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Forest Health Specialist

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

New Paltz ,  New York

Title: Forest Health Specialist

June 5 – December 8, 2017 (27 weeks)

$16.28/hour, plus per-diem when traveling

4 full-time, temporary positions available  


Western Forest Health Specialists

Allegany State Park

Salamanca, NY 14779


Eastern Forest Health Specialists

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Gardiner, NY 12525

Travel and camping in other parks and regions 40-50%


The Forest Health Specialist team will work for and report to Invasive Species Program staff. Assistance from Regional Natural Resource Steward-Biologists, regional Forestry staff, Natural Heritage Program scientists and educators will be provided. These Forest Health Specialists are a crucial component of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) statewide Invasive Species Management Program.

The primary focus of both teams of Forest Health Specialists will be the early detection of infestations of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) and other emerging forest pests and pathogens throughout New York State. Forest Health Specialists will cover assigned OPRHP Regions (See for OPRHP regional delineations.). There will be two teams of Forest Health Specialists statewide, both working independently towards the same Agency goals.

The Eastern Forest Health Specialists will cover the following regions: Long Island, New York City, Taconic, Palisades, Saratoga-Capital and the eastern portion of Thousand Islands. This team will report to Minnewaska State Park Preserve, located in the Palisades region in Gardiner, NY, for weekly briefing and debriefing.

The Western Forest Health Specialists will cover Central, Finger Lakes, Genesee, Niagara, Allegany and the western portion of Thousand Islands Region. This team will report to Allegany State Park, located outside Salamanca in the Allegany Region, for weekly briefing and debriefing.

Please note these positions do not include healthcare benefits or paid leave. Workers’ Compensation will be provided if necessary.


These positions are for the primary purpose of locating and monitoring infestations of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) and other emerging forest pests and pathogens.

Duties will also include: surveys and data collection, tree canopy monitoring, public education, facilitating partnerships, treatment verification and volunteer coordination. Specialists are expected to be self-starters, highly independent problem solvers, reliable and motivated with an interest in forest health, environmental stewardship and education. Excellent communication with park staff and park patrons are a crucial aspect of these positions.

Forest Health Specialists also participate in pre- and post-treatment canopy monitoring surveys, which involve climbing hemlocks and collecting samples from the canopy. Successful Forest Health Specialists will need a strong level of physical fitness and have little to no fear of heights to capably preform canopy monitoring.

Several forms of data collection and data management are necessary, including working with GIS. Other survey and map making tasks may be assigned as needed by supervising staff. A final report summarizing the season’s work, complete with GIS maps, will be submitted at the end of the season.

Specialists are expected to travel frequently (40-50% of their time) during their employment, and be willing to camp in Park campgrounds for overnight stays when necessary.


  • An undergraduate degree or 4 years of experience related to forestry, environmental studies, forest/stream ecology, natural resource management, invasive species management, or a relevant discipline such as general biology.
  • Experience in collection of field data and ecological monitoring methods.
  • Ability to navigate in backcountry conditions with map and compass and/or GPS.
  • Working knowledge of GIS to create maps with collected data.
  • Experience in interacting with and/or educating the public.
  • Familiarity with invasive insects and their impacts.
    • Interest in and commitment to environmental stewardship.
    • Comfortable working in a team of two with minimal day-to-day oversight.
    • Strong level of physical fitness with little to no fear of heights.
    • Excellent organizational skills in a field setting.
    • Some knowledge of New York flora and fauna, particularly tree identification.
    • Committed to environmental stewardship and a team-oriented approach to solving day-to-day challenges.
    • Must have some personal camping equipment and be comfortable camping frequently for the duration of employment.
    • A valid driver’s license

To Apply:

E-mail or send by FAX a completed Part 1 pre-employment application, a letter of interest and resume. Include three work references with contact name and email, name of business/facility and phone number. Part 1 Pre-Employment application can be found at

You can FAX your completed application, letter and resume to (845) 255-3505. Email ( preferred.


Sarah Travalio

Invasive Species Project Coordinator

845-256-0579 (o)

845-418-0151 (c)

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

PO Box 893

New Paltz, NY 12561


All position specific cover letters and resumes must be received by Monday, April 3

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