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community engagement coordinator – ma americorps Member

The Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) will host a Community Engagement Coordinator for the 2022-2023 service year. We strongly encourage interested individuals to apply as soon as possible once applications are posted in May 2022. Position offers and acceptances will be made on a rolling basis. The program aims to fill all positions by mid-July, but Service Sites will continue interviews as needed until all positions are filled. To apply for this position and to learn more about other TerraCorps service Member opportunities, please visit the following page on the TerraCorps website at https://terracorps.org/member-position-listing/.

MRWC improves and conserve the Merrimack River watershed for people and wildlife through education, recreation, science, and advocacy. We work with diverse stakeholders and decision makers to address threats such as combined sewer overflows and climate change; educate the public; engage communities in protection; and promote public access to the Merrimack and its tributaries.

MRWC was founded in 1976 to address the issue of pollution in the Merrimack River. At the time, the river turned green, or red, or orange, depending on the color dye that was used in the mills that day. While the dyes are gone, the river, which provides drinking water to 600,000 residents, still faces significant threats. From the beginning, MRWC has seen our mission as a mandate to both protect the community from the dangers of contamination in the water, and to engage and educate residents in protecting and preserving this vital natural resource. MRWC is based in Lawrence, MA but works significantly throughout the entire watershed, which begins in Franklin, New Hampshire and flows out to the ocean at Newburyport, MA.

The Member will focus their time in Lawrence and Lowell, but also travel extensively throughout other sites within the watershed. Lawrence and Lowell, MA are two of five urban communities along the mainstem of the Merrimack River which suffer from a) lack of accessible urban green space, and b) are home to a total of 53 combined sewer outfalls. As long as these twin problems exist, individuals have limited opportunities to enjoy the health benefits of time in nature without risk of exposure to sewage-associated pathogens and subsequent infections. In addition to the environmental justice concerns related to green space and water quality in the Merrimack River, the residents of Lowell and Lawrence predominantly represent demographically vulnerable populations. The populations of Lawrence and Lowell are majority minority, are low-income compared with the statewide average, experience English isolation, and carry a disproportionate burden of water contamination and other environmental factors.

Community Engagement Coordinators (CEC) build the long-term capacity of their Service Sites by developing and leading culturally inclusive programming, events, and volunteer opportunities that provide broad social and environmental benefits to underrepresented beneficiaries. Member projects address inequities in public health, economic opportunity, education, land accessibility, and environmental sustainability. Through engaging diverse peoples and collaborating with community partners, CECs build bridges that reinforce the connection between land and a sustainable social, economic, and environmental future for all people.

TerraCorps Members engage with their supervisors to develop and carry out three or more capacity building projects over the course of the service year. Some of these projects will involve recruiting, training, and/or managing community volunteers. MRWC has proposed the following potential projects for their Community Engagement Coordinator:

1) Enhance and expand MRWC public community events for volunteers by increasing volunteer recruitment, coordinating logistics, and leading the events.
2) Educate youth and adults about watershed science, climate change, and related river topics by developing and delivering curriculum at community events and in school settings.
3) Enhance and expand awareness of recreational access opportunities for community members, including paddling, boating, fishing, swimming, etc. by coordinating community recreation events.
4) Develop a social media strategy that maximizes enriching educational content and engages community members digitally.

Development of these and other projects will occur during the first two months of service and consider the Member’s interests and skills.

Required AmeriCorps Qualifications
• A US citizen, US national, or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S.
• At least 18 years old
• A minimum of a high school diploma or GED
• No more than three previous terms as an AmeriCorps Member
• Pass a criminal history background check, including an FBI check

Desired Qualifications
• Strong writing and verbal communication skills
• Able to serve both independently and as a member of a team
• Comfort navigating computer software programs (Excel, Word, social media)
• Training and experience pertinent to the Community Engagement Coordinator position and projects listed above
• Experience training and educating community members and volunteers
• Experience planning and leading volunteer events
• Experience with environmental field work, particularly water quality monitoring, and/or invasive species management and/or kayaking
• Bilingual in Spanish or Khmer

For questions about MRWC’s service positions, contact: careers@merrimack.org

AmeriCorps Member Eligibility Requirements
All Members are expected to serve full-time, commit to serve for the entire 11-month term, and complete at least 1,700 hours of service, including time spent in trainings and several service days with the full TerraCorps cohort. Weekly service averages 38 hours and commonly includes some night and/or weekend activities.
AmeriCorps programs provide equal opportunities. TerraCorps will recruit and select persons in all positions to ensure a diverse and inclusive climate without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, color, political affiliation, creed, national origin, marital status, or any other status as protected by federal, state, and local laws. We encourage applications from individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations for interviews and service upon request.

