Program Overview: Led by the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE), the Environmental Education Corps (eeCorps) AmeriCorps Program places AmeriCorps members at organizations throughout Colorado to focus on increasing environmental literacy for PreK-12 students and implementing the goals outlined in the Colorado Environmental Education Plan. eeCorps works directly with teachers, schools, and environmental education providers to support them in expanding reach and increasing impact of EE programming, while providing access to equitable learning experiences for all PreK-12 students. eeCorps members provide direct service to improve outcomes in Environmental Stewardship and Education. AmeriCorps provides opportunities to improve lives and foster civic engagement all across the country.
Service Site Overview: This position will be located at Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) in Durango, CO. MSI is an independent not-for-profit mountain research and education center established in 2002. MSI develops science that people can use to address environmental issues facing the San Juan Mountains. MSI conducts and facilitates research, provides educational opportunities and internships, and conducts environmental monitoring. They connect scientists and stakeholders across the San Juan Mountain region to go beyond scientific inquiry to the meaningful application of knowledge that makes a difference for the quality of the environment and their communities.
Service Position Summary: The MSI Bridging Mountains Outreach Coordinator will be tasked with developing and delivering place-based environmental education and stewardship activities centered around MSI’s community-driven water, forest health, and climate-related research and action.
Essential Functions (Primary Responsibilities): The eeCorps member will engage with MSI to develop, implement, and enhance programs, projects, and activities that will create progress towards eeCorps and Mountain Studies Institute’s goals. These duties include:
● Lead water quality and forest health field trips with youth and adults.
● Develop forest health and water quality activities and help implement them.
● Lead educational activities at public events, such as Animas River Days and National Public Lands Day.
● Utilize the results of the ongoing Bridging Mountains EE Needs Assessment to develop and implement programming recommendations teacher professional development course(s).
● Develop watershed health interpretive exhibits/activities related to the City of Durango’s interpretive plan for the ‘forestshed’.
● Advance MSI’s citizen science programs such as River Watch, Bighorn Sheep Monitoring, and/or Invasive Weed Monitoring as interest and time allow.
● Teach in class lessons and activities and work with students on projects and internships.
● Develop and implement professional development opportunities for area teachers to increase environmental education in the classroom.
● Networking and collaboration with other regional environmental education organizations, through the Southwest Environmental Education Leadership Council and other opportunities.
● Track progress and collect evaluation data for the program’s performance measures
● Attend all eeCorps/AmeriCorps trainings, meetings, and orientations
● Complete all eeCorps National Days of Service projects as required
● Complete and submit all necessary eeCorps paperwork and reports by predetermined deadlines
● Some local and out of town travel required across La Plata, Archuleta, San Juan, Montezuma, and Dolores counties; occasional statewide travel possible
Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities):
● Assist with stewardship and water quality and forest health research.
Physical, Emotional, and intellectual Demands:
● The San Juan mountains reach over 14,000 ft. in elevation and MSI’s outreach activities involve outdoor field trips on and off trail. Activities may involve strenuous physical exercise, exposure to dangerous weather conditions, travel in mountain environments at high altitude, driving or riding as a passenger in motor vehicles including four-wheel drive vehicles, and use of potentially dangerous equipment and tools. The eeCorps member will lead youth activities in these mountain environments and should understand and be willing to learn and practice risk management in such environments.
Term of Service - Time Commitment: This is a three quarter-time national and community service position requiring a minimum of 1,200 hours during the term (approximately 40 hours/week). The position begins December 1, 2022 and ends August 31, 2023. Flexible hours are required, including occasional evening and weekend commitments. Member may be required to serve on Days of Service that take place on certain national holidays throughout the year.
Training and Support Provided: eeCorps members receive significant training and experience in community engagement, project implementation, leadership, diverse populations, and more. Up to 20% of total hours served may be spent in applicable, approved training and professional development. Members will be supervised and supported by Jeremy May, MSI Education Coordinator, as well as by Erin Dreps, eeCorps Program Coordinator. The 2022-23 cohort of eeCorps members serving throughout the region will act as additional resources and support for each other.
Location and Service Conditions: This position is based in Durango, CO, and will involve service at other locations (indoor and/or outdoor) in La Plata, Archuleta, San Juan, Montezuma, and Dolores counties.
● A living allowance of $12,000 distributed in biweekly payments of $666.67 over the term dates. Taxes are deducted and the living allowance is distributed by direct deposit to the member’s bank account.
● $300 per month housing stipend
● An education award of $4,546.50 upon successful completion of term of service.
● It is possible to defer student loans while serving as an AmeriCorps member.
● Mileage reimbursement for travel to required trainings
● Non-tangible benefits include extensive training, valuable experience, networking, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a crucial area of need.
● Ability to participate in regional EE leadership councils; option to obtain CAEE’s nationally-recognized Professional Environmental Educator Certification.
● Background in the natural sciences and/or education.
● A passion for learning and the outdoors.
● Ethic of national and community service and a strong desire to create positive change
● Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; computer literate
● High School Diploma or GED required, college graduate preferred
● Ability to pass criminal history check (required)
● Reliable transportation and proof of auto insurance
● U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status required
Diversity and Equal Opportunity: MSI is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination.
The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) recognizes the value of diversity and inclusiveness to advance environmental education. CAEE defines diversity in its broadest sense and welcomes everyone to the field of environmental education and the Alliance, including but not limited to people of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, national origins, socioeconomic status, religious affiliations, languages, and heritages.
If you are interested in applying to this position, please send your resume and a short cover letter outlining your interest in the program and commitment to national service to Erin Dreps, eeCorps Program Coordinator, at email@example.com. Please include “AmeriCorps MSI Application” in the subject line. Please also attach a list of three (3) references, and a diversity and inclusion statement that is no longer than one page in length.