The BEAT News – June 7, 2017

Massachusetts Clean Energy Advocates Welcome SMART Program Release

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has announced its Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program regulations, which will now go through a public comment period. Solar advocates applauded the announcement of the new program, but called for improvements in order to continue solar growth and the Commonwealth’s climate and clean energy leadership. Press Release from SEIA, Vote Solar, CCSA, SEBANE, NECEC and MassSolar, Jun. 6, 2017 <more>

Carbon Pricing Hearing to be held June 20th

On Tuesday, June 20th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy (TUE) will hold a hearing at the Massachusetts State House to consider the two pending bills that would put fees on carbon pollution, S.1821 and H.1726. The bills cannot move forward until they are voted favorably out of the TUE committee, so a demonstration of strong support for the legislation is required. An “all-star lineup” of experts will testify on behalf of the bills. From the Climate Action Business Association <more>

Baker all talk on regional carbon limits

Governor MIA on greenhouse gas initiative. AS PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP moves forward with his efforts to dismantle the Clean Power Plan and accelerate the extraction of coal, oil, and gas on federal lands, it’s worth taking a look at our own record here in Massachusetts. While state officials speak the language of “climate leadership,” their actions have often fallen short. By Ben Hellerstein, Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, Commonwealth Magazine / Opinion, May 31, 2017 <more>

Is the Natural Gas in Your House Upping Your Radon Risk?

Radon, the odorless gas that occurs naturally in soils and often finds its way into homeowners’ basements, is a familiar concern for people across Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is responsible for 21,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. every year, and Pennsylvania homes and buildings have some of the highest radon levels in the country. In fact, a full 40 percent of homes in the state have radon levels above what the EPA considers actionable. By Julie Grant, The Allegheny Front, May 26, 2017 <more>

Coal to solar switch could save 52,000 US lives per year

Swapping out coal energy for solar would prevent 52,000 premature deaths in the United States every year, according to a new analysis from Michigan Technological University. Amid all the talk from the Trump Administration that regulations targeting coal are hurting people, this shows “many more lives are saved by phasing out coal,” said Liz Perera, climate policy director for the Sierra Club, who was not involved in the study. In addition the savings in health care costs added to the value of the solar electricity could in some cases bring in money, offsetting the costs of the switch. By Brian Bienkowski, The Daily Climate, June 5, 2017 <more>

 

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Jobs

2017-18 Position Openings with TerraCorps – Various locations

Outdoor Educator – The Manice Education Center (MEC) – Florida, MA

Visitor Greeter – Becket Land Trust – Becket, MA

Housatonic Valley Association / River Stewards of Tomorrow – 2017 Internship Positions Available – South Lee, MA or Cornwall Bridge CT

Sierra Club – Boston Organizer – Boston

Volunteer Opportunities in the Berkshires w/The Trustees  Stockbridge & Cummington

Mass Audubon – Berkshire Nature Camp Educators @ Pleasant Valley – Lenox

Farm Apprentices – Greenagers – Great Barrington

Experienced Solar Technician – BPVS, Berkshire Photovoltaic Services – Adams, MA

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Massachusetts Clean Energy Advocates Welcome SMART Program Release

With modifications, new solar regulations could lay foundation for expanding savings,
jobs in the Commonwealth

Press Release from SEIA, Vote Solar, CCSA, SEBANE, NECEC and MassSolar
Jun. 6, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BOSTON, Mass. – The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has announced its Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program regulations, which will now go through a public comment period. Massachusetts boasts the second largest solar workforce in the country thanks to state initiatives like net metering and the SREC 2 program, and today’s announcement could be a first step in giving residents and businesses confidence in the Bay State’s continued commitment to progress. This announcement followed the Governor’s recent commitment to addressing climate change and joining the United States Climate Alliance.

Solar advocates applauded the announcement of the new program, but called for improvements in order to continue solar growth and the Commonwealth’s climate and clean energy leadership. Additionally, the State Legislature has proposed bills needed to expand the net metering program, which is currently closed for new projects in the majority of the state, so further steps are needed to continue solar growth. Below are statements from industry advocates following the announcement:

“Thanks to Massachusetts’ leadership and initiatives that make solar more accessible and affordable, Massachusetts has set itself apart as a national leader that’s building its clean, equitable energy economy,” said Sean Garren, Northeast Regional Director at Vote Solar. “The Commonwealth affirmed its commitment to its clean energy future with today’s SMART program announcement, but more work is needed to improve the program and work with the Legislature to expand net metering to ensure that we continue to harness the economic and environmental benefits of solar.”

