Housatonic Valley Association River Stewards of Tomorrow

The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) is seeking applications for two River Steward of Tomorrow Environmental Internship positions, available for summer 2015. The River Stewards will work on a variety of projects related to water quality and habitat conservation. One River Steward will be assigned to our Berkshire field office in South Lee, MA and will work primarily in the Massachusetts portion of the watershed; and the other will be assigned to our main office in Cornwall Bridge, CT and will work primarily in the Connecticut and New York portions of the watershed. Each River Steward will be expected to complete approximately 280 hours of work from June – August (roughly 35 hours per week over 8 weeks).

Internship Overview: While working out of the Cornwall Bridge office, the 2014 River Stewards will be supervised by the HVA Water Protection Director, but may also be asked to work with other staff as needed. In the Berkshire Office, River Stewards will be supervised by HVA’s Berkshire Director. Work will include a mix of office and field-based activities. Projects that the intern may be involved with include:

  • Environmental Monitoring. The River Stewards will assist HVA staff with field-based water quality monitoring activities including collecting water quality samples, conducting rapid bioassessments, and conducting visual surveys along important stream reaches to document threats, uses and conditions.
  • Restoration project monitoring and maintenance. River Stewards will monitor success of restoration plantings in the Ten Mile River watershed of New York, and conduct maintenance activities like weeding and watering.
  • Water Quality Data Compilation and Mapping: River Stewards will assist with gathering and summarizing environmental monitoring and assessment data from a variety of local, state and federal sources in MA, NY, and CT. This work will support a number of ongoing HVA efforts, including watershed-based planning.
  • Road/Stream Crossing Assessment. The River Stewards will visit and assess bridges and culverts throughout the watershed to identify barriers to fish and wildlife passage, and assist with postassessment data processing and report writing.
  • Websites and Social Media. HVA maintains a website for the organization as well as a website focused on the Naugatuck River, an important tributary of the Housatonic in CT. and a Facebook page. The intern will be involved in the production of materials for HVA’s website and Facebook page. Related tasks might include identifying and summarizing relevant news items, developing project updates and press releases, and creating educational or training videos.
  • Opportunities may be available for the intern to assist with other organization work including assisting with land conservation easement monitoring, GIS analysis of land and water resources and outreach activities such as guided paddle trips and community events.

Qualifications: The River Stewards will work alongside the industry’s best professionals for one of the oldest watershed organizations in the nation. Candidates must be 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 (e.g., water quality sampling, habitat surveys), including navigating in remote areas under potentially inclement environmental conditions;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to represent HVA in a professional manner;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Familiarity with basic website administration and social media;
  • Experience using GPS and GIS
  • Willingness to work the occasional evening or weekend.

Requirements: Daily access to a personal vehicle is a requirement of the position. The intern must also be physically able to participate in potentially strenuous field work (i.e. physically active work outside for several hours during hot and/or rainy weather). Housing is not provided. HVA will assist successful applicants in finding a summer rental convenient to their assigned office.

Compensation: The intern will be provided with a $2,400 stipend for the course of the internship. Work related travel will be compensated at a rate of $0.48/mile.

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 1-2 pages/project, max of three projects)

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Deadline: We expect to make hiring decisions no later than April 15th. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Questions and applications should be directed to: Michael S. Jastremski, Water Protection Director Housatonic Valley Association Mail: PO Box 28, Cornwall Bridge, CT 06754 E-mail: [email protected] Phone: (860) 672-6678

About the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA): The Housatonic Valley Association, founded in 1941, works to conserve the natural character and environmental health of watershed communities by protecting and restoring lands and waters for this and future generations. We are one of the oldest watershed-based conservation groups in the country and we have a proven track record of success. Since 2011, HVA staff and volunteers have traveled 100+ miles of stream on foot and by boat to conduct visual surveys, and assessed more than 1000 road/stream crossings find barriers to fish and wildlife movement. We helped organize the first watershed-wide gathering to discuss merging economic and environmental interests along the historic Naugatuck River. We physically removed many tons of garbage from the rivers of the watershed, and worked with the state of Massachusetts to complete the Columbia Mill Dam sediment study – the first step towards the dam’s removal. We collaborated with partners to construct multiple new boating access sites and Paddle Guides to encourage use and enjoyment of the Housatonic River. We were among the leaders negotiating both stream flow protection regulations in Connecticut and pushing for common-sense PCB cleanup in Massachusetts. We conserved 20 acres of undeveloped riverfront, facilitated funding to design the extension of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail in New York, worked with recreationalists to create a multi-town bike trail in Connecticut, and continued our role as a leader of the Litchfield Hills Greenprint program, a partnership of 23 land trusts in northwest Connecticut. Learn more about our work and find how you can help by visiting www.hvatoday.org.