Member Compensation and Benefits
• TerraCorps Members will receive a living allowance of up to $18,500 (pre-tax) over the 11-month term of service, which is $740 (pre-tax) per 25 biweekly pay periods.
• TerraCorps assists Members in obtaining health insurance coverage. Reimbursement of costs may be available.
• Childcare assistance may be provided in cases of financial need.
• Upon successful completion of a term of service, AmeriCorps Members receive a taxable $6,495 education award that can be used for future education or to pay off existing school loans. See https://americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-award for info and restrictions.
• TerraCorps Members are eligible for forbearance of most federally-guaranteed student loans, as well as payment of interest accrued during service.
• TerraCorps Members will receive mentorship, training, and career development opportunities while serving directly with community-based nonprofits.
• TerraCorps Members experience the personal rewards of national service and community engagement.
Note: TerraCorps Members are responsible for their own housing and must have access to reliable transportation.

How to Apply
To apply for this position and to learn more about other TerraCorps service Member opportunities, please visit the following page on the TerraCorps website at https://terracorps.org/member-position-listing/.
Note: A complete Member application includes a resume and two professional or academic references that you will upload as part of your application.
Member applications will be collected by TerraCorps and shared with Service Sites. Do not send applications directly to a Service Site.
We strongly encourage interested individuals to apply as soon as possible once applications are posted in May 2022. Position offers and acceptances will be made on a rolling basis. The program aims to fill all positions by mid-July, but Service Sites will continue interviews as needed until all positions are filled. For questions about TerraCorps please email spollock@terracorps.org.

Additional Information About this Program
TerraCorps seeks to create change by achieving a broader, more authentic engagement of the diverse peoples living in our communities. When we do this, resources will grow, access to land will increase, the pace of land conservation will accelerate, and whole communities will achieve more resilient futures. To learn more about TerraCorps, visit: https://terracorps.org/.
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 people in intensive service each year through more than 15,000 nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps Members help communities tackle pressing problems and, also leverage their service by mobilizing volunteers to help address community needs for environmental stewardship, health, education, economic opportunity, disaster services, and support to veterans and military families. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit americorps.gov.
TerraCorps is a grant-funded program contingent upon renewal of federal funding from the AmeriCorps federal agency. TerraCorps is also supported in part by the Massachusetts Service Alliance in MA and Serve RI in Rhode Island.

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WATER QUALITY COORDINATOR

The Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) seeks a full-time Water Quality Coordinator to join our dynamic and growing team. This role is ideal for someone who is a highly organized self-starter and prides themselves on: 1) collaborative teamwork, 2) technical skills in water quality, 3) constructive problem solving, 4) existing community connections in the Greater Lowell and Greater Lawrence areas, or the skills to build those connections. If you have a strong work ethic, passionate drive, and enduring commitment to water and climate justice in our watershed, consider joining our team.

About MRWC: The MRWC is a nonprofit environmental organization that protects and improves the Merrimack River Watershed for all people and wildlife through science, education, recreation, and advocacy. Our mission is a mandate to both protect our communities from environmental harm and to educate and engage residents in restoring our vital natural resources. We work with diverse stakeholders, decision makers and communities to address threats including water pollution, habitat loss, aging infrastructure, and climate change. We also promote public access to the river and its greenspaces. MRWC has a main office in Lawrence, Massachusetts and a secondary office in Concord, New Hampshire. However, MRWC works throughout the entire 5,000 square mile watershed, which begins in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and flows out to the ocean at Newburyport and Salisbury, Massachusetts.

About the Position: The Coordinator will work closely with MRWC Program Managers to expand, integrate and manage MRWC’s activities in: 1) water quality monitoring, 2) watershed planning, 3) green infrastructure project development for climate resilience and water quality improvements, and 4) engagement of a diverse group of stakeholders to solve water related issues. The Coordinator will implement programing to monitor the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the Mighty Merrimack River and its tributaries. The Coordinator will build out partnerships with local organizations and key agencies to identify and adopt science-based solutions to water quality and quantity issues.

