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Field Coordinator for Inwood Hill Park

Job Type: full-time temporary position

Location: New York

Posting Date: 8 Jul 14

Closing Date: 7 Oct 14

Field Coordinator for Inwood Hill Park
Tree Inventory & Social-Ecological Assessment

The Natural Area Conservancy seeks a Field Coordinator for a one-year position for the Inwood Tree Inventory and Social-Ecological Assessment. This year, an interdisciplinary team of land managers and researchers from the Natural Areas Conservancy, working with the NYC Urban Field Station partners (US Forest Service and NYC Parks) will build off of citywide social and ecological assessments of natural areas to conduct a more in-depth study of Inwood Hill Park and its surrounding neighborhoods in north Manhattan. This Assessment uses mixed research methods to explore how communities perceive, value, use, and care for natural areas and open spaces in the area. It is being conducted concurrently with an ecological assessment of Inwood’s forest canopy health, risk potential, and value.

Data and findings will be used to inform and improve management and programming of Inwood’s natural areas and forest edge, and to better engage communities, support civic stewardship, and enhance the social and cultural values of natural areas. The social and biophysical data collected will together form the foundation of a canopy management plan for the park.

The Field Coordinator’s primary responsibility will be to conduct an inventory of trees along active use corridors using a combination of i-Tree and industry standard risk assessment methodologies. In addition, the Field Coordinator will be responsible for executing a social assessment for the park in collaboration with U.S. Forest Service researchers at the Urban Field Station, including direct supervision of two interns. The Field Coordinator will also help schedule and participate in community meetings about the project.

New York City, sometimes depicted as a city of brick and concrete, is also a city with an expansive park system full of lush green spaces and vibrant waterways. A third of city parkland is identified as natural forests and wetlands. These natural areas are vital to sustaining air and water quality, as well as to the formation of neighborhood identity, increased property values, and recreational opportunities. Natural areas are as essential to the survival and flourishing of New York as the built environment.

The Natural Areas Conservancy was founded in 2012 to advance the restoration and conservation of natural areas for a resilient and healthy New York City. We participate in a public-private partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) to expand and advocate for the management of the City’s 10,000 acres of forests and wetlands. The Natural Areas Conservancy is vital in raising additional resources to promote citywide efforts for resiliency and conservation, conducting applied research, and increasing the long-term sustainability of forests and wetlands.

The Field Coordinator will:
• Conduct all field work associated with collection of individual tree data, including:
o Use of a handheld GPS unit to collect location information
o Collection of biophysical data such as species and DBH
o Assessment of tree health following ANSI A300 Level 1 and 2 Tree Risk Assessment standards
• Coordinate with other Conservancy staff on plot-based data collected in the park, ensuring full coverage of all park zones
• In concert with U.S. Forest service staff,conduct and supervise interns in conducting social site observations, including:
o detailed observations of human activity, social clustering, and evidence of human use with written, qualitative group debriefs
o Conduct brief on-site interviews with adult park users.
• In concert with U.S. Forest service staff, supervise interns in conducting research about Inwood Hill Park and neighborhood, via a range of methodologies, potentially including:
o Analysis of existing social-demographic datasets (e.g census, land use)
o Key informant interviews with park managers, civic stewards, key users
o Focus groups / community meetings and/or general population surveys
• Coordinate with other staff to manage daily logistics, streamline and collaborate on data collection, and troubleshoot in the field.
• Organize, code, and analyze data at regular intervals.
• Document site conditions with digital photography

• A degree in fields related to urban natural resources management: environmental science, environmental studies, forestry, geography, natural resources, urban studies etc
• Strong background in urban forestry, including familiarity with survey methodology and risk assessment. Knowledge of northeastern tree species.
• Desire to work in diverse and dynamic urban environments; strong interest in field-based data collection in an urban setting
• Experience with social science research, such as conducting individual interviews and focus groups
• Experience supervising temporary or project-oriented staff
• Strong organizational and communication skills with the ability to work independently and as part of a team in both the field and office.
• Familiarity and high comfort level with GPS-based data collection and Microsoft Access.
• Strong written and oral communications skills
• Driver’s license valid in New York State

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, a resume, and list of three references to:

Application review begins 7/18/2014. Position open until filled.


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