Altapass Education & Conservation AmeriCorps Coordinator

Spruce Pine, NC

This position is a joint position with the Altapass Foundation (based in Spruce Pine) and the Conservation Trust of North Carolina (based in Raleigh). 

The mission of the Altapass Foundation, Inc. is to preserve the history, heritage and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains; protect the underlying orchard land with its apples, wetlands, butterflies, and other natural features; and educate the public about the Appalachian experience.

The mission of Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) grows out of our expertise in land conservation, our skill in bringing new people to conservation, and our expanding network of partner organizations and communities. Brought together, these capabilities direct us now to conserve land in ways that inspire and enable people to build resilient, just communities.

This 2022-2023 AmeriCorps position will have a start date (for new full-time 11 month members) of September 1st, 2022, and an end date of July 31st 2023. 

**Please make sure you upload all of the required documents -  Resume, Cover Letter, State or Federal ID, College Transcripts, Birth Certificate (if US Passport not uploaded).** If required documents are not uploaded at time of application, any offer for employment will be withheld until they are provided. All AmeriCorps Members must submit to having a National Sex Offender, State of Residence (if state is different than NC), State of NC, and Federal FBI Background check conducted. Any applicant denying to submit to these checks will be automatically disqualified as per federal regulations.

For the 2022-2023 service year, Resilience Corps NC offers a living stipend of $19,859 for 11 months, health insurance reimbursement for premiums, childcare assistance, and professional development opportunities (individual trainings, enrollment in NC Environmental Education Certificate Program, and conferences in conjunction with the NC Commission on Volunteerism). Members are also eligible to sign up for SNAP benefits. Participants who complete the program will receive a Segal Education Award of $6,495 from the National Service Trust. 

CTNC is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate because of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual preference or familial status.

CTNC seeks to engage applicants from underrepresented communities, particularly of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Multi-Racial, and Native American background, in conservation careers. Connecting more diverse applicants to an employment pathway has led to greater equity, diversity and inclusion of all people in conservation.

Purpose of the Position

The Altapass Education & Conservation Coordinator will organize and lead education programs at The Orchard at Altapass and surrounding communities. Education and outreach will focus on connecting children and families to land management and conservation, with a particular focus on the impacts of climate change. The member will advance the work of the orchard and CTNC’s land protection work through visitor interactions, community engagement and partnerships. This position will coordinate with the CTNC Land Protection Director to assist with property evaluation, land stewardship, and landowner and community engagement.

This position provides a unique experience to learn how partners work together to engage with and educate the visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Altapass Orchard, as well as target audiences within local communities. The member will gain insights into how nontraditional partners can engage in community-led conservation work and a better understanding of the impacts of climate change on land management and economic viability.


Position Responsibilities and Duties

The AmeriCorps service member will:

  1. Plan and execute educational programs about environmental topics around sustainable agriculture, ecotourism/agritourism, and climate change;
  2. Cultivate relationships with community leaders and elected officials in and around vulnerable communities along the Blue Ridge Parkway;
  3. Organize and manage special events such as guided hikes, and environmental educational outreach to visitors to the Orchard at Altapass and the Blue Ridge Parkway;
  4. Collect data on visitation and usage of the orchard, progress to meet grant deliverables, and other metrics deemed relevant;
  5. Conduct and support conservation landowner outreach (focusing on key properties for conservation for climate change related mitigation);
  6. Evaluate activities on CTNC’s conservation properties to ensure that conservation goals (including climate resilience) are being met;
  7. Organize and advise conservation management activities on CTNC protected properties; and
  8. Conduct in a variety of necessary field work, public interface, and office responsibilities to perform the function of the position while maintaining a positive attitude.


Qualifications 

  • A strong preference for an understanding of ecology, biology, environmental science, natural resources management, and/or travel & tourism;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Good time management/organization skills;
  • Good computer skills;
  • Responsibility/ability to work independently and in group settings;
  • Good physical condition, including ability to work in the field in varying field conditions as required by site inspections, trail work, field trips and other assignments; and Valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle. 

Essential Functions / Physical Demands

The successful candidate must be comfortable working in outdoor settings and an office environment.

Other essential functions include:

  • Ability to navigate mountain terrain and use hand tools;
  • Ability to lift up to 25 pounds;
  • Ability to be outside in all types of weather;
  • Ability to communicate with diverse groups orally and in writing;
  • Ability to present educational material to all ages;
  • Must be willing to drive long distances (up to 5 hours) to work sites that will count towards AmeriCorps service hours. Travel costs will be reimbursed, including mileage at IRS rate; and Precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of the member and participants, including scheduling outdoor work times, rescheduling outdoor work days to avoid adverse weather conditions, and following all co-host sites’ safety protocols.

Preferred Schedule

This position will require some long days and irregular work hours when in the field as well as work on weekends. Office time is regular business hours.

  • This position is envisioned to be full-time (40 hours per week) for 11 months (Sept. 1 – July 31). A part-time  or flexible schedule may be accommodated if requested by the final candidate; and This position will primarily function during regular working hours. Several weekend programs and responsibilities may occur, including but not limited to staffing the orchard during peak visitation (late spring and fall), and outreach to Parkway visitors on busy weekends. Long work days and weekend work may be offset by equal time off (comp. time) the following week.

JOB CODE: Altapass