“We thank Governor Baker and his team for continuing to prioritize the expansion of solar energy,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “The SMART program will help support another 1600 megawatts of solar in the Commonwealth and maintain its position as a leading state. However, while an important step, this isn’t the finale. SMART will not be available until sometime next year. For solar’s economic engine to continue running, the Massachusetts State Legislature must raise the state’s net energy metering caps before the year is up to allow continued solar market growth until SMART is fully implemented.”

“Community solar projects are currently saving consumers money while providing clean, local power across the Commonwealth,” said Coalition for Community Solar Access Executive Director Jeff Cramer. “While we are pleased that the SMART framework was announced today, we are concerned that the proposed limits on community solar will hamper clean energy access. Every ratepayer in the Commonwealth deserves the opportunity to receive the benefits of solar energy on their electric bill through participation in community solar. We’re ready to work with the Administration to improve the regulations and look forward to celebrating the program’s launch next year.”

“While the overall framework of the SMART program is well considered, we’d be much more confident in its long term success if it included a requirement to evaluate program performance early and often with an ability to adjust the program in response to market forces, if the SMART program is not meeting its goals,” said Mark Sandeen, Co-Founder and President of MassSolar.

“We’re happy to see them appear, but the SMART program emergency regulations contain several last-minute surprises”, said Bill Stillinger, President of the Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE). “Solar is the key to a shared clean energy future and its implementation needs to be accelerated, not blocked or limited. Now, the often-conflicting voices of our industry and environmental advocates, elected officials, the state’s regulatory agencies, the utility companies, and solar installers and developers need to be reconciled to secure a good long-term path for solar in Massachusetts.”

“We commend the Baker Administration for its work to develop the SMART regulations and for committing to an additional 1,600 MW of solar in the Commonwealth,” said Peter Rothstein, President of the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC). “Solar energy delivers energy, economic, and environmental benefits in Massachusetts and has fueled a vibrant solar industry that grows by the day. We look forward to continuing to work with the Baker Administration to refine and implement the final program design to ensure that additional cost-effective solar can be built in Massachusetts. Along with legislative action to raise the net metering caps, we are hopeful that the SMART program will provide the framework for continued solar success in Massachusetts.”

SEIA® is the Solar Energy Industries Association® at www.seia.org.
Vote Solar is a non-profit organization at www.votesolar.org
CCSA:is a business-led trade organization www.communitysolaraccess.org
SEBANE is The Solar Energy Business Association of New England at www.sebane.org
NECEC includes the Northeast Clean Energy Council (a nonprofit business member organization), and NECEC Institute (a nonprofit focused on industry research, innovation, policy development and communications initiatives). www.necec.org
MassSolar is working to establish a renewable energy economy, ensure fair compensation for solar owners and provide equitable access to solar for everyone in the Commonwealth. Visit MassSolar online at www.SolarIsWorking.org


Carbon Pricing Hearing to be held June 20th

From the Climate Action Business Association

On Tuesday, June 20th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy (TUE) will hold a hearing at the Massachusetts State House to consider the two pending bills that would put fees on carbon pollution, S.1821 and H.1726. The bills cannot move forward until they are voted favorably out of the TUE committee, so a demonstration of strong support for the legislation is required. An “all-star lineup” of experts will testify on behalf of the bills.

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Baker all talk on regional carbon limits

Governor MIA on greenhouse gas initiative

Case in point: Last August, officials in Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration announced their support for doubling the strength of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program to limit carbon pollution from power plants and invest in clean energy and energy efficiency in Massachusetts and eight other northeastern states.

These proposed changes would reduce emissions by 5 percent per year, as opposed to 2.5 percent under the current program rules — enough to cut an additional 100 million metric tons of pollution by 2030. That’s the equivalent of making more than 1 million homes run entirely on solar power.

