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Community Volunteer Ambassador – Big Cypress National Preserve

Conservation Legacy

Ochopee, Florida

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details $600/week, housing provided, education award
Deadline Jul 07, 2024

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants will need to apply here: https://form.jotform.com/StewardsIPP/cva-application-fall-2024. Application form requires a resume, cover letter, professional references.

Position Details:

Stewards Individual Placements, a program of Conservation Legacy, provides individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources. The Community Volunteer Ambassador (CVA) Program combines the strength of a national leader in conservation service with the National Park Service to train a diverse group of emerging leaders to assist park units in building lasting connections to communities.

The Community Volunteer Ambassador will play a critical role in integrating the Preserve into the greater Naples community by leveraging current community partnerships and helping to forge new ones. They will assist the Volunteer Coordinator in their efforts to expand the volunteer community at Big Cypress National Preserve. This position will regularly work networking within the community, recruiting new volunteers, having discussions about creative service projects, and generally sharing information about the Preserve, especially with under-represented communities.

Through outreach efforts, the CVA will create awareness of the Preserve within the community as a place to learn and recreate. They will network with the broader community to recruit volunteers and invite visitors to the Preserve. The CVA will work closely with the Volunteer Program Manager (VPM) to host special volunteer events, provide administrative support, and assist the VPM in the planning and execution of the Annual Volunteer Recognition Event.

 Site Description

Visitors from all over the world travel to Big Cypress National Preserve to see if they can catch a glimpse of an endangered Florida Panther, spot a flock of roseate spoonbills, and watch alligators in the wild. They walk along our boardwalks, viewing animals unlike anything they've seen before, and immerse themselves in the wonder of cypress domes. They come to canoe the water ways, hike in the back country, take an offroad vehicle ride, seek stunning vistas, and stop at the visitor centers to learn more about the swamp, pinelands, prairies, and cypress domes, history, and the many uses of the Preserve’s 729,000 acres.

Big Cypress National Preserve hosts a volunteer program of roughly 60 RV volunteers that join us for the busy season in the winter. We also host occasional single-day volunteer events that bring the public out into the preserve. Though the program is solid, there are many areas in which we can improve, such as regularly engaging locals, hosting single-day events on National Volunteer Days, and by kickstarting programs such as Big Cypress' Artist in Residence program.

 Position Responsibilities:

  • Assist VPM with volunteer recruitment, check-in, and check-out at the end of the season.
  • Assist in the planning and execution of the Annual Volunteer Recognition Event, Annual Volunteer Orientation, as well as specialty training (i.e. Trail Patrol, etc.)
  • Assist the VIP Coordinator with administrative tasks related to Big Cypress National Preserve’s VIP Program (annual reporting, inventory, budget, etc.)
  • Brainstorm more efficient ways to on-board local volunteers and create a positive volunteer experience for all parties both in the summer and winter months.
  • Learn to use volunteer.gov to assist with the transition from paper documents to virtual.
  • Come up with more efficient ways for the volunteer program to record training, log volunteer hours, and ensure that the program meets all regional and WASO requirements.
  • Connect with local communities through outreach to build a strong base of local volunteerism.
  • Work with organizations, HOAs, and agencies the Preserve does not currently partner with to their needs as they relate to the Preserve.
  • Identify trends (location, demographic, economic) and barriers to individuals and groups volunteering with the Preserve. Develop creative recommendations to alleviate or outright overcome some of these challenges.
  • Interact with park staff, volunteers, and volunteer supervisors to better understand what gaps/needs the volunteer program can fill.
  • Read RM #7 and become familiar with forms and procedures

CVA Minimum Requirements:

  • Ability to work as part of a close-knit team
  • Willingness to try new things (such as walking in a swamp)
  • Strong commitment to engaging with diverse audiences
  • Highly motivated to create lasting change
  • Organization and leadership skills
  • Ability to creatively problem solve
  • Passion, enthusiasm, energy, humor, and the ability to convey this in-person, as well as through phone and email communications.
  • High school diploma/GED
  • Participate in the CVA National Early Service Training in late November 2024 (date TBD)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • Be 18-30 years old at time of service (veterans up to 35 years old)
  • High School Diploma/GED
  • Pass fingerprint-based FBI, state criminal, and a national sex offender checks.
  • Be able to provide proof of a driver’s license and complete a MVR check
    • Must be over 21 years old or have had license for at least 3 years to be insured in this position

 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Skills in public speaking and presenting information to large and diverse audiences
  • Associate's/bachelor's/master's degree in any discipline
  • Experience with volunteers, and/or volunteering yourself
  • Experience with Microsoft Suite, Outlook, and similar computer programs

Additional Information:

  • Incumbents may be asked to work the occasional weekend
  • Location of housing is remote and requires a driver's license and vehicle
  • Incumbent MAY be required to share a room for part of their term
  • The volunteer program manager has close working relationships with both Biscayne and Everglades National Parks. We will work to schedule days to explore those sites while also learning about their volunteer programs (EVER also has a CVA who we would connect with).

 Benefits:

  • $600/week living stipend.
  • $150/week in housing allowance, if housing is not provided.
  • Limited health care/childcare benefits
  • The position is eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award $6,895.00 (pre-tax) upon successful completion of the program
  • $1,200 in professional development funds for training, networking, conferences, and/or travel.
  • Networking opportunities within the National Park Service and partnering organizations
  • Public Land Corps Hiring Authority
  • Week-long in-person training at NPS site with travel/meal expenses covered.
HOW TO APPLY

Please visit Community Volunteer Ambassador (cvainternships.org) to review “Member Positions” by region and find instructions on how to apply.  

The CVA position will start on Monday, September 9, 2024, and run for 48 weeks until Friday, August 8, 2025.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants will need to apply here: https://form.jotform.com/StewardsIPP/cva-application-fall-2024. Application form requires a resume, cover letter, professional references.

Please ensure your cover letter addresses how your experience aligns with the CVA program, your experience working with diverse populations, and position details for this park/position. You may submit one application for multiple positions by selecting all sites you are interested in.

Applications Deadline:

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. First review will occur in early June. Final deadline is Sunday, July 7, 2024.

For Application Questions:

Please contact James Gasaway, Program Director at jgasaway@conservationlegacy.org

Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, political affiliation, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during application or recruiting process, please send a request to the hiring manager

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Conservation Corps, Outreach