Dispersed Education and Interpretation Technician (USFS Mount St. Helens, South)

Great Basin Institute
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Living Allowance: $1,060 biweekly. Education Award: $1,718.25.
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Description: The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the United States Forest Service, specifically Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, managed by Gifford Pinchot National Forest, is recruiting (2) Dispersed Interpretation Technicians to participate in 1) naturalizing and maintaining roadside and backcountry sites, collecting data and communicating with visitors, and recreation site monitoring; and in 2) developing and delivering interpretive and educational programs and resources. This role seeks to provide comprehensive work experience in two major components of national parks operations; dispersed recreation, and conservation education/interpretation. Dispersed recreation are activities that take place outside of developed camping or concessionaire-operated facilities, excluding motorized recreation. This may include dispersed camping in designated sites or corridors that lack substantial improvements, and can include scenic driving, hiking, bird watching, hunting, fishing, boating, water-play, mountain-biking, horseback riding, and overnight camping that do not detract from the natural character of the forest, impact resources such as aesthetics, soils, water, vegetation, and wildlife, or contribute to user conflicts. The Forest-wide dispersed recreation goal is that sites are small, evidence of human waste and litter is minimal, and resource damage is minimal. Where resource damage has occurred, especially in high traffic locations, sites are rehabilitated to reduce impacts and discourage expansion of impacts. Conservation Education helps people of all ages understand and appreciate our country's natural resources - and learn how to conserve those resources for future generations. Through structured educational experiences and activities targeted to varying age groups and populations, conservation education enables people to realize how natural resources and ecosystems affect each other and how resources can be used wisely. Through conservation education, people develop the critical thinking skills they need to understand the complexities of ecological problems. Conservation Education also encourages people to act on their own to conserve natural resources and use them in a responsible manner by making informed resource decisions. Interpretation is driven by a philosophy that charges interpreters to help audiences care about park resources so they might support the care for park resources. Interpretation establishes the value of preserving park resources by helping audiences discover the meanings and significance associated with those resources. Technicians will gain the experience and learn how to: • Understand their role to facilitate connections between resource meanings and audience interests. • Understand, recognize, and create opportunities for audiences to make their own intellectual and emotional connections to resource meanings. • Understand, recognize, and cohesively develop an idea or ideas in interpretive products and activities. • Understand the roles and relationships of resource knowledge, audience knowledge, and interpretive techniques in interpretive products and activities. • Purposefully reflect on interpretive philosophies and best practices, deepen their understandings, and apply these philosophies and best practices to all interpretive competencies. Primary responsibilities: • Cleaning both roadside and/or backcountry dispersed sites. Naturalizing sites where necessary to control use and prevent resource damage. Installing and maintaining site signs, information boards, travel signs, regulatory signs and other signs associated with recreation sites, travel management and safety. • Patrolling management unit to collect use data, identify or correct unsafe conditions, answer visitor inquiries, prevent vandalism and other anti-social behavior, gather current information regarding recreation opportunities, and prevent theft of Forest resources and their destruction resulting from carelessness with vehicles or fire. • Completing campsite, river corridor, and recreation site monitoring using latest technology. • Providing public information and interpretive services, including detailed information concerning recreational opportunities. Educating users on potential resource damage caused by illegal use. • Technicians may participate in developed recreation program maintenance and operations as opportunities present themselves. • Assists in the development of interpretive and environmental education programs, media and exhibits for use on the unit. Identifies key themes and concepts to be conveyed, researches content, tailors’ messages to reach audiences and works with technical and subject matter experts to review and refine work. • Helps in the planning and implementation of interpretive services and conservation education programs for the unit interpretive program. Participates on unit wide interpretive program initiatives. • Other duties as assigned, including general support to Field Ranger and Conservation Education programs, Developed and Dispersed Recreation Programs, including public contact, interpretive programming and recreation facility operations. Contract Timeline: • 13-week appointment (starting mid-July – mid-September) • Full time (40 hours/week) Location: At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted. Within a few moments, nearly 150 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing. Fifty-seven lives were lost and the ensuing 9-hour eruption left a dramatically changed landscape. In 1982, the President and Congress created the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument to be managed by the Forest Service for research, recreation, education, protecting local communities, and allowing natural processes to unfold. In addition to the legislated Monument, Mount St. Helens administrative unit also includes general forest areas. These areas are primarily to the south and east of the Monument, and are where the majority of dispersed recreation activities occur. This position will take place in the Southern section of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Today, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument contains many popular trailheads, waterfalls, lakes, forests, and lava tubes, managed by the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Compensation and Benefits: • Living Allowance: up to $6,900 (Approximately $1,060 biweekly, pre-tax) • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award: $1,718.25 (Upon successful completion, the award may be used for past, present or future educational expenses, including payment of qualifying federal student loans and Title IV accredited college tuition.) • Onsite housing provided at no extra cost • Employer-provided medical, dental, and vision insurance, for all employees including seasonal positions
Technical requirements: • Related degree or coursework in Recreation, Natural Resource Management, Education/Interpretation or comparable field; • Strong written and oral communication skills; • Experience/familiarity with developing and/or giving educational or interpretive programs; • Experience/familiarity with fieldwork and data collection; • Backcountry experience such as using GPS/GIS; • Interest in the visitor experience and facilitating connections between visitors and resources. Additional requirements: • Demonstrated experience and comfort with public speaking and communicating with diverse audiences; • Comfortable living onsite in shared housing; • Possess a valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record; and • Meet AmeriCorps eligibility requirements: (1) U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status, (2) eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award (limit of four in a lifetime or the equivalent of two full-time education awards), (3) pass National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) and federal criminal background checks, (4) adhere to the rules, regulations and code of conduct as specified in the Member Service Agreement; and (5) not engage in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement.
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