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WildLife Guards Crew Leader Job Opening

Posted on Jun 5, 2018

Related to RTPI’s work with Audubon Connecticut in the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds is our partnership on the Bridgeport WildLife Guards project: http://rtpi.org/education/wildlife-guards/

RTPI is once again teaming up with Audubon Connecticut to run the 2018 WildLife Guards program, which trains, mentors, and employs 16 local high schools students and four crew leaders who monitor nesting birds and engage visitors, families, and friends about two of Connecticut’s most important beaches and their wildlife. The WildLife Guards offer unique activities for children like making their own Piping Plover, coastal ecology walks and trail hikes, seine netting and plant identification. The program features education, conservation and advocacy in action five days a week, reaching thousands of visitors over the summer and making a difference for rare or endangered plants and wildlife while creating the next generation of environmentalists.

If you know a talented, responsible and eager college-aged person who would love to do some education, conservation and outreach this summer please encourage them to apply!

WildLife Guards Crew Leader Positions

In 2014, Bridgeport’s Pleasure Beach reopened to the public after nearly 20 years. This barrier beach is a nesting site for the federally threatened Piping Plover and the state threatened Least Tern and hosts four state listed plant species. Sandy Point Important Bird Area in West Haven is also one of the most significant nesting areas in Connecticut for the Piping Plover and Least Tern plus the state threatened American Oystercatcher. It is a popular amongst fisherman and local residents looking for a beautiful walk along the shore. To ensure that these birds have the opportunity to nest successfully and to maintain the barrier beaches, a rare habitat in Connecticut, Audubon Connecticut created the WildLife Guards Program. The program trains, mentors, and employs 16 local high schools students and four crew leaders to monitor nesting birds and engage visitors, families, and friends about the beaches and their wildlife.

Position Summary:
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, in partnership with Audubon Connecticut, the City of Bridgeport, and the City of West Haven, is seeking four qualified individuals to serve as Crew Leaders – two in Bridgeport, two in West Haven. The Crew Leaders would supervise and train the 16 WildLife Guards (high school students) in their daily activities – eight Guards in Bridgeport, and eight Guards in West Haven. The Crew Leaders would receive a week of paid training (Mon. June 25th – Fri. June 29th), and their first week with the WildLife Guards will start on Tues. July 3rd through Sat. July 7th after which they will begin working with the crew regularly Tues. – Sat. from July 10th through Aug. 18th.

The Bridgeport Crew Leaders will work 40 hours each week, and the West Haven Crew Leader will work 30 hours per week – 35 during the training week, and 25 with the Guards during week one. Crew Leaders will be paid $15/hr. Bridgeport hours with the Guards are from 10:30am-4:30pm and West Haven hours with the Guards are from 9:00am-1:00pm with Thursday being 10:00am-4:00pm for all to accommodate offsite field trips. Extra time is built into the Crew Leader’s schedules for planning, additional outreach, logistics, etc.

Essential Functions:
• Mentor, motivate, and inspire youth serving as WildLife Guards.
• Facility team building and help the Guards work through challenging situations.
• Develop and model public outreach programs (Ex. walks, seine netting, touch tank, scavenger hunt, arts and crafts, etc.) to the WildLife Guards. WildLife are expected to take on running these programs after their first week or two.
• Create a schedule of activities (outreach programs, bird monitoring, and habitat restoration work) to be performed weekly by the WildLife Guards.
• Help in developing and teaching lessons to the WildLife Guards. Create and give weekly quizzes.
• Become familiar with program goals and a crew leader’s role in attaining them.
• Track metrics (# people engaged, # materials distributed, # pledges to protect birds signed, # hours spend monitoring birds, etc.)
• Work with the WildLife Guards to update and enhance the program website and Facebook page.
• Bridgeport Crew Leaders will also need to assist the WildLife Guards in planning and implementing three events (Ex. beach clean-up, native vegetation planting, etc.)

Qualifications and Experience:
• Crew Leaders must be responsible, mature, and able to serve as mentors to the WildLife Guards.
• Good communication skills required. Crew leaders should be comfortable interacting with the WildLife Guards, their families, the public, and project partners.
• Must be punctual and respond to emails, text messages, etc. in a timely manner.
• Good planning skills desired. In the event of poor weather, Pleasure Beach may not open on a given day (it is only accessible by water taxi). When this occurs the WildLife Guards will meet at an alternate location. Crew Leaders need check the weather daily, keep the Guards informed, and bring materials stored at Pleasure Beach off the island if it is likely the crew will be working from the alternate location. The West Haven Crew Leader will need to keep their Guards informed and plan to meet at an alternate location during inclement weather as well.
• Fluency in Spanish a plus.
• Knowledge of invasive plant species found in CT is also desirable.
• Crew Leaders are required to successfully complete a day long Basic First Aid/CPR certification course.

How to Apply: Send a cover letter and resume to Scott Kruitbosch, Conservation & Outreach Coordinator, Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, at skruitbosch AT rtpi.org.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator