2020 River Information & Outreach Stewards
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In 2018, HVA launched the RIO program as a response to reports of high visitor density at informal Housatonic River access sites in Northwest Connecticut. These sites have no formal infrastructure in place, and dense crowds can negatively impact the natural character of these sites by contributing to litter, erosion, human waste, and disturbance of wildlife. The overall goal of the RIO program is to preserve the outstanding natural character of the Route 7 Housatonic River access sites while also improving user experience, with a specific objective of engaging with the public to inform about responsible use of access sites (e.g., Leave No Trace principles) in order to eliminate the need for weekend closures.
The 2020 River Stewards will be supervised by HVA’s Conservation Projects Managers. The work will be almost entirely field based, as the Stewards travel among priority river access sites, with approximately 10% office work (data entry and cleaning). River Stewards will be based out of the office in Cornwall Bridge, CT.
Each weekend, RIO River Stewards will travel as a team among the high-priority river access sites along Route 7 (Gaylordsville up to Falls Village, CT). While at the sites, Stewards will engage with site users, conducting informal outreach and ensuring that visitors are aware of the site rules (e.g., carry in, carry out). Stewards may also conduct interviews in order to collect data that will help us better understand how these sites are being used, and contribute to more effective outreach techniques and mitigation strategies (with a focus on reducing trash accumulation).
This position would be a great fit for someone interested in outdoor recreation/park management, and/or human dimensions of natural resource management.
Candidates must be highly-motivated, passionate about watershed conservation, and able to succeed as part of a two-person team. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess:
- Strong interpersonal skills;
- Demonstrated ability to approach and engage with strangers;
- Familiarity with the issue and/or previous experience related to high visitor density in natural areas;
- Ability to represent HVA in a professional manner;
- Ability to work weekends
Applicants that speak Spanish will be highly prioritized.
Requirements: Daily access to a reliable personal vehicle is a requirement of the position (HVA does not have a field vehicle, so all field work will be done in personal cars with mileage reimbursements.)
How to Apply:
Application Procedure: Interested candidates should submit the following materials via email:
- COVER LETTER explaining your interest and qualifications
- TWO (2) PROFESSIONAL REFERENCES
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Deadline: Applications will be reviewed and positions filled on a rolling basis.
Questions and applications should be directed to:
Michael S. Jastremski, Watershed Conservation Director
Housatonic Valley Association
Phone: (860) 672-6678 ext. 109
Compensation: The intern will be compensated at a rate of $15/hour for 16 hours per week, for the course of the internship. Work related travel will be compensated at a rate of $0.48/mile. Housing is not provided.
Michael S. Jastremski
(860) 672-6678 ext. 109