The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) is seeking applications for our River Stewards of Tomorrow Watershed Conservation Internship positions, available for summer 2019. River Stewards will work on a variety of projects related to water resource management, human dimensions, wildlife conservation, and land protection. River Stewards will be based out of the office in Cornwall Bridge, CT and work in the Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York portions of the watershed. Each River Steward position lasts at minimum 12 weeks from June – August.
See a Story Map and video about the position, created by one of our 2018 interns here.
The 2019River Stewards will be 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 aren’t limited to the following (in order of proportion of time spent):
- Road-Stream Crossing Assessments in the Berkshires: River Stewards will visit and assess bridges and culverts (using the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative protocol) throughout towns in the Massachusetts and 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: 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 the New York portion (Ten Mile River subwatershed) and the Connecticut portion (Still River subwatershed) of the watershed. River Stewards will assist in post-assessment data management and processing.
- Environmental Monitoring: The River Stewards will conduct water quality monitoring and habitat assessment activities includingcollecting water samples for chemical analysis and some macroinvertebrate sampling. Environmental monitoring will be done in the Ten Mile River subwatershed and the Still River subwatershed.
- Restoration project monitoring and maintenance: River Stewards will assist with riparian and aquatic restoration projects 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.
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);
- 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 GISis 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 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 field work (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:
- COVER LETTER explaining your interest and qualifications
- TWO (2) PROFESSIONAL REFERENCES
- Optional but encouraged – Examples of past projects relevant to HVA’s mission (please limit to 1 page, max of three projects)
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
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