Location: This position is based out of our Lawrence, MA office, but there is opportunity to work remotely a few days a week, when field work and in-office work are not required. Water monitoring and river events happen regularly throughout the watershed so regular travel and field work within the watershed should be expected.

Schedule: Full-time exempt with options for flexible scheduling. This position requires occasional early morning or weekend sampling, and occasional evening meetings and weekend events.

Key Responsibilities:

1. Water Quality Monitoring Program coordination

  • Manage and refine MRWC’s volunteer-based water quality monitoring on the main stem of the Merrimack, including regular year-round sampling, hotspot monitoring, data analysis, and technical reporting
  • Adjust and improve the program over time to ensure program is scientifically sound and efficient
  • Manage data collection, data recording, QA/QC and upload to EPA database
  • Maintain water quality monitoring equipment and supply inventory
  • Analyze samples using our in-house IDEXX system
  • Analyze data and develop annual reports
  • Communicate findings to local, state and federal partners through presentations, meetings, and public speaking engagements
  • Identify areas for further study or for targeted solutions, based on data findings
  1. Watershed planning
  • Support municipalities in developing EPA 9-point watershed-based plans aimed at studying and solving non-point source pollution issues, including:
    • Designing water quality monitoring studies in Merrimack tributaries
    • Coordinating with the EPA and commercial labs for sample analysis
    • Conducting background research on water quality issues
    • Engaging stakeholders to identify water quality issues and potential solutions
    • Facilitating the design of Best Management Practices for stormwater and non-point source pollution management
  • Support municipalities in developing and implementing climate resilient, nature-based solutions to flooding and water quality
  • Promote watershed-wide mindset and cross-municipality collaboration in water management
  1. Project and Program Development
  • Leverage existing projects and relationships to develop new projects
  • Identify key solutions to water quality issues and work with the Program Managers and stakeholders to develop projects around those solutions
  • Present information to municipalities, wastewater treatment facilities and other key partners
  • Build connections between water quality programming and other areas of the organization such as community engagement, youth education, restoration and others
  1. Stakeholder Engagement:
  • Build enduring local partnerships to advance water quality improvement projects, collaborative solutions, and investments
  • Expand the number of community connections of the MRWC with community members, volunteers, businesses, local organizations, and municipal government departments, particularly in environmental justice communities

Required Qualifications: Above all, we seek an individual who is motivated to take on new challenges, and believes in this work. The ideal candidate is a collaborative self-starter with drive and enthusiasm. Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree + 4 years of relevant work experience or Master’s degree + 2 years of relevant work experience
  • Degree in environmental science, hydrology, aquatic biology, ecology, environmental chemistry, civil/environmental engineering or related field
  • Project coordination experience
  • Excellent inter-personal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated success managing data
  • Ability to develop and carry out scientific studies – design a study, collect data, manage data analysis and draw conclusions
  • Experience working across diverse groups and neighborhoods
  • Experience or interest in ensuring equity and inclusion in science and making technical concepts accessible to all audiences
  • Strategic thinker and desire to develop collaborative solutions to complex problems
  • Proficient in GIS software and Microsoft Office Suite

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bilingual in Spanish (spoken and written) is not required but is a plus
  • Familiarity and community connections within Lawrence, Lowell or nearby area is not required but is a plus
  • Experience with data visualization software and programming such as R, Tableau or Visual Basic is not required but a plus

*This position requires occasional field work, including on water, in boats, or on uneven terrain.

Salary and Benefits: Starting salary is dependent on experience. Benefits package includes a health insurance contribution, paid time off, paid family and medical leave, and mileage reimbursements.

To Apply: Submit a cover letter and resume, which will be considered on a rolling basis until Monday, May 16th at 5pm detailing your interest and qualifications to careers@merrimack.org with the subject line “Water Quality Coordinator.” No calls, please.

At the Merrimack River Watershed Council, we don’t just value difference — we celebrate it and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our services, and our community. MRWC is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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Our mission is to improve and conserve the Merrimack River watershed for people and wildlife through advocacy, education, recreation and science.

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