Watershed Committee Fellowship
The WCO Fellow supports on-site education programs and assists with a wide variety of land management and monitoring techniques
WCO Fellowship Overview
Amid increasing global and local demand for adequate supplies of freshwater, leadership in watershed health is more important than ever. Since 1984, many of our WCO volunteers and interns have gone on to become leaders in watershed health. The WCO Fellowship is designed to provide recent graduates and ear-ly career professionals the opportunity to gain experience and grow in five core areas; watershed health, applied science and natural history knowledge, partnership building, problem solving, and communication. Each of these areas is addressed through an informal curriculum and applied on-the-job experiences that allow for exploration of each topic and time for each WCO Fellow to practice and apply these key elements of leadership.
Position Impact Statement
The WCO Fellow supports on-site education programs and assists with a wide variety of land management and monitoring techniques. In addition, the WCO Fellow works closely with our volunteers, supervising their activities and encouraging development of their conservation leadership skills.
The WCO Fellowship is a unique opportunity to enhance both your natural resource background and build a wide array of skills needed to conduct and manage education programs. Working side-by-side with expe-rienced WCO staff, the WCO Fellow will assist with both land management and educational activities at the Watershed Center. The 100 acre Valley Water Mill Park is a microcosm of Ozarks habitats ranging from prairies to wetlands to glades to oak savannas. These habitats serve as a key component of our educational field trips and their management is critical. This diverse outdoor classroom provides opportunities to learn first-hand about native plant communities, identify threats to native landscapes, and gain effective tools and strategies to efficiently manage a number of diverse ecosystems. As seasons change, management fo-cuses on different activities including invasive species control, prescribed burning, monitoring, native planting, and more. Fellows will have the opportunity to interact with a diverse range of conservation professionals who play active roles in guiding and executing our mission.
In addition to honing your management skills, you will gain firsthand educational experience in program planning, delivery, and communications. WCO Fellows lead guided hikes through Valley Water Mill Park, give tours of underground Jordan Creek, as well as tours of the Watershed Center – a LEED-certified green building and display of Best Management Practices. Fellows will also run educational stations for the nu-merous school groups that visit the Watershed Center. Topics covered include point and non-point source pollution, aquatic life, macroinvertebrates as indicator species, invasive species, as well as many others.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Lead interpretive tours of Valley Water Mill Park for groups ranging from elementary students to adults.
• Lead interpretive underground tours of Jordan Creek for groups ranging from middle school students to adults.
• Assist in developing and leading educational field trip activities to the Watershed Center for elemen-tary, middle school, and high school students.
• Manage volunteers for tours, special events, and programs as needed.
• Help plan, staff, and organize public events that promote our mission to protect the area’s water re-sources.
• Write monthly blog posts for the WCO’s website and assist with social media content creation.
• Assist with watershed management activities at Valley Water Mill Park. This includes, but is not lim-ited to; prescribed fire, herbaceous and woody invasive species treatment, timber stand improve-ment, prairie planting and establishment, brush management, trail maintenance, etc.
• Attend a wide variety of professional development trainings and/or certifications focusing on the aforementioned core areas.
• Document management activities in summary reports, grant tracking documents, GPS tracking, etc.
• Maintain WCO equipment. This includes routine maintenance, equipment repair, etc.
• Other tasks as assigned
The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks seeks a recent graduate or early career professional with a de-gree in a natural resources or science education related field. Fellows must be prepared for physically de-manding work in a variety of conditions including extreme heat and cold, standing high water, and expo-sure to ticks, mosquitoes, and poison ivy. Applicants should have an interest in and passion for learning about the complex and interdependent world of natural resources and conservation. The ideal candidate will have some relevant outdoor experience, have demonstrated leadership skills and be adaptable, ener-getic, and eager to learn. All applicants must be eligible to work in the United States at the time they apply and have a valid driver’s license. Fellows must commit full-time for the entire seven-month program.
Fellowship Term, Hours, and Schedule
The internship start date is Monday June 4th, 2018 and will run through December 14th, 2018 (28 weeks). Fellow’s hours will vary depending on the season and management/education activity. Most weeks will consist of 35 hour work weeks. During some seasons, longer days will be expected, with time off later in the week. Five paid holidays will occur during this time period (Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday following Thanksgiving Day).
The Education and Outreach Fellow will be paid at a rate of $10 per hour. WCO staff are paid bi-weekly. Fees associated with required certifications will be covered by WCO. Required personal protective equip-ment will be provided by WCO.
Approximate Hiring Timeline
March 31, 2018: Applications Due
April 16-25, 2018: Interview Process
June 4, 2018: Preferred Start Date
Please send the following application materials to Jeff Birchler, Watershed Center Coordinator (email@example.com) by March 31, 2018.
1. One-page cover letter
3. Two academic and/or professional letters of recommendation.
4. A 300-500 word response to the following prompt: Please describe one instance in your academic or professional career in which you have demonstrated leadership. What qualities made you successful and what did you learn from the experience?
The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks is an equal opportunity employer, and recognizes that just as a healthy ecosystem depends on biodiversity, a healthy human society depends on cultural and social diver-sity. We are committed to expanding the conversation on land ethics by acting to achieve a rich diversity of staff, board, volunteers, members, supporters, and those we seek to engage with our programming. We encourage applicants to address this foundation goal in their application materials.