ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARD – 1700 hours
Term: January 11, 2021-November 12, 2021
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Watershed Management Unit (WMU) and Biological Monitoring Program (BMP)
Location: Augusta, ME
Housing: Not Provided
Days and Hours of Service: 40 hours per week: may include evenings and occasional weekends.
Host Site and Position Overview:
The MCC Environmental Steward will be involved in projects within two different programs in DEP’s Division of Environmental Assessment- Watershed Management Unit and Biological Monitoring Program. Each project is described below:
The Watershed Management Unit (WMU) is responsible for coordinating the assessment of priority watersheds throughout the state and for providing assistance to local and regional groups for protecting or restoring water quality in these watersheds. The Environmental Steward (ES) will serve within the Watershed Management Unit (WMU) about the first half of their term and the Biological Monitoring Program (BMP) the second half. Within the WMU, the ES will assist with the Volunteer River Monitoring Program to include data management of volunteer data from the previous field season, as well as assist with organizing and conducting annual volunteer training sessions. The ES will also help coordinate and carry out 3-5 volunteer lake watershed survey projects. Watershed surveys train local residents to identify and document soil erosion and other nonpoint sources of pollution in their lake watersheds. The Volunteer River Monitoring Program is a network of volunteer groups that participate in quality assured river and stream sampling. The ES will assist the Coordinator with compiling and analyzing volunteer data from the previous field season into a report provided to the volunteers, as well as assist with organizing and conducting annual volunteer training.
The Biological Monitoring Program (BMP) assesses benthic macroinvertebrate and algal communities to evaluate the ecological health of the State’s aquatic resources. Monitoring and assessment results are used to document current conditions, identify problems, set water management goals, assess progress of management strategies, and trigger needed remedial actions. The ES will assist the BMP in conducting biological monitoring and assessment of Maine rivers, streams, and wetlands. With both programs, as time allows, the ES will participate in environmental education/outreach with kids.
January-February: Complete DEP computer training, upload Volunteer River Monitoring Program (VRMP) data
March-April: Prepare for VRMP training sessions and volunteer lake watershed surveys
May: Assist with VRMP and lake watershed survey trainings, carry out spring lake watershed surveys. Assist Biomonitoring Program (BMP) staff with planning for field season and project-related data management activities
June-September: Participate in monitoring and assessment field work of wetlands, rivers, and streams
September-November: Assist with fall lake watershed surveys and reports. Assist with post field season data management for both VRMP and BMP.
Description of Duties:
• Complete training in DEP’s database and ArcGIS (if needed or interested)
• Proof and upload volunteer data to the DEP database
• Assist with preparations for and organization of volunteer river monitoring training sessions
• Assist at VRMP training sessions
• Attend and help organize volunteer lake watershed survey steering committee meetings
• Prepare supporting materials for surveys, steering committees
• Serve as technical leader for lake watershed survey field days
• Assist with watershed survey reports (if time available)
• Plan schedule and prepare equipment/supplies for biomonitoring field season
• Assist with sampling algae, macroinvertebrates, and fish
• Manage biological and water quality samples, including proper labeling, preservation and sample tracking
• Perform data management and quality assurance activities
• Organize and present physical, chemical and biological data for higher level analysis
• Assist with producing reports, graphics and other technical and/or educational materials
• Conduct environmental education/outreach activities
• Computer skills and ability to learn DEP computer applications (GIS skills a plus)
• Strong organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects and competing priorities
• Ability to focus and be detailed oriented
• Ability to communicate effectively with volunteers and be outgoing
• Ability to perform tasks independently as well as part of a team
• Physically able to complete field work including carrying monitoring equipment over short distances and over rough terrain
• Comfortable with wading in the water and canoeing
The ES will be in an office environment about half the time, with their own desk and computer. Remote service may be necessary for at least part of the term of service. Remote service needs will be determined based on State of Maine COVID-19 guidance and any host site closures or restricted office use or field work policies in place at any given time.
• Service includes being in an office environment about half of the time, with their own desk and computer .
• Service involves being outside in the summer months monitoring wetlands, streams and rivers. Terrain can be uneven and challenging to traverse.
• Service includes some longer days and uncomfortable weather conditions including but not limited to rain, heat and humidity, sleet and freezing rain, biting insects, and more.
• Service includes traversing long distances via camp road and lake shorelines during lake surveys.
• Service involves travel to other locations within the state.
• Service is performed independently and as part of a team.
• Service involves frequent communication to multiple parties.
Site Specific Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree in biology, environmental science or related field strongly preferred
• Excellent communication skills
• Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
• Good computer skills and experience or interest in using large databases and geographic information systems.
It is important that the ES be detail oriented so that minimal data errors are made. The ES should have good communication skills and be able to work effectively with DEP staff and volunteer groups - the ES needs to be at least somewhat outgoing. The ES will need to be able to physically do the field work. Lastly, the ES should possess a positive attitude, be able to get along with others and be respectful.
To Apply: Go to our website to complete an online application and email a copy of your current resume and a cover letter to email@example.com. You will be contacted with further instructions.