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RTPI Hiring “Project Wild America Youth Ambassadors” for Summer 2018

Posted on Apr 13, 2018


As part of its ongoing efforts to better understand the natural history of our region and promote environmental literacy and stewardship, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History is excited to carry out its Project Wild America (PWA) Youth Ambassador program in Jamestown NY for a fourth year. As part of this program, RTPI is recruiting interested area high school students as youth ambassadors and college students as ambassador leaders to represent Project Wild America in the Greater Jamestown area. These students will work alongside RTPI conservation and education staff investigating, monitoring and improving habitat for threatened species in the area and raising public awareness about our important natural resources, environmental challenges and opportunities.

Who are we looking for?

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute is seeking eight qualified, motivated high school students (junior/senior level, age 16 or older) to serve as crew members for the 2018 Project Wild America Youth Ambassador program. This year’s program will take place during a 6-week period from June 26th through August 4th and requires a commitment of 28.5 hours per week. During that period, normal workdays will run Tuesday through Friday from 8:30am-3:00pm and Saturday from 8:30am-1:30pm; however, these hours are subject to change as some earlier mornings, evenings and additional weekend hours will be required for special events and/or surveys. Participants who successfully complete the entire project period will have the opportunity to work outdoors with a number of environmental professionals, develop a wide variety of valuable job-related skills within the conservation field, gain lots of knowledge regarding our local flora and fauna and be awarded a $1,500 stipend paid in three installments (bi-weekly of $500).

PWA Youth Ambassadors put in a lot of hard work at the Wild America Festival!

What do you get to do?

With supervision of PWA Crew Leaders and RTPI staff, participants will regularly:

• Assist in ongoing and new studies on local invasive plants and animals, breeding birds, nesting turtles, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and various pollutants in order to gain an overall understanding of the ecology of the river system and other green spaces within the City of Jamestown.
• Enter collected data into relevant state and national databases.
• Assist in the early phases of the building and monitoring of an urban ecosystem as RTPI works with city officials to restore natural areas, improve wildlife habitat and deliver increased environmental services to the areas surrounding the Chadakoin River and Riverwalk system.
• Provide outreach to the local community. Communications will include but are not limited to:
o Chance encounters with the public during river studies
o Designing cell phone tours or other displays on the Riverwalk
o Manning informational booths and leading activities at RTPI’s Wild America Festival
o Leading organized public presentations and walks
o Creating and carrying out conservation-related activities for children

• Utilize various traditional (newspaper, radio) and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat and PWA website) to communicate progress throughout the duration of the program.

RTPI staff and project crew leaders will provide appropriate training in job skills and team cooperation, as well as in species identification, biological monitoring techniques and conservation practices throughout the program. In addition, RTPI will provide the necessary equipment to carry out project duties.

On select days during the summer the PWA Crew and Crew Leaders may explore other regional conservation projects and/or work with other conservation partner organizations to increase exposure to the variety of environmental careers that exist in our area and to gain a broad understanding of the region’s tremendous natural history assets.

Who should apply?

If this project sounds fun and interesting and you feel that the following qualifications describe you, we want to hear from you!

• Mature
• Works well with others
• Creative and enthusiastic – willing to interact with the public
• Interest in the environment and/or (biological) sciences
• Able and willing to work outdoors in sometimes physically strenuous and uncomfortable conditions (mud, rain and bugs will happen at some point!)
• Good work ethic e.g. can be expected to come to work every day, on time, prepared to work and dressed appropriately.

PWA Students pull and check turtle traps.

To apply
Please submit answers to the following with a copy of your high school transcripts and a letter of recommendation from a teacher to:

Elyse Henshaw, Conservation Technician Roger Tory Peterson Institute
311 Curtis Street Jamestown, New York 14701 Email: ehenshaw@rtpi.org Tel.: 716-665-2473 ext. 231

Applications are due on Friday, June 1st by 4pm.


2017 Job Application for Project Wild America Youth Ambassadors

(Please print)

Name: First


Address: Street

Town _ State

ZIP code

Contact information: Home phone

Cell phone


Medical issues that your supervisors should be aware of (if applicable):

T-shirt size (Please circle one of the following): S, M, L, XL, XXL

In the space below, or on an additional sheet of paper if necessary, answer the following question. Be as detailed as possible:

What do you feel that you can contribute to this project that qualifies you as a true ambassador of the environment for Project Wild America? In other words, what do you think you can contribute to the research, education and/or community outreach aspects of this project that would get people to understand and care more about nature in their own backyard?