Congratulations to Sam Schultz!

Congratulations to our student assistant, Sam Schultz! While we are very sad to see him go we’re all so excited for him and his next adventure!!

Skidmore senior to start a placement service business in Beijing – Features – The Skidmore News – Skidmore College.

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Fall intern – White House Council on Environmental Quality

WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY NOW ACCEPTING FALL INTERNSHIP APPLICATIONS. DEADLINE: JULY 1

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/internships/ceq-internships

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives. The Council’s Chair, Nancy Sutley, serves as the principal environmental policy adviser to the President.

CEQ is also responsible for ensuring that Federal agencies operate in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The challenge of harmonizing our economic, environmental and social aspirations has put NEPA and CEQ at the forefront of our Nation’s efforts to protect the environment.

CEQ interns are given a wide range of assignments including conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, and writing memos on a variety of environmental issues. Interns have the opportunity to be involved in groundbreaking projects, working closely with staff from all levels and a variety of backgrounds. The pace in the office is fast, so accuracy and attention to detail are absolute requirements. Interns can expect to begin with the basics and gradually add more specialized projects as they gain experience.

Other essential intern duties include answering phones, routing mail, copying documents, filing and retrieving information (conventionally or electronically), assembling briefing materials and performing assigned research tasks.

Qualifications:

We are seeking students who are:

Highly motivated
Willing to contribute where needed
Have the ability to handle the inherent pressure that comes with working within the Executive Office of the President.

Additionally, candidates should have:

Excellent communications skills
Computer literacy
Relevant classroom or practical experience

We strongly prefer candidates who are available to work full-time, but will consider applicants who cannot. CEQ will work with interns who are attempting to arrange credit with a college or university to help fulfill academic requirements. All internship positions are unpaid.

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Stewardship Coordinator at Saratoga PLAN

The Stewardship Coordinator is primarily responsible for caring for the lands that the organization owns and for the conservation easements that it holds. The Stewardship Coordinator will build a base of support for the organization and for land conservation in the region by engaging supporters of Saratoga P.L.A.N. and the community-at-large through volunteer, educational, and recreational place-based outdoor programming.

As a member of the staff team at Saratoga P.L.A.N., the Stewardship Coordinator will assist with land protection, community planning, outreach, and fundraising activities of the organization. The Stewardship Coordinator will provide staff support to the Stewardship Committee and any other committees formed for outreach and/or education. The Stewardship Coordinator will report to the Executive Director and comply with all Saratoga PLAN policies and procedures and adhere to all Land Trust Alliance standards and practices. This is a full-time position.

Submit resumes, cover letter and references to maria@saratogaplan.org by May 15, 2013. No phone calls, please.

For full details of job responsibilities and qualitications, see:

http://www.saratogaplan.org/documents/JOBDESCRIPTIONStewardshipCoordinatorSaratogaPLANApril2013.pdf

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Paid Summer Internship with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Intern position available at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Region 4 Headquarters in Schenectady, NY.  The Environmental Permits Division is seeking an Intern to work for a 12 week period (May – August).  This is a paid position that mainly consists of office work, including:  permitting file organization, archiving/scanning of historic records, database records verification, and GIS mapping (ArcMap 10), depending on candidate experience.  Work hours are 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM, M-F (37.5 hours per week).  Pay is $11.47 per hour.

The ideal candidate will be a self-starter, be an independent worker, and have an interest in the environmental field.  For immediate consideration, please email a current resume and references to r4dep@gw.dec.state.ny.us.  Position will be awarded on or before May 10th.

Environmental Analyst
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Region 4 – Division of Environmental Permits
1130 North Westcott Road
Schenectady, New York  12306
Direct:  518.357.2445
Main:    518.357.2069
Fax:      518.357.2460
pmgabrie@gw.dec.state.ny.us

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Job Opening: Stewardship Coordinator with Saratoga PLAN

Saratoga P.L.A.N. is a nonprofit land trust organization conserving land throughout Saratoga County through fee title land acquisitions, conservation easements, and community planning. It achieves its mission through strategic partnerships with volunteers, donors, local governments, businesses, and other nonprofit organizations.