We were thrilled to see Massachusetts become the first state to support doubling the strength of RGGI, and we joined other environmental advocates in praising the administration’s move.

 But since August, Baker and his administration have been missing in action. The governor and his top officials have largely stayed silent on the issue of RGGI. When pressed by reporters, administration spokespeople have issued mealy-mouthed statements expressing vague support for RGGI but without any specifics on how strong the program should be.Has Baker backed away from his commitment to double the strength of RGGI and reduce carbon pollution more quickly? It’s hard to say for sure, but absent any definitive statement from the governor or top officials such as Matthew Beaton, the secretary of energy and environmental affairs, and Martin Suuberg, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, it’s clear that the administration’s priorities lie elsewhere.

If Baker wants Massachusetts to be a leader in the fight against climate change, he needs to be a vocal champion for strong limits on carbon and a vigorous supporter of clean energy programs. Instead of leading the way, the governor’s officials are hedging their bets with vague statements.

Unfortunately, the governor’s actions on RGGI follow a troubling pattern, where actions on clean energy and climate solutions often fall short of initial rhetoric and promises. We’ve seen a similar story from the Baker administration on multiple fronts, including solar energy and carbon pollution regulations, as well as the administration’s misguided support for expanding gas pipelines.

That’s why Environment Massachusetts recently joined the Environmental League of Massachusetts and other organizations in giving the Baker administration a C+ for their record on energy issues.

For RGGI in particular, the governor’s inaction is hard to understand. In the decade since it was created, RGGI has brought major benefits to Massachusetts and other northeastern states. Carbon pollution from power plants has declined by 61 percent in Massachusetts, and RGGI has emerged as the most successful regional climate program in the United States.

Limits on carbon pollution have also led to reductions in other forms of harmful pollution from power plants, including soot and smog-forming emissions. One study estimated that pollution reductions from RGGI have saved as many as 830 lives, prevented up to 9,900 asthma attacks, and helped avoid 39,000 to 47,000 missed days of work.

At the same time, RGGI has generated more than $400 million in funding for clean energy and energy efficiency projects in Massachusetts through revenue from the sale of emissions allowances. Funding from RGGI helped the towns of Swampscott and Wenham install efficient LED streetlights, cutting carbon pollution by an estimated 294 metric tons each year while reducing annual energy costs by more than $100,000.

Strengthening RGGI is a clear political winner. In fact, 81 percent of Massachusetts residents responding to a recent survey said that they support strengthening the program.

With that in mind, there’s no reason for the governor to stay on the sidelines. Baker and his aides should vocally support doubling the strength of RGGI. Massachusetts and other states participating in RGGI will make a key decision about the future of the program in June, so there’s no time like the present for Baker to take a strong stand.The governor should also take bigger steps to expand solar, offshore wind, and energy efficiency, as well as emerging technologies such as electric vehicles and energy storage, while rejecting proposals to expand gas pipelines and deepen our dependence on fossil fuels.

With the right support from state leaders, we can get off of fossil fuels and power our society entirely with renewable energy in the coming decades. Businesses such as Amazon and Johnson & Johnson, as well as cities from San Diego to Burlington, Vt., have committed to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy. In Massachusetts, Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Reps. Sean Garballey and Marjorie Decker recently introduced a bill to repower the entire state with 100 percent clean, renewable energy.


Is the Natural Gas in Your House Upping Your Radon Risk?

By Julie Grant
The Allegheny Front
May 26, 2017

This story won a 2017 Golden Quill Award from The Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. It was originally published August 12, 2016.

Radon, the odorless gas that occurs naturally in soils and often finds its way into homeowners’ basements, is a familiar concern for people across Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is responsible for 21,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. every year, and Pennsylvania homes and buildings have some of the highest radon levels in the country. In fact, a full 40 percent of homes in the state have radon levels above what the EPA considers actionable.

The risks of radon and how it gets into our homes have been understood for decades. Radon starts out as uranium, which occurs naturally in soil and rocks. And as that uranium decays, it eventually becomes radon gas—which can then migrate into people’s basements. But there is some concern that unconventional natural gas development could be pushing Pennsylvanians’ radon exposure even higher.00:00

“The Marcellus is considered to be a fairly radioactive rock,” says Elizabeth Casman, a researcher in environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

The ‘Marcellus’—or Marcellus Shale—is the geological formation feeding the state’s fracking boom, and it has particularly high levels of radon. So when fracking in the region began, Casman wondered whether radon in the Marcellus could be making its way into the natural gas that fuels furnaces, water heaters and stoves in our homes.

