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RTPI is Recruiting Crew Leaders for the Summer 2018 Project Wild America Youth Ambassadors Program

Posted on Apr 11, 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 offer 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.

Position Summary

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History is seeking two qualified individuals to serve as crew leaders. The crew leaders will supervise and train eight-ten Youth Ambassadors (high school students) in their daily activities. Crew leaders will receive two weeks of paid training (Monday June 11th through Friday June 22rd) and work with the crew from June 26th until August 4th. During that period, normal workdays will run Tuesday through Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm and Saturday from 8:00am-2:00pm; 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. Crew Leaders will be paid $10.50/hour for 35 hours per week and paid bi- weekly.


With supervision from RTPI staff, Crew Leaders will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the PWA project. Duties will include (but are not limited to):

  • Mentor, motivate, and inspire youth serving as PWA Youth
  • Facilitate team building and help the Youth Ambassadors work through challenging situations.
  • Become familiar with program goals and a crew leader’s role in attaining them.
  • Work with RTPI staff to create a schedule of activities (outreach programs, species monitoring, habitat restoration work,) to be performed weekly by the Youth Ambassadors.
  • Manage equipment used for various aspects of ongoing
  • Lead/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
  • Enter collected data into relevant state and national
  • 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
  • Provide outreach to the local Communications will include but are not limited to:
  • Chance encounters with the public during river studies
  • Designing cell phone tours or other displays on the Riverwalk
  • Manning informational booths and leading activities at RTPI’s Wild America Festival
  • Leading organized public presentations and walks
  • Creating and carrying out conservation-related activities for children
  • Work with Youth Ambassadors to communicate progress throughout the duration of the program via various traditional (newspaper, radio) and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat and PWA website).

RTPI staff 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.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Crew leaders must be responsible, mature, and able to serve as mentors to the PWA Youth
  • Good communication skills required. Crew leaders should be comfortable interacting with Youth Ambassadors, their families, the public, and project
  • Must be punctual and respond to emails, text messages, in a timely manner.
  • Good planning skills desired. In the event of poor weather, the Youth Ambassadors will meet at an alternate Crew Leaders need check the weather daily and keep the Ambassadors informed.
  • Knowledge of local flora and fauna is desirable
  • Crew leaders are required to successfully complete a day long Basic First Aid/CPR certification course prior to June 26th(RTPI can arrange for the course to be taken if needed).

To apply:

Please send a cover letter, including an explanation of why you would like to participate in this program, and resume 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 no later than Wednesday, May 9th by 4pm

For more information about the Project Wild America Youth Ambassadors Program, visit https://projectwildamerica.org/