The Stewardship Coordinator is primarily responsible for caring for the lands that the organization owns and for the conservation easements that it holds. The Stewardship Coordinator will build a base of support for the organization and for land conservation in the region by engaging supporters of Saratoga P.L.A.N. and the community-at-large through volunteer, educational, and recreational place-based outdoor programming.

As a member of the staff team at Saratoga P.L.A.N., the Stewardship Coordinator will assist with land protection, community planning, outreach, and fundraising activities of the organization. The Stewardship Coordinator will provide staff support to the Stewardship Committee and any other committees formed for outreach and/or education. The Stewardship Coordinator will report to the Executive Director and comply with all Saratoga PLAN policies and procedures and adhere to all Land Trust Alliance standards and practices. This is a full-time position.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Monitor 27 conservation easements at least once a year. Communicate regularly and maintain good working relationships with landowners of conservation easement properties. Extract information from landowners on upcoming plans to make changes on easement properties. Provide technical assistance for property management questions. In conjunction with Executive Director, provide assistance with interpreting easements, resolving violations, and evaluating requests for easement amendments. Prepare and update baseline documentation reports and maps. Maintain detailed, well-organized information systems and documentation for all conservation easements. Assist with new easement transactions and updates. [25% time]

Evaluate and manage 27 properties owned by Saratoga P.L.A.N. on an ongoing basis to sustain ecological process and habitat for native species, along with compatible uses for recreation, education, scenic values, historic resources, agriculture, forestry, and environmental services. Prepare and update management plans as needed. For 13 preserves with public access, create and maintain trails, trail markers, interpretive signage, parking areas, footbridges and boardwalks, benches, maps, informational kiosks, letterbox clues, and bike racks. Establish and maintain good relationships with volunteers, neighbors, local government officials, and contractors. Foster leadership and technical expertise of stewardship volunteers. Prepare outreach materials and field inquiries from the public and project partners regarding preserved lands, trails, and natural history. Maintain tax exempt status of properties through annual filing of required forms. [15%]

Integrate supporters, volunteers, donors, and students into stewardship and education programs to promote and build awareness, understanding, engagement, and support for Saratoga P.L.A.N. and land conservation. Collect and transfer data on program participants to constituent database, other staff and Board. Serve as an ambassador and liaison within the community for Saratoga P.L.A.N. Manage volunteers, interns, seasonal employees, and contractors involved with stewardship and education programs and track and report their contributions to programs. [20% time]

Prepare funding proposals and assist with raising funds for stewardship and education programs. Manage projects, comply with goals and terms of restricted grant-funded projects and activities, document progress and maintain necessary records, and meet deadlines and reporting requirements. Solicit and secure in-kind and contractual technical resources (engineering, botany, construction, etc.) needed for operation of the stewardship program and projects. [15%]

Design, implement and assess educational and outreach programs on the natural history of the Saratoga County region. Lead hikes, bicycling and paddling trips, workshops and classes. Prepare narratives for communications such as press releases and newsletter articles. Coordinate programs for expert guest lecturers, activity and trip leaders, and educators. Establish educational partnerships with area academic and environmental organizations to further regional land conservation initiatives. [10%]

Prepare and follow annual work plans and budgets for stewardship and education programs. Adhere to organizational policies and procedures. Maintain detailed documentation of stewardship activities. [5%]

Assist, as part of a team and as requested, with:  land protection, community planning, outreach, fundraising, and administrative activities of the organization. [10%]

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Commitment to land conservation and the mission of Saratoga P.L.A.N.
  • Two years’ experience in land conservation, management of natural areas or public open spaces, and interpretation of natural history and ecology.
  • Proficiency utilizing Microsoft Office (word processing, spreadsheet, database, e-mail), GPS, and ArcView (GIS) software.
  • Deep understanding of the ecological processes affecting natural areas and the ability to utilize them in managing open spaces and to communicate concepts to others.
  • Demonstrated excellent verbal and written presentation skills.
  • Ability to relate well to diverse peoples and to appreciate and respect a variety of perspectives. Ability to motivate others and maintain a high degree of diplomacy in interpersonal relations.
  • Successful experience managing land conservation, land management, community/volunteer, construction, and/or grant-funded projects.
  • High degree of organizational skills. Attention to detail and documentation.
  • Excellent health and physical condition. Ability to work outdoors on rough terrain and less-than-ideal conditions.
  • Ability to travel regionally, provide own transportation, and to work flexible hours to accommodate weather, volunteer availability, and public outreach considerations.
  • Current certification in First Aid and CPR, or willingness to obtain.
  • Basic construction and carpentry skills. Ability to use and maintain hand and power tools.
  • Higher education degree in natural science or education.

