The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) is seeking applications for our River Stewards of Tomorrow Internship positions, available for summer 2021. River Stewards will work on a variety of projects related to water resource management, human dimensions, wildlife conservation, and land protection. River Stewards will be based out of the office in Cornwall Bridge, CT and work in the Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York portions of the watershed. Each River Steward position lasts at minimum 10 weeks from May – August. See a Story Map about the position created by one of our 2018 interns here: https://arcg.is/1jWrKu
Internship Overview: The 2021 River Stewards will be supervised by HVA’s Conservation Projects Managers, but may also be asked to work with other staff as needed. Work will include a mix of office and field-based activities (approximately 90% field-based and 10% office-based). Projects that the interns may be involved with include but aren’t limited to the following (in order of proportion of time spent):
• Stream Reach Assessments: The River Stewards will assist HVA staff in the field to conduct visual surveys (“streamwalks”) along important stream reaches to document threats and identify restoration opportunities. Rapid screening water quality tests will be conducted at all suspicious outfalls. Stream walks will occur primarily in southern Connecticut, in the Pootatuck subwatershed. River Stewards will occasionally assist in post-assessment data management and processing.
• Environmental Monitoring (outfall screening and pollution trackdown): The River Stewards will have the chance to conduct water quality monitoring, including collecting water samples for chemical analysis. Environmental monitoring will be done in the Still River subwatershed.
• Road-Stream Crossing Assessments in the Naugatuck Valley: River Stewards will visit and assess bridges and culverts (using the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative protocol) in the Naugatuck Valley region of Connecticut to identify barriers to fish and wildlife passage, and assist with post-assessment data management and processing.
• Culvert Rod and Level Surveys: River Stewards may have the opportunity to assist HVA full-time staff in collecting detailed data on existing structures and stream geomorphic profiles, at priority culvert replacement sites. Data will be collected using a rod and prism, a Leica FlexLine TS09 Total Station, and a Trimble data collector, and will be used to create preliminary designs for replacement structures.
• Restoration project monitoring and maintenance: River Stewards will assist with riparian and aquatic restoration projects (e.g., live willow staking) and conduct maintenance activities like weeding and watering. Sometimes this will be in conjunction with our high school youth program called Still River Watershed Connections. Occasional weekend work required.
• River Information and Outreach (RIO) Program: July 4th and occasional weekend work required. River Stewards will be asked to help the RIO Stewards on July 4th and other weekend days as necessary. This work involves traveling among popular Housatonic River access sites along Route 7 (New Milford to Falls Village, CT) and engaging with site visitors. Tasks will include informing users of the site rules, conducting outreach about stewardship of the river and land, and answering any questions. River Stewards may also be asked to help RIO Stewards with community events throughout the summer.
Application Procedure: Interested candidates should submit the following materials via email (ideally as a single PDF, titled “[YourLastName]_HVARiverSteward”):
1. COVER LETTER explaining your interest and qualifications
3. TWO (2) PROFESSIONAL REFERENCES
Deadline: Applications will be reviewed and positions filled on a rolling basis. We intend to fill both positions by May 1, at the latest.
Candidates must be detail-oriented, highly-motivated, passionate about watershed conservation, and able to succeed both independently and as part of a team. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess:
• Enthusiasm for outdoor field work, including working under potentially inclement environmental conditions (hot, rainy, etc.);
• Strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to represent HVA in a professional manner;
• Strong organization and data management skills, and ability to follow detailed protocols;
• Ability to problem-solve and think creatively while out in the field.
Requirements: Daily access to a reliable personal vehicle is a requirement of the position (HVA does not have a field vehicle, so all field work, including any work in New York and Massachusetts, will be done in personal cars with mileage reimbursements.) The intern must also be physically able to participate in potentially strenuous field work (i.e., physically active work outside for several hours at a time during the heat of the summer).