“The more I was reading about the formation and the potential for radon in the natural gas, the more nervous I got,” she says.

In fact, Casman herself stopped cooking on her gas stove.

But sorting out exactly what percentage of home radon levels may be coming from Marcellus natural gas is tricky—in part, because Pennsylvania has such high radon levels to begin with.

“We have some of the most unique geology, soils and rocks—creating some of the highest radon levels naturally probably in the country, maybe the world,” says Dave Allard, who heads up the Bureau of Radiation Protection at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

He says home radon levels in Pennsylvania are also trending upward. His department has even seen some homes with levels 250 times the amount that’s actionable by EPA.

“Quite honestly, some of our residential levels in Pennsylvania are higher than you would allow in a uranium mine,” he says.

So the DEP started looking into whether natural gas could be responsible for these higher radon levels. Bob Lewis, the state’s chief radon officer, conducted tests at more than 30 wellheads in different parts of the state. The agency did similar sampling at natural gas power plants, compressor stations and storage facilities.

“And our conclusions show that [residents] were receiving small—very small—radiation doses from the radon in natural gas,” Lewis says.

Initially, the DEP’s findings seemed to put the issue to bed: Though Pennsylvanians are still advised to test for radon in their homes, it didn’t appear that Marcellus Shale gas was adding to the problem.

But then, the state’s radon experts got blindsided. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University took a second look at DEP’s own data and spotted a potentially troubling trend.

In a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, they documented that the upswing in radon levels coincided with the start of the fracking boom.

“We wanted to see if this new industrial development potentially was contributing to increased levels of radon in homes,” says Joan Casey, lead author on the Hopkins study.

The researchers first broke up the state into different regions: places with no fracking, some fracking and high levels of fracking. They then analyzed more than 800,000 home radon tests, which are filed with the DEP.

“We saw at the same time that fracking was going on, increased levels of indoor radon in the places that had the most fracking,” she says.

They also looked at how a home or building’s proximity to fracking activity correlated with radon levels.

“And we found that buildings that were closer to more drilled wells had significantly higher indoor radon concentrations than buildings located farther away.”

But the DEP’s radon expert Dave Allard says those findings could unnecessarily scare people. For one, Allard points out that radon is trending up in every region of the state—no matter how close or far it is from fracking activity. To him, that indicates that there is likely some other cause. Allard’s thinks the uptick in radon levels is linked to increased soil moisture, which he says is backed up by a 2015 study from Finland.

But Casey says her analysis takes rainfall into account. And she says even the small increase in indoor radon that the DEP found is reason for concern.

“In terms of lung cancer risk, there’s no safe level of radon exposure,” Casey says. “And any increase in radon levels translates into an increased risk of lung cancer. That’s definitely true.”

Casey admits the Hopkins study doesn’t explain why radon levels are increasing. She says radon could be entering homes through well water, ambient air or the use of natural gas for cooking and heating.

As for Elizabeth Casman—the Carnegie Mellon professor who stopped cooking on her gas stove—she, like any good researcher, collected her own data. With an agreement from energy companies, she and her team took samples from some natural gas pipelines. And Casman says she was relieved by the findings.

“We took all the worst cases, and still it came out to a non-scary risk level,” Casman says. “And that’s when I calmed down about cooking.”

Casman says unless someone used an unvented stove to heat their home, and they didn’t leave the house for 70 years, they won’t really have an elevated risk of lung cancer from Marcellus Shale gas.

“The increment from cooking is probably not going to be killing a lot of people,” she says.

Still, Casman and others say the issue deserves further study. But for now, if you’re concerned about radon from your gas stove, she says just open a window.

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Coal to solar switch could save 52,000 US lives per year

By Brian Bienkowski
The Daily Climate
June 5, 2017

So about those coal jobs: Turns out replacing coal with solar could keep a lot more people alive.

Swapping out coal energy for solar would prevent 52,000 premature deaths in the United States every year, according to a new analysis from Michigan Technological University.

