Mar 14, 2014


Watershed Stewardship Program to expand boat inspections, prevent spread of invasive species

The Watershed Stewardship Program at Paul Smith’s College has won a $500,000 federal grant to help protect lakes and rivers from invasive species. The grant, which was awarded from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, was announced last week.

“This award represents an investment in the future of water quality, biodiversity, and economic and community sustainability in one of our nation’s most cherished natural landscapes,” said Dr. Eric Holmlund, director of the Watershed Stewardship Program.

As part of the program, the Watershed Stewardship Program will expand its watercraft-inspection efforts for the 2015 season; as part of the work, seasonal inspectors will perform 14,000 inspections at about 20 boat launches across the western Adirondacks to help prevent the spread of invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels and spiny waterflea. The stewards will remove any invaders they find and educate boaters how they can help prevent the spread of invasives themselves.

The Watershed Stewardship Program is part of the college’s Adirondack Watershed Institute, a leading advocate and researcher of water quality throughout the Adirondack Park.

Every summer, the stewardship program dispatches crews to public boat launches in and around the Adirondack Park. The EPA has supported the program with two earlier grants. Inspections this year will begin on Memorial Day weekend and continue throughout the summer. Inspectors from the Watershed Stewardship Program are also stationed at several sites not covered by the EPA grants.

Once invasives establish a presence in lakes, rivers and streams in which they are not native, they can disrupt ecosystems and squeeze out other native species. In addition to biological costs, there can be significant economic costs as well – invasive species can threaten both trade and tourism.

The EPA announced the award in easrly-March; in all, the agency gave grants worth more than $5 million to 11 different projects. Since the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched in 2010, the EPA has funded more than 70 projects totaling more than $40 million.

“These Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants will be used to target aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in the Great Lakes basin,” said Region 5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. “The Projects will also help to prevent the introduction of new invasive species that pose risks to the Great Lakes ecosystem.”

Inspection sites funded by the grant include:

  • Cranberry Lake
  • Access sites along the Oswegatchie River
  • First Lake (Old Forge)
  • Fourth Lake (Inlet)
  • Seventh Lake
  • Eighth Lake State Campground
  • Stillwater Reservoir
  • Big Moose Lake (pending approval)
  • Brown’s Tract (pending approval)
  • Limekiln Lake State Campground
  • Raquette Lake
  • Forked Lake
  • Long Lake
  • Little Tupper Lake (pending approval)
  • Lowes Lake (pending approval)
  • Tupper Lake
  • St. Regis Canoe Area
  • Osgood Pond
  • Meacham Lake State Campground
  • Chateaugay Lake State Boat Launch


Feb 12, 2014

CRISP (Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership 2013 Annual Report available

CRISP (Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership 2013 Annual Report is now available by clicking HERE FOR DOWNLOAD

Jan 23, 2014

Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) seeks Seasonal Supervising Field Biologists for NY City

The Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) is seeking seasonal staff to join the second field season of a comprehensive, two-year citywide assessment that uses uniform metrics to measure the health of forests, wetlands, and grasslands.  Fixed area plots will be established in natural area parkland in which vegetation and site condition data will be collected.  Fieldwork will take place in natural area parks in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island.  Assessment methodology will be conducted by NAC and NYC Parks staff as well as interns and seasonal hires.

The Natural Areas Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization working in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to restore, protect and manage a network of green and blue space that promotes a healthy, livable and diverse New York City. The NAC is tasked with expanding and diversifying the protection, management and restoration of 10,000 acres of forests, wetlands and grasslands overseen by the Parks Department.  This public/private partnership unifies the identity of NYC’s natural areas, increases public awareness and volunteerism and integrates advanced technology.


Job Title: Supervising Field Biologist

Job Location:  5 Positions available with reporting locations across New York City in Staten Island (2), Flushing, Queens (2) and Northern Manhattan and the Bronx (1).

Duration:  April 21-October 21, 2014. Full-time seasonal position, 35 hour work week, Monday-Friday. 

Salary:  Hourly rate is $24.73/hour ($45,000/year prorated).

All applications must be submitted prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on February 17, 2014.


Major Responsibilities

Under supervision of the Ecological Assessment Field Coordinator (EAFC), the Supervising Field Biologist will be responsible for managing a small field crew, collecting ecological data and following and directing the Ecological Assessment protocols. This position is approximately 85% field work and 15% office work.

Main tasks include:

  • Report promptly and directly to field sites and supervise a team of two or three Seasonal Field Biologists in conducting ecological site assessments as directed
  • Instruct Seasonal Field Biologists in Ecological Assessment protocols as well as act as a team member collecting data
  • Accurately locate assessment plots using Trimble GPS on foot and carrying 30 lbs. packs
  • Accurately collect data such as understory plant species identification, percent cover vegetation, woody species identification, tree diameter, tree height, tree canopy health, coarse woody debris, human use and impacts and additional site attributes according to assessment protocols
  • Document, download, and edit field data daily or as needed on computer data recorders or paper datasheets
  • Perform QA/QC evaluation of field data as directed
  • Participate in refining ecological assessment field methods as needed
  • Assist in data analysis and entry of ecological assessment data as needed
  • Communicate any issues associated with the Ecological Assessment with Field Coordinator and GIS Support as necessary
  • Maintain motor vehicle driver license valid in New York State
  • Operate NYC Parks Department vehicle in a safe and lawful manner
  • Participate in other tasks at NAC and NRG as directed


Qualifications and Requirements

1. A Master's degree with major study in environmental sciences, ecology, forestry, wildlife biology, botany, natural resources or a related biological science

2. A minimum of two years of professional experience

3. Supervisory experience


Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience in plant and/or animal identification and a working knowledge of the flora and fauna of the northeastern U.S preferred to accurately identify plants and/or animals to appropriate taxon level
  • Experience with GPS units and navigation, and ecological sampling techniques
  • Ability to follow and instruct others in rigorous sampling protocols
  • Experience in managing and analyzing data sets and use of standard statistical software
  • A positive attitude with enthusiasm for conducting field work and comfort working as part of a team
  • Familiarity with New York City natural areas a plus
  • Strong communication and teambuilding skills
  • Driver license valid in New York State
  • Ability to tolerate urban field conditions: very hot, humid weather and moderately strenuous hiking carrying 30 lbs. packs. 


Working Conditions and Reporting Location

We strive to foster an engaging and productive work environment and are seeking applicants who have had experience working as part of a team, are comfortable working outside, and can maintain a positive attitude in variable working conditions. As a member of the field crew you can expect to continue working in the field in variable weather conditions and in difficult and hazardous terrain.

As part of a citywide Ecological Assessment each field crew will maintain a central reporting location in relation to their designated sampling area.  Alternate reporting locations for training and meetings may be required.  Each field crew member is responsible for reporting to and from their assigned reporting location. Some reporting locations may not be easily accessible by public transit. Field trucks are provided to travel from the reporting location to work sites. If you are flexible with your reporting location, or are limited to sites with public transit, or in a particular borough please indicate that in your cover letter.  Some work days may run past 7 hours depending on traffic and work flow.


To Apply

To apply please submit a resume, cover letter highlighting your skills and three reference contacts as one document to

In the subject list Supervising Field Biologist Application.

All applications must be submitted prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on February 17, 2014.