AmeriCorps Stormwater Education Coordinator
This position is with Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG), located in Durham, NC. TJCOG is a regional entity whose mission is “To serve as an intergovernmental organization for local elected officials that works proactively on regional issues in order to sustain and improve the quality of life for our citizens.” We convene local governments, stakeholders and partners to tackle the many challenges that cross jurisdictional lines. TJCOG’s Clean Water Education Partnership program, with which the AmeriCorps member would serve, is a cooperative effort between local governments, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations to protect water quality in the Tar-Pamlico, Neuse, and Cape Fear River Basins. CWEP aims to protect North Carolina’s waterways from stormwater pollution through public education and outreach that shows how clean water is vital for healthy ecosystems and communities.
This 2023-2024AmeriCorps position will have a start date (for new full-time 11 month members)of September 5th, 2023 (or soon thereafter), and an end date of July 31st 2024 (or 11 months after start date).
**Please make sure you upload all of the required documents - Resume & Cover Letter. 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 the2023-2024 service year, Resilience Corps NC offers a living stipend that will range from $25,500 to $30,000 for 11 months (this is taxable and the final amount is dependent on federal funding granted by AmeriCorps in July, and candidates/applicants will be notified of that amount), health insurance reimbursement for premiums, childcare assistance, and professional development opportunities (some examples are three AmeriCorps cohort trainings that cover project management to strengths assessments, individual self-directed trainings, enrollment in NC Environmental Education Certificate Program, and conferences in conjunction with VolunteerNC). Members are also eligible to signup for SNAP benefits. Participants who complete the program will receive a Segal Education Award of $6,895 (taxable in the year used, not the year awarded) from the National Service Trust.
CTNC, the fiscal sponsor of Resilience Corps NC, is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate because of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual preference or familial status.
Resilience Corps NC 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 Stormwater Education Coordinator will play a unique and critical role in promoting behavior changes through outreach and education about water quality impairment and our impact on stormwater runoff. Typically, dedicated environmental education staff only exist in larger, wealthier communities; therefore, only these communities receive stormwater education. The Education Coordinator will plan events for CWEP member communities spanning a range of sizes and resource levels, both urban and rural. For smaller communities who lack environmental education staff, the member will work to ensure that educational events are accessible and relevant for low-income and minority community members. The AmeriCorps member would hone their skills in stormwater education through various training opportunities that include (but are not limited to) Project WET, Project WILD and NCEE workshops. The service member will translate this information into programs suitable for children and adults of various age levels and socioeconomic statuses, and will gain valuable interactive, educational, and interpretive skills through the promoting and implementation of outreach events. The member will aid CWEP in delivering programs and resources that individually and/or collectively serve the 42 members’ communities before the end of the term, and help grow, solidify and identify new community partnerships for future education efforts.
Position Responsibilities and Duties
The Stormwater Education Coordinator will develop or customize and deliver interactive watershed lessons (virtually or in person) to students and adults through schools, libraries, continuing education sessions, and other forums. With 42 CWEP members across the eastern half of the state, there are many opportunities to do direct education and outreach to increase public awareness of the impact of stormwater management!
The AmeriCorps member’s main responsibilities fall into three main categories:
- Work with the CWEP local government staff to coordinate, schedule, and conduct education programs that convey the importance of clean water and the impact of public behavior on stormwater runoff and water quality and help promote behavior changes in these communities
- Spearhead a Regional Creek Week effort to build the capacity of CWEP local governments to build or grow their own Creek Week engagement events
- Shape CWEP’s social media presence via developing and sharing posts about CWEP's education visits in our partner communities and water quality-related infographics
- Additional potential responsibilities could include helping to deliver lessons on water pollution and stormwater-driven flooding at continuing education sessions put on by environmental justice-focused nonprofits.
- If the AmeriCorps member spoke any languages in addition to English, the position would seek out and deliver demonstrations and/or written content to communities with that shared language.
