River Stewards of Tomorrow 2023 Internship

Posted 1 month ago

The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) is seeking applications for our River Stewards of Tomorrow Watershed Conservation Internship positions, available for summer 2023. River Stewards will work on a variety of projects related to watershed conservation, the human dimensions of natural resource management, wildlife conservation, and land protection.

River Stewards will be based out of our office in Cornwall Bridge, CT and work primarily in the Connecticut and New York portions of the Housatonic River watershed. Occasional work in the Berkshires may be required. River Steward positions last 12 weeks from June to August.

Internship Overview:

The 2023 River Stewards will work closely with HVA’s Watershed Conservation and Land Protection Staff. River Stewards will spend approximately 70% of their time in the field, and 30% of their time in the office. Projects that the intern will be involved with include but aren’t limited to the following (in order of proportion of time spent):

  • River Information and Outreach (RIO) Program: Weekend work required. River Stewards will visit popular Housatonic River access sites along Route 7 (New Milford to Falls Village, CT), engage with visitors, conduct outreach about stewardship of the river and land, and collect some data (i.e. interviews and surveys). River Stewards must be willing to work a full-time 5-day workweek that includes at least 1 weekend
  • Follow the Forest Terrestrial Habitat Linkage Assessments: Assess connectors (or linkages) between core forests for wildlife movement at likely pinchpoints. Evaluate what impedes/facilitates wildlife movement between core forests and learn how HVA uses linkage assessment data to set conservation priorities. Stewards will engage partners within the region to complete linkage
  • Road-Stream Crossing Assessments: River Stewards will visit and assess bridges and culverts (using the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative protocol) in the Naugatuck watershed to both identify barriers to fish and wildlife passage as well as assist with post-assessment data management and
  • Stream Corridor 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
  • Water Quality Monitoring: The River Stewards will assist with ongoing water quality research across the
  • Restoration project monitoring and maintenance: River Stewards conduct maintenance activities like weeding and watering at riparian and aquatic restoration projects. Sometimes this will be in conjunction with our high school youth program called Still River Watershed
  • Follow the Forest Outreach and Communications: Stewards will assist HVA’s Senior Land Protection Manager to lead trainings for partners in Habitat Linkage Stewards may also create social media content and communication tools.

Qualifications: 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, buggy, );
  • Willingness to work weekends to support the RIO program;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, the ability to approach and interact with strangers, and the ability to represent HVA in a professional manner;
  • Strong organization and data management skills;
  • Experience using GPS and GIS is helpful, but not

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).

Compensation: River Stewards will be compensated at a rate of $18/hour. Work-related travel will be compensated at a rate of $0.585/mile. Housing is not provided. HVA will assist successful applicants in finding summer lodging near the HVA office, if necessary.

Application Procedure: Interested candidates should submit the following materials via email:

  1. COVER LETTER explaining your interest and qualifications
  4. Optional but encouraged – Examples of past projects relevant to HVA’s mission (please limit to 1 page, max of three projects)

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed and positions filled on a rolling basis.

Questions and applications should be directed to:

Michael S. Jastremski
Watershed Conservation Director
Housatonic Valley Association
Email: M
Phone: (860) 672-6678 ext. 109

Julia Rogers
Senior Land Protection Manager
Housatonic Valley Association

Phone: (717) 881-4518

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Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut

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