The NYS OPRHP Forest Health Specialists are broken into two distinct field teams that work independently towards the Agency’s statewide Invasive Species Management strategy. Forest Health Specialists’ primary focus will be the monitoring of hemlock stands that have been treated for infestations of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), as well as early detection surveys for HWA, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) and other emerging forest pests and pathogens throughout New York State. Field crews will travel extensively using agency vehicles across assigned OPRHP Regions (see http://nysparks.com/regions/default.aspx for OPRHP regional delineations). A total of 4 positions are available statewide.
The Eastern Forest Health Specialists will cover the following regions: Long Island, Taconic, Palisades, Saratoga-Capital, and the eastern portion of Thousand Islands. This team will report to Minnewaska State Park Preserve, located in Gardiner in Palisades region, for weekly briefing and debriefing.
The Western Forest Health Specialists will cover the following regions: Central, Finger Lakes, Genesee, Niagara, Allegany, and the western portion of Thousand Islands. This team will report to Allegany State Park, located outside Salamanca in Allegany region, for weekly briefing and debriefing.
These positions will require extensive overnight travel and camping, and necessitate the ability to deal with external environmental conditions such as thorns, poison ivy, ticks, biting insects, etc.
Duties & Responsibilities:
These positions are for the primary purpose of locating and monitoring infestations of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) and other emerging forest pests and pathogens. Specialists are expected to be self-starters, highly independent problem solvers, reliable and motivated with an interest in forest health, environmental stewardship and education. Excellent communication with park staff and park patrons are a crucial aspect of these positions. Duties will include:
Survey and detection of known and emerging forest pests
Field data collection and entry
Pre- and post-treatment tree canopy monitoring (involves tree-climbing, and the collection of samples from within the canopy)
Park patron education
Coursework related to forestry, environmental studies, ecology, natural resources management, or a relevant discipline, such as aquatic ecology, conservation biology, etc.
Familiarity with invasive insects and their impacts
Experience with GPS/GIS and ecological monitoring methods
Comfortable working in a team of two with minimal day-to-day oversight
Must have the ability to climb trees using provided safety equipment, and hike for long distances on uneven terrain in various weather conditions
Excellent organizational skills in a field setting
Ability to work, and maintain a good attitude, while performing physical work in spring, summer, and fall conditions
Some knowledge of invasive New York flora and fauna, particularly tree identification
Strong interest in and commitment to environmental stewardship and team-oriented approach to solving environmental challenges
Experience in interacting with and/or educating the public
Backcountry orienteering and Leave No Trace experience a plus
Must have some personal camping equipment and be comfortable camping weekly for some or most of the field season. Tents, cook stoves and cook sets will be provided for use throughout the season.