Amid all the talk from the Trump Administration that regulations targeting coal are hurting people, this shows “many more lives are saved by phasing out coal,” said Liz Perera, climate policy director for the Sierra Club, who was not involved in the study.

In addition the savings in health care costs added to the value of the solar electricity could in some cases bring in money, offsetting the costs of the switch.

“Evolving the U.S. energy system utilizing clean, alternative technology will allow the U.S. to prevent thousands of premature deaths along with becoming a global leader in renewable technology adoption,” the authors wrote in the study published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

Michigan Tech University researchers analyzed peer-reviewed health studies and calculated lives lost per kilowatt hour to coal each year—finding approximately 51,999 people die due to coal pollutants that spur respiratory, heart and brain problems.

“Coal-fired pollution harms human life. It kills people,” said senior author Joshua Pearce, a researcher and professor at Michigan Tech University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “From an American perspective this transition [from coal to solar] makes complete sense.”

Pearce and Michigan Tech Ph.D student Emily Prehoda calculated it would take 755 gigawatts of solar energy at a cost of $1.45 trillion to replace all current coal power. That would be a significant bump up from the current 22.7 gigawatts of solar power in the U.S.

“Coal-fired pollution harms human life, it kills people.” -Joshua Pearce, Michigan Tech University

This averages about $1.1 million invested per life saved. That cost, however, doesn’t take into account solar’s value. When the energy pumped into the grid is combined with the health care savings, a switch to solar would actually end up saving money, Pearce said.

He estimates that using a net metering system that credits commercial solar energy system users would actually bring in $1.5 million for every life saved and a residential net metering would bring in more than $2 million per life saved.

Solar’s growth, and coal’s decline, is undeniable. A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency last week estimated that solar jobs were up 82 percent over the past three years.

There are now about 260,000 solar jobs in the U.S., compared to just 51,000 in coal mining.

But solar only accounts for about 1.5 percent of the nation’s electricity. Pearce said that’s due to two things: inertia and policy. Citing a local example he said he and other professors were helping people near their university get solar power at their homes and the biggest obstacle is the local regulations on how much solar can be put into the grid.

“It’s rules like this that are stopping people from doing it individually,” he said. “I have Republican friends who installed solar—not to save the whales or anything, but to save money.”

And on the national level President Trump has been all-in on coal use.

Trump signed an executive order earlier this year to rescind the Clean Power Plan—currently on hold as it is litigated—which requires power plants to cut carbon emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

And just last week Trump announced that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, saying the accord would “decapitate” the U.S. coal industry.

He gave a nod to coal country saying he was putting Pittsburgh before Paris. (Pittsburgh has committed to powering itself by 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.)

But researchers say Trump and other pro-coal supporters are fighting an uphill battle.

“Trump can’t stop the will of the market and the will of the people to choose clean energy,” Perera said.

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Jobs

2017-18 Position Openings with TerraCorps – Various locations

TerraCorps, formerly MassLIFT-AmeriCorps, is an innovative national service program helping communities conserve and secure land for the health and well-being of people and nature. This year we are looking for 36 members to serve in full-time, 11 month positions. Members will carry out capacity building projects; educate or train individuals; recruit, train, manage, and support community volunteers engaged in land-based activities; and identify new individuals and groups to participate in education, recreation, or service opportunities centered around land access and conservation.

Members serve as: Land Stewardship Coordinators, Regional Conservation Coordinators, Youth Education Coordinators, or Community Engagement Coordinators.

These 1,700 hour AmeriCorps positions receive a living allowance, education award, and additional AmeriCorps benefits. The 2017-2018 program will run from8/28/17 – 7/27/18.

Application specifics, position descriptions, and information about organizations hosting TerraCorps members can be found at www.terracorps.org.

Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. Interviews begin mid-April, and we aim to fill all positions by the end of June.

AmeriCorps programs provide equal service opportunities. TerraCorps will recruit and select persons in all positions to ensure a diverse and inclusive climate without regard to any particular status. We encourage applications from individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations for interviews and service upon request. TerraCorps is a grant program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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Outdoor Educator – The Manice Education Center (MEC) – Florida, MA

The Manice Education Center (MEC) is intentionally located in a unique outdoor setting within the heart of the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. MEC operates several distinctly different seasonal programs that are experientially focused in high-quality environmental education, wilderness camping, and leadership training.

