FOREST STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM COORDINATOR (EXEMPT)
Announcement from our partners at the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture:
The VI Department of Agriculture has an opening in the Forestry Division for the position of Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator on St. Croix. This position is a federally-funded position, however the successful candidate will be an employee of the VI Dept. of Agriculture. The position does require a BS in forestry or natural resources; a master’s degree would be outstanding. The position also requires experience with GIS mapping. The job description is below for your information. Please let Marilyn Chakroff [marilyn DOT chakroff AT gmail DOT com] know if you are interested in applying for this position. Send her your current resume and she will pass your name and information on to Commissioner Carlos Robles, the new Commissioner. Interviews will be conducted next month as they would like to fill the position ASAP.
This is work managing and developing forestry plans for private forest landowners in the USVI for the purposes of soil conservation and water quality improvement. The intent of the Forest Stewardship Program is to keep private forest lands in forest, and to provide technical assistance to landowners in managing their property for specific goals set forth in forest management plans.
Work is performed under the direction of the State (Territorial) Forester, who is the Commissioner of Agriculture. The incumbent is expected to use considerable judgment and creativity in the management of the program.
Duties (Not all-inclusive):
The primary duties of the Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator are to:
- Work with and make recommendations to landowners relative to retaining lands in a well-kept, forested state for a period of 10 years or more;
- Conduct evaluation of property using a combination of methods connected with the principles of silviculture and soil conservation;
- Prepare written forest stewardship plans, which describe existing forested areas, the tree species, and the type of measures needed to retain the forests, and any future plans for the forested area;
- Budget and monitor Forest Stewardship Program income and expenditures of funds; and
- Any other related duty as requested by the State Forester.
In addition to the above, the Coordinator also works with the USDA – Forest Service – International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) personnel in managing and reporting on cooperative agreements and grants that provide the funding for this and other forestry programs.
Factor 1: Knowledge Required by the Position
To operate as the Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator, the incumbent must have a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry, with particular knowledge of forest biology, soils, silviculture, and other forestry topics. The course of study should include at least 30 semester hours of a combination of biological, chemical, and physical sciences, as well as surveying and technical drawing. A Master’s degree in Forestry is preferred. Knowledge of Arc View, Arc Explorer, Arc GIS or similar software and basic accounting principles is preferred.
Factor 2: Supervisory Controls
The State (Territorial) Forester assigns work to the Coordinator in terms of overall objectives and priorities of the territory-wide Forest Stewardship Program. Completed work is reviewed in terms of its conformance to agency policy and priorities, and to overall resource program objectives. The work is performed independently with considerable latitude for the exercise of judgment in determining solutions and resolving technical problems.
Factor 3: Guidelines
Guidelines consist of agency-wide directives as established by the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Stewardship Program, and the VI Department of Agriculture. The employee must use resourcefulness and experienced judgment in applying agency directives to local conditions.
Factor 4: Complexity
The nature of the work under Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator involves direct interaction with the public; in this case, private landowners with forested lands. Assignments involve the implementation of sound forestry management practices as the Coordinator works with, and writes forest management plans for, private landowners. The employee must be innovative and versatile in approach, and must modify or adapt standard techniques and practices, and improvise solutions to solve varied problems.
Factor 5: Scope and Effect
The overall purpose of the Forest Stewardship Program is to preserve and protect forested lands in private ownership in order to protect soil and water resources of the U.S. Virgin Islands. To this end, the Coordinator works with private landowners to help identify additional objectives for managing their forested properties. Landowners participating in the program receive technical assistance from the Coordinator, and others who advise the Coordinator, and may receive tax benefits as a result of their participation. The work impacts the use of private forested lands in the Territory, protecting scenic views, providing wildlife habitat, preventing soil erosion, protecting water quality, and providing natural areas that benefit the population as a whole.
Factor 6: Personal Contacts
The Coordinator works with other employees of the VI Department of Agriculture on a daily basis, and with private landowners who are participants in the Forest Stewardship Program. In addition, the Coordinator is involved with people representing other community-based organizations that relate in some way to forestry. Contacts are made by telephone, email, fax, and in person. Examples of people with whom that Coordinator works are representatives from the: USDA Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service; the University of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service; the St. George Village Botanical Garden; and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico. The Coordinator also works with teachers and students at local schools as time allows.
Factor 7: Purpose of Contacts
The purpose of the above personal contacts are to ensure timely and efficient implementation of the Territorial Forest Stewardship Program and objectives set forth by the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, upon its approval of financial assistance to the VI Government.
Factor 8: Physical Demands
No unusual physical efforts are required; however, some properties have terrain that is difficult to negotiate, and some properties have no road access.
Factor 8: Work Environment
The majority of the work is performed in an air-conditioned office setting. However, the nature of the work requires frequent travel to all three islands, to Puerto Rico, and to the U.S. several times a year, as required. Work is also done out-of-doors in undeveloped areas, requiring hiking through forests and bush.
The position of Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator requires a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry, or a Bachelor’s degree in related sciences such as botany, biology, or chemistry, with the requisite 30 hours of coursework in forestry-related subjects such as soil science and silviculture. Candidates with experience as a certified arborist or naturalists may also be suitable for the position, with at least four years of experience working in their field, or a combination of education and experience equaling four years. Preference given to candidates with a Master of Science degree in forestry or forestry-related courses of study.