Submit resumes, cover letter and references to maria@saratogaplan.org by May 15, 2013. No phone calls, please.

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Spend a semester in DC!!

I went to visit the Washington Semester Program last week and came back super excited that this is an opportunity for Skidmore students. I was able to catch up with Britt Dorfman (class of 2014) who is completing the Peace & Conflict Resolution program. She just got back from the three week study tour to Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey. I believe she used the words “life changing” to describe the experience:)

A few updates to report – housing is now apartment style and classes are now on the main campus of American University.

Have questions? Come ask me!!

Here are some photos from my trip:

The "Dav" coffee shop is this buildling (as are classrooms and study spaces) A group of WSP students were playing soccer with this HUGE soccer ball. I took a tour of the White House gardens because...well, I was in DC White House Jefferson Memorial This is one of my favorite statues in DC. You should go visit it when you study on the WSP program:)
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Drum roll please…

Welcome to the first ever Off-Campus Study & Exchanges (OCSE) blog! We might be a bit behind in our social media usage but we’re here now and that’s what counts!

Please check back for weekly updates on programs, deadlines, events, and stories from abroad.

Cheers!

Eliza

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Blackwood Nature Camp Counselor Job

Blackwood Nature Camp, a part of Blackwood Land Institute in Hempstead, TX, is looking for nature camp counselors this summer. The age group is 8 to 14. It is a 5 week program spread out over 8 weeks. We are hiring Senior ($500/wk base salary) and Junior Counselors ($150/wk base salary).

We will be outside A LOT and in the water MOST of the time to keep cool. The nature camp is on 24 acres in the Texas Grasslands including private pond, CSA farm, trails, labyrinth, fruit tree orchard, straw bale main house and more.

Counselors will help me in creating the final activity list and schedule. We will be off site for some activities. The final week of programming pairs Blackwood Nature Camp with a traveling Taiwanese student group. It’s cross-cultural connections in the outdoors. Each American camper will be paired with a Taiwanese camper.

Blackwood Nature Camp Counselors general responsibilities:
• To aid the camp director and senior counselors to coordinate all campers, CITs and camp activities.

Specific responsibilities:
1. Help to meet camp goals and carry out Blackwood Land Institute missions and values.
2. Attend pre-camp and in-service staff trainings.
3. Help camp director and senior counselors to oversee office procedures, opening- and closing-day procedures for staff and campers.
4. Facilitate camp routines, schedules, and procedures for camp operation.
5. Instructs at least 2 camp activities per day including games, crafts, field trips and special events for program in consultation with camp counselors (approved by camp director).
6. Facilitate other planned camp activities and special events.
7. Meet with camp director and other counselor daily to assess camp operations and camper adjustments.
8. Must be able to initiate at least 8 games or more at a moment’s notice, without props.
9. Oversee Counselors-In-Training (Interns) to meet goals and facilitate camp activities.
10. Help campers to have fun, follow camp rules and expand their creativity.
11. Be able to perform crisis management plan, including emergency procedures.
12. Monitor safety and all procedures as they pertain to the complete supervision of all campers and staff.
13. Help provide an atmosphere for developing good morale and well-being among the camp family.
14. These are not the only duties to be performed. Some duties may be reassigned and other duties may be assigned as required.
Essential Functions
• Junior counselors must be lead campers in activities and be a role model. Physical and mental exertion will be necessary.
• Must be able to act quickly and think on feet especially in emergency situations.
Responsible to:
• Senior counselors, camp director and camp owner
Oversees:
• Counselors-In-Training and campers
Basic Qualifications
1. 18-24+ years of age
2. Experience in leadership roles, risk management, planning and carrying out activities, and teaching others to have fun.
3. Interest in nature.
4. Ability to maintain working relationship with camp director, camp owner, counselors and campers.
5. Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.
6. Ability to lead and individually work to accomplish camp goals, mission and values.
7. Experience teaching peers and kids.
8. Basic understanding of children and the ability to establish and maintain an up-beat and positive relationship with them.
9. Self motivated and organized.
10. Lead by example and understand that you are a role model for all participants.
11. Willingness and excitement to learn new games and nature education philosophies.
12. Wilderness First Aid and CPR, Lifeguard certified is preferred, on site training will be provided if necessary.