Summer Outdoor educators will lead wilderness expeditions for campers & can expect to guide an average of 6 backpacking and/or canoeing trips, ranging from 2 to 5 days in length.  Expedition locations inlude the Appalachian Trail, Long Trail, Savoy Mountain State Forest, Taconic Trail, Battenkill River, Deerfield River, & Connecticut River. Educators receive training in backpacking and wilderness navigation, participate in a 2 day professional canoe clinic, & can earn free certifications in Wildernes First Aid and/or Waterfront Lifeguarding.

APPLY TODAY – SEND US A COVER LETTER AND RESUME TO [email protected]

Summer Outdoor Educator positions Start on June 9th! For more details please visit our Jobs page (click here).

Please share this opportunity with your friends and colleagues! If you have any questions about employment in Christodora programs, please contact Matthew Scholl, Programs Director at 413.663.8463 or email us at [email protected]

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Visitor Greeter – Becket Land Trust – Becket, MA

The Becket Land Trust is looking to fill the position of a Visitor Greeter (VG) for the summer season of 2017.  This person will have the responsibility of collecting parking fees or confirming membership of all visitors wishing to park at the Historic Quarry and Forest parking area.  The VG will record the plate number of parked cars and keep record of the number of visitors. Additionally, the VG will provide information to visitors about the appropriate use of the property, its historic and natural significance and remind visitors that they must leave behind only footprints.  The VG will give interested visitors hiking maps, highlight our Historic Quarry Walk, the Oak Regeneration and NE Cottontail Management Areas and how to find them along the hiking trails.  The VG will also maintain the neatness around our new trash receptacle and Porta-Potty shed and the parking area.  During slow periods the VG may also be asked to do light trail maintenance and also lead informal informational hikes for interested visitors.  The VG is responsible for informing visitors of the rules and may remind visitors that they are responsible to obey them. This is in no way a position of security guard and the VG is not to attempt to enforce the rules.  At the first sign of potential conflict, the VG is to cease communication with the visitor and call the Becket Police Department for assistance.

The candidate must be punctual for work, have good people skills, be able to resolve conflict, be able to mulit-task and deal with all age groups.

The position is for the summer season staring immediately and running until September.  The hours are 40 hours a week and coverage will be Friday through Sunday and flexible days Monday through Thursday.  The wage for this position is $12 per hour.

http://www.becketlandtrust.org/contact.htm

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Housatonic Valley Association – River Stewards of Tomorrow
2017 Internship Positions Available

The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) is seeking applications for our River Stewards of Tomorrow Environmental Internship positions, available for summer 2017. The River Stewards will work on a variety of projects related to water quality and habitat conservation. River Stewards will either be assigned to our Berkshire field office in South Lee, MA and work primarily in the Massachusetts portion of the watershed; or to our main office in Cornwall Bridge, CT and work primarily in the Connecticut and New York portions of the watershed. Each River Steward will be expected to complete at least 280 hours of work from June – August (at least 35 hours/week over 8 weeks). There is the potential to extend the internship to 12 weeks- with a proportional increase in stipend- depending on available funding.

Internship Overview: While working out of the Cornwall Bridge office, the 2016 River Stewards will be supervised by HVA’s Conservation Projects Manager, but may also be asked to work with other staff as needed. In the Berkshire Office, River Stewards will be supervised by HVA’s Berkshire Director. Work will include a mix of office and field-based activities. Projects that the intern may be involved with include:

 Environmental Monitoring: The River Stewards will assist HVA staff in the field with water quality monitoring and habitat assessment activities including collecting water samples for chemical analysis, macroinvertebrate sampling and conducting visual surveys along important stream reaches to document threats and identify restoration opportunities.

 Restoration project monitoring and maintenance: River Stewards will monitor the success of restoration plantings and conduct maintenance activities like weeding and watering.

 Data Compilation, Document Analysis and Mapping: River Stewards will assist with gathering and summarizing environmental data and planning documents from a variety of local, state and federal sources. This work will support a number of ongoing HVA efforts, including watershedbased planning.

