The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) seeks applications for our River Stewards of Tomorrow Watershed Conservation Internship positions, available for summer 2020. River Stewards will work on a variety of projects related to water resource management, human dimensions, wildlife conservation, and land protection. HVA River Steward positions are available in both the Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut and Stockbridge, Massachusetts, offices. Work will be conducted in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York portions of the watershed. Each River Steward position lasts a minimum of 12 weeks from June – August. See a Story Map about the position created by one of our 2018 interns at this address: https://arcg.is/1jWrKu
The 2020 River Stewards are supervised by HVA’s Conservation Projects Managers, but may also be asked to work with other staff as needed. Work will include a mix of office and field-based activities (approximately 90% field-based and 10% office-based). Projects that the intern may be involved with include but are not limited to the following (in order of proportion of time spent):
• Road-Stream Crossing Assessments in the Naugatuck Valley, CT and Berkshires, MA: River Stewards will visit and assess bridges and culverts (using the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative protocol) in the Connecticut towns of Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, and Watertown (and potentially other towns in the New York portion of the watershed) to identify barriers to fish and wildlife passage, and assist with post-assessment data management and processing.
• River Information and Outreach (RIO) Program (Connecticut Interns only): Weekend work required. Over the weekend, River Stewards will drive between popular informal Housatonic River access sites along Route 7 (New Milford to Falls Village, CT) and engage with site users. Tasks will include informing users of the site rules, conducting outreach about stewardship of the river and land, and some data collection (i.e., interviews and surveys). River Stewards must be willing to work a 5-day workweek that includes at least 1 weekend day.
• Stream Reach Assessments: The River Stewards will assist HVA staff in the field to conduct visual surveys (“streamwalks”) along important stream reaches to document threats and identify restoration opportunities. Rapid screening water quality tests will be conducted at all suspicious outfalls. Stream walks will occur primarily in southern Connecticut, in the Pootatuck subwatershed. River Stewards will occasionally assist in post-assessment data management and processing.
• Environmental Monitoring: The River Stewards will have the chance to conduct water quality monitoring, including collecting water samples for chemical analysis. Environmental monitoring will be done in the Still River subwatershed and in the Berkshires.
• Restoration project monitoring and maintenance: River Stewards will assist with riparian and aquatic restoration projects (e.g. live willow staking) and conduct maintenance activities like weeding and watering. Sometimes this will be in conjunction with our high school youth program called Still River Watershed Connections.
• Assist with outreach events (Massachusetts Interns only): Occasional weekend and evening work required. Outreach events include paddle trips, river cleanups and tabling opportunities. The River Stewards will assist with tasks such as unloading canoes and equipment, registering participants, providing information and helping ensure events run smoothly.
Candidates must be detail-oriented, highly motivated, passionate about watershed conservation, and able to succeed both independently and as part of a team. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess:
• Enthusiasm for outdoor field work, including working under potentially inclement environmental conditions (hot, rainy, etc.);
• Willingness to work weekends (RIO program; and Paddle Trips);
• Strong interpersonal skills, the ability to approach and conduct outreach to strangers, and the ability to represent HVA in a professional manner;
• Strong organization and data management skills;
• Experience using GPS and GIS is helpful, but not essential.
Daily access to a reliable personal vehicle is a requirement of the position (HVA does not have a field vehicle, so all field work, including any work in New York and Massachusetts, will be done in personal cars with mileage reimbursements.) The intern must also be physically able to participate in potentially strenuous fieldwork (i.e., physically active work outside for several hours at a time during the heat of the summer).
The intern will be provided with a $3,600 stipend for the course of the internship. Work related travel will be compensated at a rate of $0.48/mile. Housing is not provided. HVA will assist successful applicants in finding summer lodging near the HVA office.
Interested candidates should submit the following materials via email:
1. COVER LETTER explaining your interest and qualifications
3. 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