Watershed Educator

Cornell University

Penn Yan, NY, USA 🇺🇸

The Watershed Educator position will concentrate on the Natural Resources program assisting the Executive Director with its development, delivery, direction, and management of programming efforts for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates County.

This position works on projects in collaboration with the Cornell University Department of Natural Resources, the Keuka Lake Association, the Seneca-Keuka Watershed 9-Element Planning Process and the Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management [PRISM] of the Finger Lakes.

This position will be responsive to emerging developments with the watershed, invasive species and community education on various platforms, including print, in person/virtual presentations and social media.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in plant science, horticulture, agronomy, natural resources, environmental science or related discipline.BS/BA + 4 Yrs transferable relevant evidence-based research experience)
  • Experience relevant to the role of the position.
  • Knowledge and experience in current and emerging issues in watershed/water quality, invasive species and forestry management in the Finger Lakes region.
  • Experience with Cooperative Extension or other similar educational organizations.
  • Experience in guiding and collaborating with volunteers.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with proven ability to work effectively with advisory boards and committees, community and funding partners.
  • Ability to relate effectively to co-workers, advisors, community and professional leaders.
  • Ability to initiate, plan, organize, implement, teach, and evaluate informal educational programs.
  • Ability to effectively participate in professional team efforts.
  • Ability to meet travel requirements associated with this position.
  • Ability to work flexible hours which may include evenings and/or weekends, as appropriate.
  • Ability to clearly communicate (speak, read and write proficiently) in English.
  • Ability and willingness to work with diverse audiences and maintain cultural sensitivity.
  • Proficiency with windows-based software including use of the internet and Microsoft Office Suite including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Excel.
  • Ability to work in a typical office environment which may include lifting, moving, and/or transporting office supplies, work related materials, and equipment with or without accommodation. The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions.

Responsibilities/Essential Functions:

Program Development – 20%

  • May assist with the development of watershed/water quality, invasive species and forestry management programming to meet identified needs within the county and meet grant funder requirements.
  • May assist with research, identify, and select appropriate educational and community resources and identify additional resources required for new programs and initiatives.
  • May assist with making programmatic changes based on program evaluation outcomes to meet the need of diverse program participants.
  • May assist in maintaining direct linkage with Cornell University program development guidance.
  • May assist the Supervisor in working with community and agency partners to develop programs and initiatives that promote aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem health and stewardship.

Program Delivery – 50%

  • Apply existing subject matter knowledge to create lesson plans and adapt established curriculum and materials to meet identified program objectives.
  • Deliver innovative, high-quality watershed/water quality and forestry management established educational programs to enhance and increase awareness, viability and sustainability of local natural resources. Topics include but are not limited to: water and terrestrial invasive species; private wood lot management and agroforestry economic development options/strategies, natural resource protection efforts, and emerging/critical invasive species issues. Implementation of existing forestry economic development strategies for new/established owners.
  • Utilize a variety of proven educational methodologies which may include direct teaching, group experiences, media, newsletters, electronic technology, internet, and distance learning to promote and deliver program.
  • Serve as a subject-matter resource in the area of invasive species and forestry management and agroforestry options to staff, participants, community organizations and the general public.
  • Represent CCE before the public, community leaders, government officials, Cornell or other land grant universities in a professional manner as part of program delivery.
  • Implement established terrestrial and aquatic invasive species monitoring and management projects with volunteer assistance under the supervision of the Executive Director.
  • May assist the Supervisor in working with community and agency partners to implement projects that promote aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem health and stewardship.

Program Evaluation – 10%

  • May assist in the design and creation of program evaluation framework to measure program impacts and gain input/insight for continuous improvement.
  • Interact with program participants, the community, Cornell faculty, and staff to collect evaluation data for improving programs.
  • May assist in analyzing collected program evaluation data for reporting and program improvement purposes using standard, established policy, procedure and methods.
  • May assist in making recommendations for changes/improvements to strengthen and improve programmatic offerings.
  • Communicate evaluation results and findings to Supervisor and/or constituents as appropriate.

Administrative Direction – 5%

  • May assist with determining program priorities and goals in consultation and collaboration with supervisor, program committees, staff, community agencies, and/or other stakeholders.
  • May assist in the direction of the Master Forest Owner program for eleven counties in northern Western New York.
  • May assist in planning effective marketing strategies to reach target audiences and meet program objectives.
  • May assist in the development of marketing and promotion of watershed management and natural resources through public relation initiatives and networking/collaborating with government, economic, educational, lake associations and natural resources organizations.
  • May assist in identifying, developing, and securing community and fiscal resources for program continuance and enhancement.
  • Provide supervisor with program related information to assist the budget development process.

Administrative Management – 5%

  • Identify activities and resources needed to carry out program priorities and goals in consultation and collaboration with Supervisor, Program Committee(s), community agencies, and/or other stakeholders.
  • Assist with monitoring established programs to ensure compliance with policies and objectives of the Association, funding requirements, grant specifications, and adherence to Association strategies/Plan of Work.
  • Assist with monitoring programs’ financial status to ensure compliance with funding requirements, grant specifications, and adherence to Association strategies/plan of work.
  • Lead implementation of established marketing initiatives through variety of methods such as newsletters, e-mails, social media, website postings and content.
  • Provide guidance to volunteers and/or staff, including those performing similar work.