- Target audiences for any educational resources or programs could include school classes (elementary through high school), civic groups, library groups, or others as requested by CWEP members. Existing lesson topics include (but are not limited to):
- What is a watershed, and what watershed do I live in? What water source does it connect to?
- What is stormwater? How do stormwater-driven flooding or pollution affect my neighborhood?
- What are point and nonpoint source pollution? How can I prevent stormwater pollution?
- How are storm drains connected to our local waterways? What lives in our local waterways? How does stormwater affect stream biota? How can macroinvertebrates be used as indicators of water quality?
- Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills are required, as the member will be responsible for communicating with CWEP members statewide and will provide outreach and education to people from various backgrounds and ages.
- A valid driver’s license and a vehicle are also required (the member will of course be reimbursed for their travel to and from educational outreach events.)
- The ideal candidate would have experience and/or interest in public communication and/or education (formal or informal.) Bachelor of Sciences or Bachelor of Education, environmental education experience or degree in environmental science, biology, or social science is preferred. Other majors are welcome from individuals with an interest and/or self-taught learning about environmental impacts.
- Basic knowledge of watersheds/stormwater is helpful but can be learned on the job- it is more important to have prior skills/experience teaching or training others, or an interest in exploring teaching or informal education work.
- The applicant should have experience in or an interest in learning to do digital content creation and managing social media accounts, as a means of environmental education and public engagement.
- Developing and planning content for CWEP’s social media and maintaining CWEP's online presence relative to our partners’ social media accounts is an expectation of the role.
- The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, creative, attentive to detail, and enjoy working independently once trained.
- They may develop new educational outreach lessons and materials if desired, as well as using existing ones. Additionally, once trained, they should be comfortable teaching on their own.
- While a member of a CWEP partner local government may be able to attend education events, smaller local governments do not have enough staff to attend and as such delegate education visits to CWEP.
This is a public-facing leadership role that would let the AmeriCorps member grow their education/engagement and project management skills by providing a much-needed service in areas served by CWEP local governments.
Essential Functions / Physical Demands
The physical demands of this position are moderate. The AmeriCorps member must be able to sit or stand for long periods of time, drive a car, lift 25 lbs and actively participate in outdoor environmental education events in any weather. The member must have a reliable personal vehicle and a good driving record. There is a vehicle shared by the entire organization that can be used to drive to CWEP member communities for education events, but because it may be in use when needed, they need to have the option of driving their personal vehicle for work sometimes (mileage will be reimbursed at the federal rate per AmeriCorps!)
The schedule will be a 40-hour work week, generally within the regular weekday timeframe, with occasional night and/or weekend work as in-person education events require. During the week the member should expect to coordinate with members and partners to schedule and deliver socially distant or virtual educational events or activities. The member should expect to do educational tabling events at festivals and fairs on multiple weekends in fall and spring. They will be encouraged to take off weekday time to compensate for weekend time they work. The member must be available during the third week of March to help coordinate the CWEP Regional Creek Week efforts that partnering local governments put on. (Their role in this event involves primarily coordination, virtual event planning, content creation and resource-sharing, not running in-person events.)
What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a bridge builder, a force multiplier, a way to connect individuals and organizations to support their communities in tackling challenges. AmeriCorps programs across the country address a variety of community needs like education, economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, disaster response, and veteran & military family services.
What does Resilience Corps NC do?
CTNC’s AmeriCorps program, Resilience Corps NC, seeks to address our state’s changing climate by expanding access to environmental education, increasing eco-literacy, promoting disaster resiliency, and utilizing communities to identify and address climate-related issues.
Who should apply for a position with Resilience Corps NC?
Our program is a great opportunity for:
-Recent graduates looking to build experience and a strong professional network
-Established professionals seeking a career change
-Passionate conservationists wanting to give back to their community
What benefits do Resilience Corps members receive?
-Living stipend, paid twice monthly
-Education award (upon completion of service)
-Healthcare premium reimbursement