The Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) is now accepting applications for an AmeriCorps Stewardship & Conservation Education Associate through AmeriCorps Project Conserve (ACPC) for the 2024-25 service term.

AmeriCorps service with HRI provides an excellent opportunity to interact with the local environmental conservation and natural resources community, engage in impactful work with a great team of professionals and members of the public, and be out in the woods in special places in the Southern Appalachian mountain region of Western North Carolina.

ACPC members serve an 11-month term from September 3, 2024 to July 31, 2025 with a total service commitment of 1,700 hours. Compensation includes a $31,000 living stipend (split over the term), a $7,395 educational award, professional development opportunities, and additional benefits outlined on the Project Conserve website. This position is based out of HRI’s office in Asheville, NC.

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The Stewardship & Conservation Education Associate will educate, engage, and empower more community members and groups to participate in hemlock conservation. The ACPC member will assist HRI in outreach and education efforts to spread accurate, useful, up-to-date information about hemlocks, their importance to our ecosystems and economy, and what can be done to save them. There will be significant face-to-face interaction through outreach activities, which will include educational presentations, trainings, demonstrations, hikes, tabling events, and volunteer days. Additionally, the ACPC member will work with partners (NC state agencies, USFS, local and regional conservation non-profits, and volunteers) to protect more hemlock trees from the impacts of the hemlock woolly adelgid. This will primarily be accomplished using chemical and biological control methods, but occasionally will involve assisting with other hemlock restoration strategies as well. The member will work closely with HRI staff and forestry technicians in the field and office.

Primary duties may include:

  • Conducting educational programs about hemlock conservation, including presentations, hikes, trainings, and outreach at public tabling events
  • Sharing HRI and partner activities and accomplishments and other HRI-related stories through the HRI website, Instagram, Facebook, and HRI newsletters
  • Assisting with HWA management activities including stand assessments and HWA chemical and biological control treatments on federal and state public lands and private conserved lands
  • Writing and updating treatment plans
  • Biocontrol surveys and data collection
  • Maintenance of equipment and data
  • Email, phone, and in-person communication with partners, volunteers, and members of the public

Read the full position description here.

Apply and learn more about eligibility requirements and compensation on the AmeriCorps Project Conserve website. Applications are due by May 31, 2024. All questions can be directed to Thom Green at info@savehemlocksnc.org.

“My term serving with HRI as an AmeriCorps member has been simultaneously inspirational and foundational. In my role as the Stewardship and Conservation Education Associate, I’ve been able to work many days in the field actively saving hemlocks, interact with hundreds of volunteers, educate a diverse array of audiences about hemlocks and their conservation, and participate in a variety of conservation related experiences offered through the Project Conserve Program. This position has constantly drawn me into new areas of intrigue and granted me the skills and experience needed to expand my horizons in work, life, and play. It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend 11 months!”

Aaron Whittemore, ACPC HRI Stewardship and Conservation Education Associate 2021-22

The mission of AmeriCorps Project Conserve is to serve Western North Carolina by building stronger, more educated, and more informed communities. Project Conserve is administered by Conserving Carolina and funded by an AmeriCorps grant from the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service in the office of Governor Roy Cooper, and the critical support of our host sites and community partners.

The Hemlock Restoration Initiative’s mission is to work with a variety of partners and existing programs to restore hemlocks to long-term health throughout North Carolina and ensure that eastern and Carolina hemlocks can resist hemlock woolly adelgid and survive to maturity on North Carolina’s public and private lands. HRI is a grant-funded program managed by WNC Communities.

WNC Communities is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate because of race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, or familial status. People with diverse skills and experience are encouraged to apply.