Education and Training:

Preference is given to candidates with environmental science and education backgrounds with teaching experience. Candidates with creative or a background in art are also encouraged to apply.

High school diploma required.

Physical Demands
The position of a junior camp counselor is physically demanding due to the nature of being outdoors, running and playing with children and participating in recreation activities.
While performing duties of this job, the candidate is required to multi-task i.e. sit, talk and listen. The candidate will need to crawl on hands and needs, paddle a raft, run across a field, ride a bike and get their hands dirty.
The candidate must occasionally lift and/or move up to 30 pounds.
Candidate must be able to jump out of bed at a moment’s notice to take care of emergencies. This job requires that you be quick on your feet at all times.
This position requires that you make campers feel comfortable, have fun and stimulate their nature-curious and creative minds.

Working Conditions
This job requires playing and working outside with children in dirt, water and forests. The camp takes place in summer and Texas heat is HOT! Must be responsible and cautious to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion upon you as well as campers and fellow counselors.

Terms & Salary
Junior Counselor employment begins 12pm on the Sunday start date of each session and ends the following Saturday at noon. Each session after the first, staff are required to be on-site Sundays at noon and leave Saturdays at noon once all camp is cleaned up and closed down. This means for sessions grouped together, staff have a full 24 hours rest before the beginning of each session. Staff may leave site during this 24 hour break. There is a one-week break after two grouped sessions. Please see sessions for specific dates.

Counselors without current CPR and Wilderness First aid cards are required to attend Part Two of Blackwood Guides Wednesday, June 18th, 2013 through Friday, June 21st, 2013. Wilderness First Aid, CPR and Lifeguard training will begin early Wednesday morning, but counselors are encouraged to arrive Tuesday evening. Accommodations and meals are provided.

Salaries are gross wages before all taxes and are based on experience and qualifications.

Base Salary $150 per week (Junior counselor) or $500 per week (Senior counselor)*
*Attendance for Part 2 Blackwood Guides is mandatory. Certification fees are waived for Junior counselors attending Part Two of Blackwood Guides for training. You are required to work for at least two more weeks. Preference is given to those who can work a minimum of 3 weeks. Any additional bonuses are determined on experience level.

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Biking Accident

I know this blog is technically “closed,” but I wanted to share this article with everyone. It applies directly to what we discussed last class and it’s so sad that it happened to a Skidmore alumn.

 

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Website Research

In the beginning of our research project, when we chose our person to interview and learn about, I wanted to meet Karen Totino more out of curiosity than anything else. My family is one that strives to be a green as we possibly can: we don’t have central air, we compost, we grow organic food ect. Building green however, was not something I’d ever heard of before. Are there toxic chemicals in our walls? Our mattresses?

It seems naive of me, these days especially because I feel that (like Rachel Carson warns) we are living in a chemical soup. Even our food had chemicals in it, a thing that seems inconceivable when truly considered. Therefore when we went to talk with Karen I really wanted to know not just WHAT her eco products were made of but how they worked and most importantly where they were as a product on the market. Until then I had never heard of clay walls (though I did know about bamboo floors) or even organic cabinets and counter tops.

What speaking with Karen taught me foremost however was that organic is still a growing movement. The term organic shouldn’t even need to exist–everything should be natural and healthy– yet it does. I think that stores like Karen’s are helpful, but in the end it;s the minds of people that truly make the change, and their will that allows for things like the green movement to happen.

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