Administrative Coordination/Operation – 5%

  • Coordinate volunteers for the Master Forest Owner program and the terrestrial and aquatic and invasive species program, as needed.
  • Compile resources for distribution to program participants and the public.
  • Collect evaluation data from program participants based on existing framework.
  • Maintain communication with constituents and the community through variety of methods such as newsletters, e-mails, social media, website postings and content. Reach out and connect with media and elected officials for events. Prepare press releases, articles and letters.
  • Maintain records, complete reports, accurately collect and prepare paperwork as required for the program evaluation process.
  • Coordinate existing marketing and promotion of watershed preservation and natural resources through public relation initiatives and networking/collaborating with government, economic, educational and agricultural organizations.
  • Assist in the coordination, planning, and activities with other Association program efforts as required.
  • Prepare and submit accurate expense reports, mileage reports, receipts/supporting documentation, and/or vouchers in a timely manner per established policy and procedures.
  • Maintain confidentiality of all information and data collected.
  • Provide data and information to assist with preparation of reports, impact statements, and success stories for funders, advisory committees, Board and others as requested.
  • This position may require the transport of self and/or program materials/resources in performing position responsibilities.

Professional Improvement and Other Duties as Assigned – 5%

  • In cooperation with the Supervisor, jointly develop and pursue a professional development plan as a means to increase competencies relative to position accountabilities and to address changes in programming and association priorities.
  • Participate in all required orientation, training, and/or in-service meetings and trainings as scheduled/required.
  • Pursue personal growth through expanding personal knowledge of the total organization and through updating techniques and technical skills relating to the position.
  • Carry out assignments and other duties as assigned by supervisor, including but not limited to local fairs, community activities, etc.
  • Collaborate in activities that are in general support of Cornell Cooperative Extension including but not limited to attendance at staff meetings, timely reporting of expenses, working with other staff, general marketing of Cooperative Extension programs and other duties as assigned.
  • Maintain regular and predictable attendance and punctuality.

Health and Safety – Applies to all duties and functions

  • Support the association to maintain a safe working environment.
  • Be familiar and strive to follow any applicable federal, state, local regulations, association health and safety policy/procedure/requirement and standard.
  • Act proactively to prevent accidents/injuries and communicate hazards to supervisors when identified.

EEO/EPO and Policy – Applies to all duties and functions

  • Conduct all programming and activities in accordance with the Civil Rights Act, Title IX Rehabilitation, Americans with Disabilities Act, and local, state, and regional affirmative action plans.
  • Appreciate and embrace diversity in all interactions with clientele, staff, volunteers and the public.
  • Assist the Cornell Cooperative Extension system in reaching out to diverse audiences.
  • Represent Cornell Cooperative Extension to the public, community leaders, colleagues, volunteers, members of Cornell University faculty and staff, government officials and the general public in a professional manner.
  • Aware of, and adheres to, established Cornell Cooperative Extension Association policies, procedures and Cornell Skills for Success.
  • Contribute to the overall success of the organization by performing all assigned duties in a professional, timely, and accurate manner.
  • At all times act in a professional Customer Service manner including but not limited to business-like demeanor, tactful communications, cooperative, helpful, positive and receptive manner.

This is a full-time, non-exempt position scheduled to work 37.5 hours per week.


Excellent benefits, based on eligibility, including:
• Vacation, Sick and Personal time
• Paid Holidays
• NYS Health Insurance Program (including Dental Insurance)
• NYS Retirement
• Long-term Disability Insurance
• Voluntary Tax Deferred Annuity
• Voluntary Flexible Spending Accounts
• Voluntary Group Universal Life Insurance
• Voluntary Personal Accidental Insurance
• Voluntary Legal Plan Insurance
• Voluntary Long Term Care Insurance
• Voluntary Auto and Homeowner’s Insurance
• Voluntary Pet Insurance
• Voluntary New York’s College Savings Program


Review of applications will begin immediately. Position will remain open for applications until satisfactory pool has been identified.

For priority consideration, apply by 11:59pm on November 30, 2021.

Contact Christi Smith at [email protected] with questions.



To be considered for this position, you must:
(1)  Complete *ALL* sections of the online application including your name, full contact information, experience and education. DO NOT JUST ATTACH DOCUMENTS!

(2)  Attach a Cover Letter (PDF or Microsoft Word format).

(3) Attach a Resume (PDF or Microsoft Word format).

(4) Attach names and contact information of at least 3 Professional References (PDF or Microsoft Word format).



No relocation or VISA Sponsorship available.


Job Title:Association Subject Educator II


Pay Rate Type:Hourly

Company:Contract College

Contact Name:Christi Smith

Number of Openings:1

Cornell Cooperative Extension is a collaboration among Cornell University, the United States Department of Agriculture, the State of New York, and the residents of New York State.  Per NYS Law, county and regional extension service associations are subordinate government agencies.  This employment opportunity is with the entities listed and not with Cornell University.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. Individuals who bring a diverse perspective and are supportive of diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.

Notice to Applicants: Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell Cooperative Extension as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development