Title: Public Affairs Specialist (1 opening)
Start/End Date: November 1, 2021 – July 29, 2022 (anticipated)
Term: 39 weeks
Location: BLM New Mexico State Office (301 Dinosaur Trail Santa Fe, NM 87508)
Status: 1200-hour AmeriCorps Service Term (90% office work and 10% field work)
Benefits: AmeriCorps Education Award $4,336.50; Public Lands Corps Certificate*; both with successful completion of the internship. Health insurance eligible.
Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM): Conservation Corps New Mexico, a program of Conservation Legacy, aims to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's. CCNM is focused on connecting youth, young adults, and recent era military veterans with conservation service work projects on public lands. CCNM operates programs across southern New Mexico and western Texas that engage individuals and strengthen communities through service and conservation. The CCNM program office in Las Cruces manages the CCNM field program.
Position Summary: This position serves as an entry-level Public Affairs Intern located in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) New Mexico State Office. The incumbent performs assignments which develop the incumbent’s abilities to assist with planning, developing, and implementing public affairs products and strategies related to actions in all BLM programs. The incumbent applies standard communication methods to recurring, precedented public affairs assignments. Given the often high-profile, controversial, and conflicting nature of public opinion regarding BLM programs, the incumbent works closely with BLM Public Affairs Specialists, their supervisor, and/or the State Office Communications Chief, in order to ensure the BLM provides a consistent approach and accurate message to the public. Contacts are made in participation with or under the close supervision of a BLM mentor and involve managers and staff, interest groups, educational groups, and counterparts in government agencies on the national, state, and local levels.
Essential Responsibilities and Functions:
• In coordination with BLM mentors, develops digital media plans, manages photo library, and produces photographs, digital audio content, and videos for use in print or digital media products as well as social media and websites. Reviews photographs and artwork for quality and composition. Works closely with the web and social media manager to issue products to the public and press.
• Assists with the research, drafting and distribution of communication plans, news releases, talking points, fact sheets, letters, presentations, social media content, and strategies designed to further public, employee, and customer understanding and support of the BLM and its mission. Identifies to the supervisor issues and actions contained in BLM plans and programs that should receive public affairs emphasis. Gathers and reports public reactions to BLM activities or information programs. Draws appropriate conclusions and recommendations to improve communication programs and materials.
• With the assistance of BLM mentors, conducts the following activities a) coordinates logistics and helps prepare personnel for interviews with media and/or BLM personnel for agency-produced video content; b) assists BLM personnel in preparing for media coverage of special events; and c) assists BLM offices with public and internal meetings as required.
• Performs general administrative duties such as maintaining current and accurate lists of area leaders and elected officials for use in outreach; updates public affairs databases, spreadsheets, and workflow management systems; and updates and helps maintain the media contact list.
• Performs other duties as assigned.
• Basic knowledge of written and oral communication principles, methods and techniques, analytical methods, and interpersonal relations practices.
• Fundamental knowledge of BLM’s mission, functions, policies, and procedures in order to solve a variety of recurring and precedented public affairs issues.
• Knowledge of basic principles of photography and skill in applying those principles using still or video cameras.
• Knowledge and familiarity with a variety of digital media platforms.
• Knowledge of the capabilities, operating characteristics, and advanced functions of a variety of types of office automation software, (e.g., database, spreadsheet, word processing, desktop publishing); and knowledge of the similarities, differences, and integration of different software types.
• Skill in applying and adapting such knowledge in strictly controlled situations for developing, within the incumbent, broader knowledge and skills required for higher levels of performance and greater degrees of responsibility.
• Interpersonal skill sufficient to communicate effectively with representatives from the news media, BLM managers, subject matter experts, and members of the public in controlled situations.
• Skill in writing news releases on routine events of non-controversial subjects.
• Skill in performing routine analysis of media and public reaction.
• Skill sufficient to assist in drafting public affairs products and strategies for natural resource projects and programs and ability to learn to identify the publics concerned, and methods for reaching these public and elicit input from the groups.
• Skill in oral communication sufficient to respond to routine requests for information concerning BLM programs, services or responsibilities, and to recognize situations requiring the attention of higher graded employees and/or the supervisor.
• This position is mostly sedentary in office work. local and long distance are required on occasion. These can involve field situations with demands for walking, boating, using OHVs, and carrying heavy equipment such as digital and video cameras. Driving a car or pickup truck is periodically required.
• To successfully perform essential functions, the individual is required to sit, stand, walk, speak, hear, etc. May be required to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl for significant periods of time and be able to safely lift 50 pounds on a routine basis. He/she must be able to operate office equipment, telephone, and computer and reach with hands and arms.
• Ability to hike and camp in rough, uneven terrain in high summer temperatures (mid-90’s to above 100 degrees F).
• Writing and editing assignments require a degree of concentration and may, on
occasion, include working under tight deadlines.
• This position calls for high levels of concentration. A small amount of travel is required to attend meetings, aid other field offices, and to provide or receive training.
Participation and Expedition Behavior:
• Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This may require problem solving on an interpersonal or group level as well as a willingness to accept differences.
• Contribute to a safe learning environment, no harassment of others for any reason.
• Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program including conservation projects, education, training, and national service. Members must commit to participating in all team activities, including service days in local communities where applicable.
• Effectively communicate ideas and concerns as they arise directly to supervisors, colleagues, and organization staff.
• Appropriately represent Conservation Corps New Mexico, the BLM and AmeriCorps to the public and partners at all times.
• Flexibility, adaptability, and capacity to work in a fluid, changing work environment.
All tasks will have COVID-19 mitigation strategies to reduce the spread in the local community. The selected individual must be willing to adhere to current CDC and state of New Mexico standards, in addition to BLM and Conservation Legacy COVID-19 Policies and Procedures.
Safety and Judgment:
• Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of danger others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury or need for assistance. Must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise such as darkness or high winds.
• Effectively perceive and understand significant and apparent hazards and follow direction by others so that you will be able to successfully execute techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or may need to be given during the exposure to the hazard. Ability to respond appropriately to stress or crises.
• Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.
• If taking prescriptions medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self-medicating without assistance from others.
A DOI background clearance must be completed before the selected candidate may report to duty. The BLM will provide instructions for completion of the clearance after an intern has been selected and will notify them when they have been cleared to start the internship. This process will determine the internship’s exact start date.
Interns will have access to government facilities and systems, and will be supplied with access to gov’t vehicles, equipment, and materials needed to work on the projects and activities as outlined above. Interns must adhere to all government regulations and policies for operating equipment, vehicles, security awareness, and safety including attending necessary trainings and virtual education where necessary.
• In accordance with a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in program activities and while on organization property.
*To be eligible for a Public Lands Corps certificate, interns must be between the ages of 18-30, inclusive, at the time the individual begins the term of service.
To Apply: Please submit an updated resume and cover letter along with the online application at https://corpsnm.org/ip-positions . If you have questions, contact CCNM’s Individual Placement Coordinator SamJean Simmons at email@example.com.
For more information about Conservation Corps New Mexico, please visit www.corpsnm.org. Conservation Corps New Mexico is a program of Conservation Legacy.