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SUBMITTED by Kara Lynn Dunn (10-Feb-2012)

Students Needed for Aquatic Invasive Species Resource & Watercraft Inspection Program

College and graduate students are needed for New York Sea Grant’s new aquatic invasive species (AIS) resource and watercraft inspection education program.

PHOTO:  New York Sea Grant AIS Resource Educators Stacy Furgal, holding an invasive fish specimen, and Greg Chapman, with a handful of water chestnut nutlets, engaged the public at events along New York’s freshwater shoreline in 2011.

Up to six students will be paid to help educate boaters and the general public about how to slow and prevent the spread of unwanted aquatic species, primarily in Jefferson and Oswego counties.

The work venues for the program include the Salmon River and Little Salmon River, Oneida Lake, Oswego harbor, North Pond, and Henderson Harbor.

The watercraft inspection part of the program is a voluntary educational service for recreational boaters interested in learning how they can prevent the transfer of AIS between bodies of water.
“The Aquatic Invasive Species Resource Educators and Watercraft Inspectors will provide the public with how-to information, answers to their questions about the local ecosystems, and hands-on opportunities to learn how to remove invasive species from their various styles of watercraft,” says program manager and New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Penney.
The educators will engage boaters one-on-one and conduct public outreach programs. They will also develop articles and fact sheets that translate the science of aquatic invasive species and clean recreational activities into easily understood terms for people of all ages.

The positions pay $12.5/hour for 35 hours/week from May 22 into September 2012. Penney is recruiting applicants with a minimum of two years combined education and experience in environmental education, natural resources management, biology, environmental studies or a related field. Desirable candidates will have strong interpersonal and writing skills, a willingness to work weekends and holidays, and enthusiasm for protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Students are encouraged to speak to faculty about whether the position may meet internship requirements. Penney notes, “Working as a resource educator is excellent training for students interested in careers in environmental law enforcement, natural resource management including forestry, and teaching.”

Interviews began March 6, 2012 and will continue until all the positions are filled. Interested applicants may send or email a cover letter and resume to Mary Penney, New York Sea Grant, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126, mp357@cornell.edu.

The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Resource Educators and Watercraft Inspectors Program is made possible by federal Great Lakes Restoration Funding and is a cooperative effort of New York Sea Grant with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance, Oswego County Soil & Water Conservation District, and St Lawrence-Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management.

New York Sea Grant is a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting the coastal economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness about the State's marine and Great Lakes resources. One of 32 university-based programs under the NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, NYSG is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University.


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