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11 Oct 2022

Environment 1700HR Environmental Steward – Maine DEP – Biological Monitoring Program

Maine Conservation Corps – Posted by MaineConservation Portland, Maine, United States

Job Description

Housing: Not Provided

Days and Hours of Service: 40 hours per week: may include occasional evenings or weekends

Host Site and Position Overview:
The Biological Monitoring Program (BMP) is part of the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The BMP assesses benthic macroinvertebrate (aquatic insects, etc.), algal communities, aquatic plants to evaluate the ecological health of the State’s aquatic resources. Monitoring and assessment results are used to document current conditions, identify causes and sources of pollution, determine if water bodies meet State water quality criteria, and develop protection, management and restoration strategies.

The MCC Environmental Steward (ES) will assist the BMP with biological monitoring and assessment of Maine wetlands, rivers and streams. This will include both field support and data management related to the project. The member may also conduct or participate in education/outreach events and volunteer events.

This position will assist the BMP in evaluating the health of the State’s waters, managing data, and communicating results to a wide variety of interested parties. The member will have the opportunity to develop the following skills:
• Collecting biological samples and water samples from wetlands, rivers and streams
• Operating hand-held water quality meters and GPS unit
• Basic canoe paddling skills
• Managing large data sets using Oracle, Access and Excel database applications
• Using ArcMap to manage spatial data and create maps
• Conducting education and outreach activities

January – April: Host Site orientation, computer setup, initial training activities (database applications, GIS, etc.) and introduction to BMP projects and sampling methods; prepare, QA, and upload biological, chemical, physical and spatial data and other project-related data management activities, including GIS mapping activities

May: Assist BMP staff with planning for field season. Continue with project-related data management activities as time allows

June-September: Participate in monitoring and assessment field tasks of wetlands, rivers, and streams

September-November: Assist with post field season data management, including managing and analyzing sampling data collected, organize and track biological samples (macroinvertebrates, algae), perform GIS analysis and mapping.

Throughout the term (as requested, schedule permitting): Participate in education/outreach activities, organize and/or participate in volunteer events, cross train with other DEP programs.

Description of Duties:
• Complete training in DEP’s database and ArcGIS (if needed or interested)
• Collect biological samples (macroinvertebrates, algae) and water samples from wetlands, rivers, and streams
• Operate hand-held field meters to measure water quality parameters including temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, and pH. Operate a hand-held GPS unit
• Contact landowners and reserve managers to obtain access to sampling sites, as needed
• Prepare and maintain sampling equipment and transport equipment in the field using a 4-wheel drive truck or other state-owned vehicle
• Navigate to sites using road maps, topographic maps, and air photos and assist driver by giving directions
• Safely paddle a canoe and use chest waders to collect samples
• Accurately and legibly record data on field forms
• Process and preserve water and biological samples in the field, complete laboratory chain-of-custody forms
• Manage and track samples, transport samples to the lab and/or prepare samples for shipping
• Manage and organize field forms, chain of custody forms, digital photos, and laboratory reports
• Enter and manage data using Oracle, Access, Excel, and ArcMap database applications
• Assist with producing reports, graphics and other technical and/or educational materials
• Organize and present physical, chemical, and biological data for higher level analysis
• Conduct environmental education/outreach activities
• Accurately follow detailed Standard Operating Procedures related to Biological Monitoring Program activities including field protocols and data management

Essential Functions:
• Computer skills and ability to learn DEP computer applications (GIS skills a plus)
• Strong organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects and competing priorities
• Ability to focus and be detailed oriented
• Physically able to complete field tasks including carrying monitoring equipment over rough terrain
• Comfortable on the water, able to paddle and steer a canoe
• Reliable and responsible with a positive attitude
• Ability to get along with others and be respectful
• Ability and willingness to serve in a professional office environment as well as in the field
• Ability to communicate clearly and effectively
• Demonstrates good judgement and professionalism
• Demonstrates initiative, reliability, and flexibility
• Ability to serve both independently and as part of a team
• Ability to manage time effectively and produce quality results with attention to detail
• Demonstrates a desire to learn, serve others, and make a difference

Service Conditions:
Remote service may be necessary for at least part of the term of service. Remote service needs will be determined based on State of Maine COVID-19 guidance and any host site closures or restricted office use or field work policies in place at any given time.

• Service is performed outdoors (40%) and in a professional office environment (60%).
• Service involves physical labor, including but not limited to hiking and wading while carrying heavy equipment in rough, uneven or slippery conditions, and lifting, carrying, and launching a canoe. Service involves travel to other locations within the state.
• Service is performed independently and as part of a team.
• Service involves frequent communication to multiple parties.
• Service involves managing time effectively and completing tasks with attention to detail.
• Service will require the ability to self-motivate, serve independently and collaboratively.

Site Specific Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree in biology, environmental science, or related field strongly preferred
• Good computer skills (required) and ability or interest in using large databases and geographic information systems (preferred)
• Strong organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects and competing priorities
• Excellent attention to detail and ability to accurately follow complex written and verbal directions is required
• Physically able to complete field tasks including carrying monitoring equipment over rough terrain
• Comfortable on the water, able to paddle and steer a canoe
It is important that the ES has strong organizational skills and be detail oriented so that minimal data errors are made. The ES should have good listening and communication skills and be able to collaborate effectively with DEP staff and volunteers. The ES needs to be flexible and have a positive attitude. The ES will need to be able to physically participate in field tasks. The ES will need to be comfortable on and around the water (wetlands, rivers/streams, lakes/ponds), including paddling a canoe and wading.


How to Apply

Go to our website to complete an online application and send a copy of your resume and a cover letter to You will be contacted with further instructions.

Job Categories: Seasonal. Job Types: Environment. Job Tags: #environmental, #seasonal, americorps, conservation, and volunteer.

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