River Captain

South Yuba River Citizens League

Nevada City, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $16.50 to $18.00 per hour DOE
Deadline May 06, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

River Captain (3 positions)River People · Nevada City, California (Hybrid)

TYPE:  Part-time, Temporary Employee, (May – September 2024) Seeking 2 English-speaking River Captains and 1 Bilingual Spanish/English-speaking River Captain

ORGANIZATION:    South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)


Each summer more than 800,000 visitors journey to the South Yuba River to soak in the sun and rejuvenate in its sparkling waters. Because of the Yuba’s popularity, it is at risk of being over-loved. SYRCL developed the River Ambassador program in partnership with the South Yuba River State Park to educate and inspire visitors to join the effort to keep the river clean, healthy, and safe. Each weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day, teams of volunteer River Ambassadors and River Captains engage visitors in best stewardship practices by talking one-on-one with people at busy crossings, beaches, and trails. For more information about the program please visit Volunteer • SYRCL (yubariver.org)

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with more than 3,500 members and volunteers. See: www.yubariver.org


River Captains help train and oversee River Ambassador volunteers to educate visitors about river safety and etiquette at assigned river crossings, including the Highway 49 bridge, Bridgeport, and Purdon Crossing. River Captains are also responsible for collecting programmatic data about visitors, trash collected, and interactions. While on-the-ground duties occur on weekends, River Captains can expect to spend two hours midweek in meetings and completing administrative duties, such as data entry, scheduling, and supply restocking River Captains average 15 hours per week.

NOTE: River Captains must be available to work weekends during the summer starting Memorial Day weekend and ending Labor Day weekend. Please only apply if you are available to work these dates. Applicants must also be available for training in May and as needed, in addition to post-program evaluation during the first week of September. 


  • Coordinate with River Ambassador volunteers to confirm scheduling each weekend.
  • Pick up outreach materials and set-up a booth each shift.
  • Supervise and train volunteer River Ambassadors on Saturdays, Sundays, and extended holiday weekends.
  • Model non-confrontational interactions when visitors are encountered along trails, at beaches, and parking lots with the help of River Ambassadors.
  • Educate visitors about river stewardship and remove trash, dog waste, and fire pits as needed.
  • Educate visitors on SYRCL’s programs. Encourage SYRCL membership and volunteerism.
  • Maintain daily logs detailing contacts made, litter-collected, and other data.
  • Assist Education & Outreach Coordinator as needed in planning and implementing regular training and evaluation sessions, a mid-season potluck and end-of-season volunteer appreciation event.
  • Develop outreach materials as needed.
  • Maintain organized and fully stocked River Ambassador supply bins.
  • Attend weekly River Captain meetings.


  • Extensive familiarity of and a passion to educate the public about river health and safety.
  • Excellent “people skills” including superior communication skills and a commitment to positive interactions with diverse visitors.
  • Some experience in supervising and coordinating volunteers.
  • Computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Docs, Email.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail for scheduling, data collection, and record keeping.
  • Ability to work independently, solve problems, and exercise good judgment.
  • Have your own vehicle with a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance, as well as a clean driving record.
  • Readily available by phone and email.
  • First Aid and CPR experience (particularly Wilderness First Aid) a plus.
  • Willingness to submit to a Livescan background check.


  • Able to speak clearly on the phone and in person and be understood by others.
  • Able to occasionally lift objects weighing up to 40 pounds.
  • Able to work outdoors in the summer season for at least 5-6 hours at a time.
  • Able to walk on trails.


  • Fluency in Spanish; ability to comfortably and confidently speak with river visitors in Spanish.
  • Ability to read and write in Spanish.


Compensation will be $16.50 to $18.00 per hour; this includes all training, post-program evaluations, and required meetings. Reasonable mileage and pre-approved expenses will be reimbursed. SYRCL’s part-time temporary employees are not eligible for health/vision/dental insurance benefits, paid time off, or holiday pay. 40 hours of Sick leave will be frontloaded but may not be used for the first 90 days of employment.

SYRCL is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other protected status.


River Captain training begins the week of May 13th, 2024, and the first day on the river is May 24th, 2024. Positions are open until filled. Please apply at https://syrcl.bamboohr.com/careers/91

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

Category Environmental Education , General / Stewardship