 Road/Stream Crossing Assessment: River Stewards will visit and assess bridges and culverts throughout the Housatonic watershed to identify barriers to fish and wildlife passage, and assist with post-assessment data processing and report writing.

 Websites and Social Media: HVA maintains a website for the organization as well as websites focused on the Naugatuck River and the Still River, both important tributaries of the Housatonic in CT. The intern will be involved in producing materials for the websites and Facebook pages that HVA manages. Related tasks might include identifying and summarizing relevant news items, sharing photos of HVA events and field work, and writing project updates.

 Opportunities may be available for the intern to assist with other organization work including conservation easement monitoring, GIS analysis of land and water resources and outreach activities such as guided paddle trips, community events, and school field trips.

Qualifications: Candidates must be highly-motivated, passionate about watershed conservation, and able to succeed both independently and as part of a team. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess:

 Enthusiasm for outdoor field work, including working in remote areas under potentially inclement environmental conditions;  Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to represent HVA in a professional manner;  Excellent writing skills;  Familiarity with basic website administration and social media;  Experience using GPS and GIS;  Willingness to work the occasional evening or weekend. 2016 River Stewards of Tomorrow Summer

Requirements: Daily access to a personal vehicle is a requirement of the position. The intern must also be physically able to participate in potentially strenuous field work (i.e. physically active work outside for several hours at a time during the summer). Housing is not provided. HVA will assist successful applicants in finding summer lodging convenient to their assigned office.

Compensation: The intern will be provided with a $2,400 stipend for the course of the internship. Work related travel will be compensated at a rate of $0.48/mile.

Application Procedure: Interested candidates should submit the following materials via email: 1. COVER LETTER explaining your interest and qualifications 2. RESUME 3. TWO (2) PROFESSIONAL REFERENCES 4. (Optional but encouraged) Examples of past projects relevant to HVA’s mission (please limit to 1-2 pages/project, max of three projects) Incomplete applications will not be considered. Deadline: We expect to make hiring decisions no later than April 15th. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Questions and applications should be directed to: Michael S. Jastremski, Watershed Conservation Director Housatonic Valley Association Mail: PO Box 28, Cornwall Bridge, CT 06754 E-mail: [email protected] Phone: (860) 672-6678

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Sierra Club – Boston Organizer

Context: As the biggest city in Massachusetts and even New England, Boston carries disproportionate impact. The chapter is more likely to achieve its clean energy and environmental goals if Boston has taken steps to do so first. One example is Ready for 100 – if Boston joins this campaign it makes it easier to get other communities to do so.

Scope: The Boston Organizer creates and carries out clean energy and/or environmental campaigns within the City of Boston.

Job Activities: Plans, develops and implements campaign strategies for clean energy and/or environmental campaigns within the City of Boston. Recruits and trains volunteers to facilitate grassroots involvement to achieve campaign ends. Builds and maintains relationships with Sierra Club Boston members and supporters, Boston local and state level elected officials, other advocacy groups, and relevant stakeholders. Makes presentations to community, political, and governmental bodies regarding clean energy and environmental campaign efforts. Writes press releases, newsletters, flyers, etc. to keep Club membership and the general public informed. Advocates the Sierra Club position on proposed legislation involving clean energy programs; informs and communicates with elected officials, business leaders, governmental agencies, and other non‑profit organizations. Participates in task forces, committees, coalitions, etc. representing the Club’s objective or mission. Produces written reports for funders as needed. Performs miscellaneous duties as assigned.

Knowledge & Skills: BA/BS degree in Environmental Studies, Political Science or a closely related field. 1-2 years’ experience organizing campaigns – environmental experience a plus. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Proficient computer skills Demonstrated ability and effectiveness working with volunteers.

Visit website to apply.

The Sierra Club offers competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan. This is a category 5 exempt position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) organization. Sierra Club does not sponsor H1B visas.

Sierra Club is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse workforce.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet. Visit website to apply.


 Volunteer Opportunities in the Berkshires w/The Trustees

“Time travel” with The Trustees, and take our visitors on the voyage with you! Become a National Historic Landmark Greeter at Mission House (Stockbridge) or Tour Guide at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead (Cummington) and share the stories and magic of these special places. No experience necessary. Training provided. Fridays through Sundays. Flexible. Fun. Social. Rewarding.

