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Service-Learning & Outreach Coordinator

Native Plant Salvage Foundation

Olympia, Washington

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details Living stipend of $2276 to $3562/month (depending on experience & qualification for Service Corps equity enhancements), plus eligible to apply for food assistance through DSHS
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Native Plant Salvage Foundation (NPSF) is recruiting an enthusiastic and diligent AmeriCorps Member to support our hands-on environmental educational activities for people of all ages. This position will serve NPSF through Washington Service Corps for a 10.5-month commitment beginning in September 2024.

We seek someone who is an enthusiastic learner, ready for new challenges that will develop a range of skills, and enjoys working in a team but who is independently driven and comfortable managing specific projects with minimal supervision but regular communication.

Our activities take place in a fast-paced environment, with multiple projects often occurring simultaneously and in different locations in the South Salish region (mostly in Thurston County) and occasionally in other locations in Washington state.

NPSF supports WSU Thurston County Extension’s Native Plant Salvage Project/Water Resources Program in protecting water resources and fish and wildlife habitat. NPSF builds community capacity through extensive volunteer-based activities, as well as field-based and classroom/web trainings. Audiences include urban, suburban and rural residents, with some emphasis in this service term on rural/agricultural landowners; highly motivated volunteers seeking to make a difference in their community; and local K-12 and college teachers and students.

NPSF puts special emphasis on recruiting, retaining, and nurturing dependable volunteers of all ages. Hundreds of volunteers annually participate in NPSF’s mission to provide hands-on education to protect and conserve water resources and habitat from the South Sound prairies to the shores of the Salish Sea.

Our organization has successfully mentored 19 previous AmeriCorps members who have gone on to successful careers in ecology, environmental education, sustainable horticulture, agriculture, planning, field biology, parks, and planning, working with government agencies, social-justice work, mental-health counseling, local and international NGOs, land trusts, and private businesses. Several past AmeriCorps members have chosen to serve more than one term in this mutually beneficial partnership.

Our year-round schedule includes a range of activities, such as:

  • Native plant salvage events: recovering plants from future development sites (winter)
  • Nursery activities: propagating & maintaining plants and nursery infrastructure (year-round)
  • Education, technical support, creating online learning resources, and field work as part of new initiative to support hands-on education for implementation of rural hedgerows (year-round)
  • Webinars/workshops to teach techniques in water-resources protection, hedgerow implementation, sustainable landscaping, revegetation, and green-stormwater techniques
  • Revegetation/habitat restoration on public and private properties (fall-spring)
  • Installing green stormwater retrofit projects (e.g., rain gardens) (fall/spring, pending funding) and overseeing/educating youth groups for stormwater infrastructure maintenance learn-and-serve events (summer)
  • Foundation fundraisers: educational plant sales and other events to sustain operations
  • Multi-season native plant ID field workshops
  • Webinars/workshops for key-volunteer audiences

Position Duties: Our AmeriCorps member supports the WSU programs and the volunteer NPSF board of directors by facilitating most public communications and promotion of activities, and by supporting field work and learning events. Basic duties include:

  • Maintain and update the NPSF website and the WSU Hedgerows website to: provide broad access to NPSF’s educational resources, expand and enhance online educational offerings, communicate activities to the general public, and recruit volunteers and learners
  • Oversee incoming general communications and ensure timely responses to inquiries, developing FAQs as needed
  • Manage publicity and outreach for NPSF events, using all available media options (may include guidance to volunteer board members who follow through on actual postings)
  • Collaborate in developing and refining teaching strategies and visual educational material for a range of online & in-person trainings; includes opportunities to develop & expand teaching skills
  • Video editing and/or video production, as needed 
  • Recruit adult and youth service-learners/volunteers
  • Track, organize and report documents for volunteers, donations, and learning events
  • Maintain and improve communication with and recognition of volunteers and supporters
  • Plan, assist onsite, and clean up from all field events, which may involve several days of preparation and post-event follow up
  • Coordinate with and support NPSF Nursery Team volunteers for maintenance of plant inventory, tools, supplies, work truck, and other infrastructure; may include partial supervision of intermittent college interns

