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WSP AmeriCorps Member - Regional Water Quality Control Board

The Watershed Stewards Program (WSP) is seeking an AmeriCorp Member to serve with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board from October 6th, 2019 – August 14th, 2020

Application Due: ASAP - Need to fill slot before October!

During their service, Members participate in a wide array of activities, including:
• Regular watershed recovery and protection work with their Placement Site
• Teaching the Wonders of Watersheds (WOW!) curriculum in Title I elementary schools
• Engaging their service community in watershed outreach
• Creating and implementing their own Watershed Awareness Project (WAP) and recruiting community volunteers
• Training and professional development opportunities

Qualifications for Applicants:
• 21+
• High school diploma
• 25 credits of college-level science OR 6 months of relevant experience in fisheries/habitat restoration, invasive removal, instream structure installation, etc.
• Interest and experience in natural resources management and environmental education
• Possession of or be willing to obtain a California Driver's License
• Clean driving record (no more than 2 points)
• US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

Benefits Include:
• Opportunity to make a difference in a Californian community
• A monthly living stipend: $1,905
• WSP Members that successfully complete a Full-time 1700 hour service term will be eligible to receive a combined $10,000 AmeriCorps Education Award: ($6,095 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award and $3,905 California For All Education Award). Members may use the education award to pay for current educational expenses at an eligible institution, to repay qualified student loans, or to do both.
• Hands-on training opportunities
• Uniform and field gear provided
• Opportunities to see some of the most beautiful places in California
• Mentorship from a natural resources professional and networking opportunities
• No-cost medical insurance
• Student loan forbearance on eligible loans
• Valuable work experience for your future

How to Apply to WSP:
• Go to WSP's website and download Year 26 WSP Application and review informational video.

Send the following WSP's Recruiter:
• WSP Application
• Cover letter
• One-page resume
• Two signed letters of recommendation

WSP Contact Information:

If you have any questions about the Watershed Stewards Program or how to apply, please contact the WSP Recruiter.

Here is specific information about serving with this unique Placement Site:
Physical Address: 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612

WSP Placement Site’s Organizational Background: The State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) was created in 1967 to manage water rights and water quality in California. The Water Board has regulatory authority to preserve, enhance, and restore the quality of California’s water for the protection of the environment, the public, and for the benefit of future generations. There are nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards that regulate their respective local water quality issues. WSP Members will be working primarily with the Watershed Division and the Planning Division. The Watershed Division regulates streams and wetlands, stormwater runoff from construction and industrial sites, and waste discharges to land. The Planning Division is responsible for identifying impaired water bodies and developing and implementing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) that restore these waterbodies by examining the water quality problems, identifying sources of pollutants, and specifying actions that create solutions. This division also houses the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP), which provides standardized water quality data for policy and management decisions to protect California’s surface waters

Number of Years as a WSP Placement Site: 7
Number of Member Positions at this Site: 2

Mentor Name(s) and Title(s):
• Kevin Lunde, Senior Environmental Scientist
• Kristina Yoshida, Environmental Scientist
• Tahsa Sturgis, Water Resource Control Engineer
• Rebecca Nordenholt, Environmental Scientist

Position Description with SFB RWQCB:

WSP Members placed at this site will actively participate in a diverse array of watershed-related activities. Members will primarily work with the Watershed Division at our office in downtown Oakland, where they will work closely with Mentors to identify and evaluate previously constructed bank stabilization designs along salmonid streams throughout the San Francisco Bay area. WSP Members will be trained by Mentors to evaluate these bank stabilization designs’ overall performance through field work including using spatial analysis, conducting cross-section and longitudinal surveys, measuring bankfull channel width, measuring localized scour, identifying channel and habitat types, identifying riparian vegetation and canopy cover, and summarizing their findings in reports. WSP Members will also work closely with Mentors in the Planning Division to plan and implement water quality and stream assessment programs in urban and rural streams (e.g., pathogen and nutrient monitoring). During the fall, WSP Members have the opportunity to work with Water Board partners on bank stabilization projects and spawning surveys. In the spring and summer, WSP Members will conduct fine sediment assessments in salmonid streams, large woody debris surveys (tentative), and deploy continuous monitoring devices to monitor dissolved oxygen and temperature. WSP Members will work with staff ecologists and engineers to co-facilitate educational workshops to various NGOs, government agencies, and community groups around the region. Workshops focus on how to protect streams, enhance fish habitat, use soil bioengineering for bank stabilization, and to protect private property from flooding and erosion. Members can also identify projects within the Water Board where they want to gain experience, such as water quality regulatory procedures, GIS mapping, restoration assessments, and data and spatial analyses on multi-year data.

What Makes this Site Unique:

The Water Board provides Members with rewarding and diverse experiences that serve to protect urban and rural watersheds while contributing to Members’ professional development. The range of job duties at this site is broad so Members learn a wide variety of skills for future job possibilities in government, NGO, and consulting sectors. Members get hands on training and experience by collecting a wide range of field data, including qualitative and quantitative stream habitat data, nutrients, heavy metals, pathogens, flow, and long-term deployments (e.g., temperature, dissolved oxygen). WSP Members collaborate with Water Board staff on office projects that are aligned with their personal interests and career goals. As such, most Members have found their next job through contacts made working at the Water Board. The Water Board is also unique in that Members can partake in multiple regional and statewide training courses to further their professional development (e.g., GIS skills, water quality policy, scientific writing, leadership skills, and biological assessment methods).

Site-Specific Training Provided:

A key goal of the Water Board is to provide WSP Members with many useful training opportunities to help develop their career plans. Members attend monthly Water Board trainings, covering topics such as storm water chemistry and spatial resources for water planning. Members are also able to attend trainings through the Water Board Training Academy, such as GIS courses, scientific writing, effective communication, environmental impact and permitting, and bioassessment. Members also have a lot of one-on-one training with the Mentors and other staff at the Water Board to gain knowledge and skills on a wide variety of water quality, stream restoration, stream physical habitat, and stream biological factors.

Things to Note:

This site is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, a very expensive (yet exciting!) part of California. Members should seek housing with roommates in nearby communities and assess their financial ability to live in this area. Members will spend a considerable amount of their time monitoring stream flow and water quality. They will also spend a significant amount of time planning restoration projects, using GIS, and analyzing data and writing technical reports. Applicants must be willing to work occasional weekends. Applicants with data entry and analysis, stream habitat sampling, water quality sampling, plant identification and GIS experience are preferred but not required.

Housing Offered through Site:
☐ Yes ☒ No

Vehicle provided for Placement Site work:
☒ Yes ☐ No