Aquatic Invasives Strike Force Crew Member: 675-hr AmeriCorps Position

Program Overview:

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is a volunteer-powered organization that builds, maintains, and protects public trails.  Our Conservation Corps is comprised of Service Members dedicated to trail building and invasive species management to both protect and maintain the ecological landscape of New York and New Jersey.  Together with our partners, we strive to ensure that the trails and natural areas we share are sustainable and accessible for all to enjoy and generations to come.

The Invasives Strike Force (ISF) is a program of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, a non-profit organization focused on the stewardship of more than 2,150 miles of hiking trails throughout southern New York and northern New Jersey.  The Aquatic ISF is a recent expansion of the TCCC, partnered with Teatown’s education-based Watercraft Inspection Steward Program to inform boaters and other recreational water users about aquatic invasive species (AIS) identification, negative impacts, and spread prevention through voluntary watercraft inspections.  Together, our two ISF crews also complete invasive species surveys, control work, and lead volunteer removal teams throughout the region.

We are seeking four crew members who share our passion for conservation of freshwater ecosystems and the Lower Hudson Valley.  The crew member is responsible for working with the AISF Crew Leader and program coordinator to perform successful completion of projects.

Aquatic plant and animal identification, survey training, and steward training will be provided.  Weekend work is required – days off will be during the week.  For more information about our Corps, check out

Service Location: The Lower Hudson Valley of New York and Northern New Jersey

Term of Service: 675 hour term of service May 2 through September 16, Thursday-Monday (hours may vary from 7:00 AM-7:00 PM)

Duties and Responsibilities:

•    Conduct aquatic invasive species surveys at various inland waterbodies within the Lower Hudson Valley

•    Educate boaters about aquatic invasive species and teach clean boating practices, i.e. by distributing outreach and educational material to watercraft users

•    Perform voluntary boat inspections before boats enter and after they exit a body of water, and remove any invasive plants and animals from the watercraft as well as conducting boater-habit surveys

•    Keep accurate, timely and detailed records of activities

•    Informally educate the public about invasive plants and recruit volunteers

•    Complete one seasonal research or education project (literature review, develop outreach materials, update website AIS species database, etc.)

Skills and Attributes Required:

•    Interest in aquatic invasive species education and management

•    Must be organized, responsible and detail-oriented

•    Strong verbal communication skills and ability to interact with the public

•    Ability to maintain a positive attitude in adverse conditions

•    Work professionally at all times with crew members, volunteers and park partners.

•    Must be able to conduct moderate physical field work in rugged terrain and aquatic environments

•    Must hold and maintain a valid Class D driver’s license

•    Must have reliable cell phone

•    Must have access to a reliable vehicle for transportation of self, tools, and supplies to field sites (including kayaks/canoes with racks provided)

•    Must be willing to travel throughout the Lower Hudson Valley to assigned launches and survey locations

Desired Qualifications:

•    College education in ecology, biology, natural resources management or related field.

•    Basic knowledge and ability to identify native and invasive aquatic vegetation of New York

•    Experience with ArcGIS software and with using a hand-held GPS to perform vegetation surveys

•    Must be able to work weekends and holidays on a regular basis throughout employment

•    Demonstrated outreach skills and teaching experience

*Preference will be given to those with a strong desire to learn, lead, and educate others about invasive species, regardless of previous experience. To reflect this, no scientific background is required.

Member Benefits:

•    Free rustic, lakeside housing at a local park

•    Bi-weekly pre-tax living allowance not to exceed $7,900 total

•    Upon successful completion of the program, an education award of $2,321

•    Opportunity for qualified student loan deferment

•    Training in Wilderness First Aid/CPR/AED and Basic Kayak Safety

•    Travel reimbursed up to $600

•    Opportunity to serve local communities and the public by making a difference in the environment and improving habitats in a tangible way.

Enrollment Requirements:

An individual must be at least 18 years of age; have a high school diploma or GED; be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien; pass a three-part national service criminal history check of the national sex-offender registry, state repository check, and FBI fingerprint check; and complete all pre-service orientation and training requirements.  Documentation of age, education and citizenship are due by the first day of orientation. Criminal history checks will be initiated before the start of service; an individual will be ineligible if s/he is required to register on the National Sex Offender Registry, has been convicted of murder, or fails to disclose any previous conviction. Other convictions or pending charges will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with program policy.

To Apply:

Go to

Applications accepted until the positions are filled. For questions, feel free to email AIS Program Manager Lindsay Yoder