computer programs to create quality reports, management plans, maps, and/or analysis, based on field data
  • Equipment / Software Used: GPS unit, Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, logger’s tape, backpack/handheld sprayer.
  • Physical Demands: Must be able to hike off-trail on steep, uneven terrain for a full day carrying up to 25 pounds of equipment in a variety of weather situations.
  • Transportation Needs: Requires reliable car for trips up to two hours from office.
  • Setting/Location of Service Activities: Based in Asheville, NC, but sites extend across Western NC.
  • Other Considerations: Unpredictable weather may impact activities planned for any particular week or season.

Preferred Service Hours / Weekly Schedule:

Typically M-F, with occasional weekend days (average 2 per month); some days in the field may exceed 8-10 hours and occasional multi-night fieldwork trips will be required; however, comp time will be granted as necessary and overall schedule is flexible.

Learn more about AmeriCorps service at HRI on our website:

Special Benefits

  • $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 $6,495.00upon 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

Requirements

Qualifications – Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Required:

  • One or more years’ experience leading groups in task-based, goal-oriented activities
  • Enthusiasm for sharing the outdoors with people of all abilities and backgrounds
  • Enthusiasm for reaching out to and engaging new audiences
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Confidence, leadership, and tact in direct and indirect communications
  • Energy, creativity, initiative, and good humor
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Experience with and/or ability to learn Microsoft Office and Google Workspace applications
  • Ability to identify and learn new tools/programs to create and share content, track data, etc.
  • Ability and willingness to work long hours outside in a variety of environmental conditions, off-trail on steep and/or rugged terrain, carrying up to 25 pounds of equipment
  • A demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team, collaborate with others, and receive and offer feedback
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license and access to a reliable vehicle
  • 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/Optional:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field (Forestry, Entomology, Environmental Science, Communications, Outdoor Recreation, etc.)
  • Experience and knowledge of Southern Appalachian forest ecosystems, invasive species control methods, forestry, entomology, or conservation biology
  • Experience in field data collection
  • Experience entering data into an Excel-based database
  • Map reading and orienteering skills; ability to navigate off-trail through the woods
  • Basic graphic design skills; familiarity with software such as InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator
  • Comfort and proficiency in social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Why work here

Working at HRI provides a great opportunity to interact with the local environmental conservation and natural resource community, engage in impactful work with a great team of professionals and members of the public, and be out in the woods in special places in the Southern Appalachian mountain region of Western North Carolina.

Job Tags

Permanent employment, Full time, Local area, Outdoor, Gangs, Flexible hours, Night shift,

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