ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARD – 1700 hours
Term: January 11, 2021 - November 12, 2021
LWCF Legacy Project – 2 Positions
Location: Augusta, ME; field tasks performed throughout Maine
Housing: Not Provided, but the Host Site is willing to assist members in finding reasonable, local accommodations.
Days and Hours of Service: 40 hours per week, typically Monday through Friday with occasional long days and weekends for visiting remote locations
Host Site and Position Overview:
The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1964 (LWCF) was established to assist federal, state and local governments in the acquisition and/or development of public outdoor recreation facilities. Administered at the federal level by the National Park Service and at the state level by the Bureau of Parks and Lands in the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, LWCF grants can provide up to 50% of the allowable costs for approved acquisition or development projects for public outdoor recreation.
Two Environmental Stewards will serve in collaboration with the Supervisor of Outdoor Recreation to digitize the relevant project records for every Land and Water Conservation Fund grant awarded in Maine since 1965. This process will verify every fund assisted site and create project boundary polygons for the creation of a LWCF GIS layer. This layer will reflect protected land, original grant information, recreation amenities at the site and other relevant project information such as other funds used.
The central tenet of LWCF is that every fund assisted site must be maintained for public outdoor recreation in perpetuity. If ever a project site is compromised, the only recourse is to either rehabilitate that site and recover full use of the original protected area, or to convert the original land to a new project of equal or greater land value, and equal to or greater recreational value. This process is called a “conversion”.
The steward will engage in the tedious and timely process of reviewing each of the existing LWCF project files, scanning relevant documents within each file and saving them to respective folders. This effort also requires an investigation of the parcel map, verifying the validity of that map and creating a digital rendition of that for eventual use as a polygon on a GIS layer. In many cases verification of map validity will entail contacting the project host and working with them to resolve map uncertainties.
Progress on the total body of work continuously through the term of service up to completion. If completion occurs prior to end of term, field work related to site inspections may be added to the duties. Note that a degree of field work will be needed when verifying project boundaries throughout the term.
Description of Duties:
• Reading / reviewing project files to determine critical content (in consultation with OR supervisor)
• Scanning relevant project files and storing in respective e-folders.
• Verifying project boundaries and validity of 6(f) boundary maps. When boundaries are indistinct or incomplete, reaching out to local project sponsors to revise maps.
• Scanning 6(f) maps
• Creating GIS layer related to all relevant project information to include project boundary polygons.
• Assist with reports and data extraction
• Field assessments will include traveling long distances, at times to remote regions
• Establish emergency response plans and abide by safety policies of MCC
• Utilize an InReach unit for safety and communication with the office when serving in remote areas.
• Maintain check-in schedule with Host Site Supervisor.
• Represent the Department, MCC, and AmeriCorps in a professional manner and provide information to the public on intent and outcomes of the program
• Cooperate with fellow AmeriCorps Environmental Steward to achieve quality results, effective communication, and positive rapport
• Adept at GIS and development of integrated database
• Proficient with MS Office associated software and scanning devices
• Attention to detail and investigative tendencies
• At ease with direct outreach to city and town officials and state staff to accomplish required project goals (verifying and perhaps negotiating new boundaries)
• Ability to orient a generally poorly developed map to actual ground conditions on project sites.
• Can serve and live in outdoor setting, including the desire to explore and assess some of Maine’s most beautiful recreation sites
• Ability to communicate effectively electronically, telephonically and in person
• Capability to plan and organize tasks in effective and efficient manner
• Must possess mobility to function in a standard office setting and use standard office equipment, including a computer, and to serve in the field including traversing uneven terrain, to operate a motor vehicle, and use of measuring tools and equipment
• Vision to inspect assigned areas, read printed materials, and a computer screen
• Ability to bend, stoop, and kneel. Must possess the ability to lift, carry, push, and pull materials and objects weighing up to 35 pounds
• Ability to perform tasks as part of a cooperative team
• Responsible and reliable
Service will occur primarily in the MCC offices and or even ORS office given location of historic LWCF files. There will be time spent traveling throughout the state as needed, alone, or with ORS to accomplish project objectives and or to meet with local project sponsors to trouble shoot map issues.
Field assessment will include exposure to cold and hot temperatures, inclement weather, road hazards, and other environmental challenges (poisonous plants, allergens, insects). While in the field, camping (in a tent), hiking, and preparing meals outdoors will be daily activities. Running water, cellular service and internet access should not be expected. This position should be viewed not as a 9-5 job, but as an experience where long hours and extended time away from home, often in remote locations, are to be expected.
• Proficiency with GIS
• Tolerance for the tedious
• Understanding the importance of valid data in relation to perpetual stewardship
• Experience with data collection and management, including tools and methods
To Apply: Go to our website to complete an online application and email a copy of your current resume and a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be contacted with further instructions.