Desired Traits and Skills: We seek someone who is committed to working with community members of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to improve the environment. The successful candidate will ideally have many of the following attributes:

  • Interest in and/or actual experience working in environmental education, botany, natural landscaping, water resources, ecological restoration, communications, or related field
  • Precise and creative written, oral and visual communication skills, including attention to detail, especially in spelling, grammar, and numbers
  • Experience recruiting, supporting, or managing volunteers. In lieu of this: experience as a community volunteer
  • Ability to independently manage projects of various sizes, while providing regular progress reports to supervisor, funding partners and the Board of Directors
  • Interest in leading small research projects
  • Have developed a portfolio of attractive and informative public-outreach materials for print and/or web distribution, including social media and video projects; capacity to create and/or edit video content especially desired
  • Knowledge of computer skills with basic applications in Google & Microsoft suites
  • Experience with or keen ability to learn website management (Squarespace) routines and using online marketing platforms (CRM, Facebook, Insta, Mailchimp, etc.) for communication with organizational members, volunteers, and members of the public
  • Ability to do physically demanding work (lifting, using tools, hauling potted plants) in all types of weather
  • Capacity to be flexible with shifting priorities, and to juggle competing priorities
  • Open to a work plan that mixes indoor administrative & creative work (60-70%) with outdoor field work (30-40%)
  • Evidence of strong work ethic and independent motivation to accomplish goals
  • B.A./B.S. with preference for broad liberal arts background, or with emphasis in fields noted above

Benefits:

  • Living stipend of $2276 to $3562/month (depending on experience & qualification for Service Corps equity enhancements), plus eligible to apply for food assistance through DSHS
  • Post-service Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $7,395 for prior qualifying student loans or future education upon successful completion of required service hours and term
  • Basic health insurance (including mental health, but not including vision or dental)
  • Covered by Labor & Industries insurance
  • Availability of work vehicle for projects
  • Free public transit in Thurston County
  • Childcare costs covered, if eligible
  • Members with student loans can apply to have qualifying loans put into forbearance during service period and payment of up to 100% of the interest that accrues on qualified student loans during service term
  • Training in: Four-season native plant identification; habitat requirements of numerous plant species; native plant propagation; revegetation techniques; strategies for protecting water resources; volunteer management; leadership and skill-building trainings provided by Department of Employment Security/Washington Service Corps; and additional external training opportunities in relevant areas of interest to successful applicant
  • Enhance skills in website management and marketing, project management, creation of educational materials, teaching, public speaking, social outreach, marketing, interpersonal communication and organizational management
HOW TO APPLY

Email a letter (see below) outlining your interest in this position, including (1) how your background has prepared you for this position and (2) how you hope this experience will enhance your future work or educational plans. Feel free to share liberally.  Additionally:

  • Attach a current resume.
  • Include any other materials, such as writing samples, narrative evaluations, educational or artistic materials, etc., that might support your application.
  • Letters of support are desirable—they should provide evidence of successful past projects or work that required cooperation, clear communication skills, and strong organizational skills (note: letters of support do not have to be original or tailored to this position; feel free to share previously used letters of recommendation!).
  • Unlike many employers who seek minimal applications, we welcome robust portfolios that help us develop a better understanding of your skills, interests, and even what your aspirations are for your professional future.
  • All qualified applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We do not discriminate based on sex, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, Veteran status, or other protected classes.
  • Email your letter and associated materials to: Erica Guttman (she/her), WSU Extension Water Resources/Native Plant Salvage Project, at erica@nativeplantsalvage.org.
  • Feel free to contact Erica by email with questions prior to submitting your application.

See the full listing at www.nativeplantsalvage.org. This position will be open until filled. We will conduct interviews in early summer 2024; interview timing will be based on finding suitable applicants.

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

Category Admin & Leadership, Botany, Environmental Education
Tags Conservation Corps, Outreach