Water Quality Program Associate


Kingston, NY, United States 🇺🇸

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Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Program coordinates the largest community science water quality science project of its kind. In 2016, the program partnered with 44 organizations and 165 individuals to take 4,750 samples of water from 411 locations on roughly 795 river miles within the Hudson River Watershed.

The data gathered, and the community-based method of gathering it, provides the basis for advocacy to improve water quality. Notable achievements based on this advocacy include the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law and the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act; commitments or proposals to improve watershed protections through Drinking Source Water Programs in Newburgh and statewide; and numerous corrections of specific instances of water pollution.

Program staff expect a high level of integrity and performance from one another, derive great job satisfaction from achieving results as part of a community of advocates that improve the environment and people’s lives, and thrive in a fast-paced but fun-loving environment. See https://www.riverkeeper.org/water-quality/ and https://www.riverkeeper.org/blogs/water-quality-blogs/ for more about the Program.

Position Summary
The Program Associate’s primary job is to work closely with the Program Scientist and Program Director to coordinate and support community sampling projects in numerous tributary watersheds, including management and communication of data.

Candidates must commit to working each of six specific Thursday-to-Sunday stretches, including both weekend days: May 11-14, June 8-11, July 6-9, August 10-13, September 7-10, and October 12-15. These dates are non-negotiable, and commitment to working on these dates is a condition of employment.

In addition to coordination of community sampling projects, the Program Associate will assist the Director and Scientist with communications and advocacy, as assigned. Occasional nights, and other weekend work may be necessary.

This is a full-time, seasonal position. Weekend and evening work will be compensated with commensurate time off in the preceding or following week.

The Water Quality Program Associate Will:

  • Coordinate processing of samples utilizing IDEXX Enterolert system, and other equipment as needed;
  • Confirm, monthly, the availability of community scientists to take samples at their designated locations for Catskill, Esopus, Rondout, Wallkill, Mohawk and Upper Hudson projects;
  • Arrange back-up samplers whenever needed;
  • Update and print chain of custody and data recording forms and tray and bottle labels for Catskill, Esopus, Rondout, Wallkill, Sparkill, Pocantico, Mohawk and Upper Hudson projects;
  • Coordinate transportation of clean bottles from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to Riverkeeper’s lab in Kingston, and of dirty bottles back;
  • Distribute clean, labeled sampling containers for Catskill, Esopus, Rondout, Wallkill, Mohawk and Upper Hudson projects to community scientists, in person and by mail;
  • Enter data into digital spreadsheets;
  • Upload data to website, including Hudson River Estuary data, and data from other community science project sent by partners, and digitally archive at Riverkeeper;
  • Send email notifications to samplers that data are online for Rondout, Wallkill, Sparkill, Pocantico, Catskill, Esopus, Roe Jan, Mohawk and Upper Hudson projects;
  • Field questions, comments, requests, complaints;
  • Keep lab clean, stocked and functioning;
  • Coordinate additional sampling for a Rondout Creek-Wallkill River short-term project

Other tasks and projects will be assigned, and may include (but are not limited to):

  • Field work, including water sampling, stream walks, kayak “boat brigades,” and investigations of suspected pollution sources;
  • Communication with environmental law enforcement and other entities to report suspected pollution violations;
  • Assistance with advocacy projects, including drafting reports, emails or other communications, making phone calls, or doing research;
  • Presentations to community groups, municipalities or other audiences;
  • Attendance at events, such as watershed citizen group meetings.

Key Skills, Qualities and Characteristics Required

  • Detail oriented
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel
  • Experience in a lab setting
  • Experience coordinating volunteers
  • Personable
  • Strong communicator, with excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Thrives and maintains calm in a fast-paced work environment
  • Environmental science degree preferred

Physical And Travel Requirements
Candidates must be able to conduct field work, including in muddy, uneven surfaces in on bramble-choked shorelines in and near water, carry coolers full of ice and climb steep stairs.

In addition to reliable transportation to Kingston, the Water Quality Program Associate must be able to make occasional trips to Riverkeeper’s main office in Ossining (accessible via Metro-North train), and occasional trips by car to remote locations throughout the Hudson River Watershed, as needed.

Other Details
This position is full-time at 40 hours per week
Requires availability beyond regular office hours on evenings and weekends
Salary is commensurate with experience

To Apply: Please send a resume and a brief cover letter to [email protected] with “Water Quality Program Associate” as the subject line. No phone calls please.

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Riverkeeper is an equal opportunity employer and provides opportunities to all employees and applicants, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, and military status.