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Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program Steward -AmeriCorps

Position Details
Stewards Individual Placement Program (SIPP) provides individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources. Participants work with federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofits building institutional capacity, developing community relationships, and supporting ecosystem health.
SIPP, in partnership with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), is seeking a year-long AmeriCorps Member to conduct field evaluations of the performance of Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program (WCAP) projects constructed in Pennsylvania during the past 20 years, collect water samples, make observational findings on the performance of systems, evaluate the need for maintenance, and update a database of project findings. This activity will require contacting project sponsors, locating treatment systems in the field, collecting available data, coordinating with existing databases, and working with Pittsburgh Field Office (PFO) staff.

PFO staff will mentor as needed, provide training on collecting water samples, and provide instruction on evaluation performance until the Member feels comfortable in performing these duties independently. Each site visit will require a narrative report of findings, as well as updating the database. Water quality may be measured with the use of field equipment, or by collecting water samples for laboratory analysis, depending on the type of treatment used. It is hoped that 5 to 10 sites per week can be surveyed.
Pollution of streams from abandoned coal mine drainage impacts thousands of miles of Pennsylvania streams. Over the decades, significant progress has been made in restoring those streams to biologic health. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in this effort. This effort to collect data and identify WCAP treatment systems, which need maintenance and rehabilitation, is essential to maintaining stream recovery and protection of financial investments. With this information, OSMRE can begin identifying which treatment systems are at risk of failure, and work to provide funding to assure continued effectiveness.
Position Responsibilities will include:
  • Conduct site visits
  • Draft narrative reports of site visits
  • Collect water quality data
  • Contact project sponsors
  • Update databases for tracking projects
Preferred Majors/Skills
  • Natural Resources Management or Earth Sciences background
  • Comfortable with traveling to remote locations in Pennsylvania
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Living Allowance: $465/week at 40hrs/week (pre-tax)
  • Successful completion of this term will award the AmeriCorps Segal Education Award of $6,095.00
  • Place Federal student loans on Forbearance during time in service
  • Interest accrual payoff by AmeriCorps
  • Professional Development including: Job Shadowing, Site Visits, and On-Site Training
  • Development of portfolio