Visit www.thetrustees.org/volunteer or contact [email protected] or413.532.1631 ext. 3119 for more information.


Mass Audubon – Berkshire Nature Camp Educators – Lenox

Location: Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Lenox, MA

Berkshire Nature Camp at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is celebrating its’ 70 th year. We are seeking caring, committed, and enthusiastic staff to lead campers for their best summer ever!

Responsibilities

  • Plan, develop and implement a variety of outdoor activities utilizing Pleasant Valley’s 1300+ acres of forests, fields, streams and ponds
  • Are responsible for supervising the health and safety of campers
  • Maintain communication with parents and other staff
  • Must be able to work and learn together, have outstanding communication skills, and be willing and able to share their interests and talents with children aged 5-14
  • Provide leadership and mentor Leaders in Training (LITs)

Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • College experience preferred
  • Should have knowledge and interest in the nature of the Berkshire region
  • Applicants with a background in Environmental fields, education, or the arts preferred
  • Experience working with children
  • Willingness to obtain certification in CPR/First Aid are required-training is provided
  • Lifeguard/water safety certifications or Wilderness First Aid desirable
  • Must pass a background records check (CORO and SORI)
  • And…of course, flexibility and a sense of humor is a must!

Compensation and Benefits

Rate of Pay: $11.00- $12.50 per hour (depending on experience and position).

Additional Comments

Camp Session: June 12 – August 19, 2017 Hours:  Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 3:30 pm or 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Must work at least two camp late nights during the summer.

How to Apply

Please send (email preferred) your cover letter and resume to:

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
472 West Mountain Road
Lenox, MA. 01240

Job# 2499

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Bird Research Technicians – Aton Forest – Norfolk, CT

Aton Forest, Inc. has been awarded an Audubon Connecticut Important Bird Area Grant for 2017 to conduct Breeding Bird Surveys and Breeding Territory Studies in northwestern Connecticut. Two experienced birders will be hired in 2017 as Research Technicians to conduct and report on this project.

Brief Description of Project: This grant will continue and expand the breeding bird research conducted at Aton Forest by hiring two experienced birders to complete breeding bird surveys along three established survey lines and determine breeding territories within selected managed shrub land and meadow habitats at Aton Forest, Norfolk, CT. Data from such study will go into the eBird database and contribute to the understanding of the distribution, populations, behavior and habitat use of Connecticut’s birds.

Aton Forest (AF) is an ecological research field station in the Northwest Hills of Connecticut in the northeast corner of the Town of Norfolk. The Forest was designated an Audubon Important Bird Area in 2015. Because of its location the Forest falls within a rather unique geographical area of Connecticut, part of the Berkshire Plateau, with many plants and animals more common further north. The elevation, topography, terrain, weather, climate, and flora all contribute to its special nature. This uniqueness is also reflected in the variety of forest birds that breed there each year. Breeding forest birds include: cerulean warbler, black-throated blue warbler, black-throated green warbler, least flycatcher, magnolia warbler, wood thrush, eastern towhee, American woodcock, and ruffed grouse to name just a few. The AF breeding bird surveys were begun in 2002 and have been conducted continuously to the present day. All breeding bird survey data has been entered into the citizen science database eBird, as well as records maintained at Aton Forest.

Specific Goals and Objectives of Project: There are two goals of the project: one, to organize two breeding bird surveys on each of the three interior survey lines and, two, to determine bird breeding territories within selected managed shrub land and meadow habitats at Aton Forest. The breeding bird line surveys will be conducted between June 1 and 15, 2017; the breeding territory study will be accomplished between June 1 and 31, 2017. It is estimated that the project will require 72 hours per technician and wages will be $15 per hour. Aton Forest, Inc. will also make sleeping quarters, office space and a computer available for the researchers. Orientation, coordination and supervision will be provided by the Executive Director of Aton Forest, Inc.

There may also be an opportunity for student interns to work on this project, to assist the Research Technicians, to learn research techniques, to better their knowledge of northern Connecticut birds, and to further develop their birding skills.

Anyone interested please contact:

John Anderson, Executive Director, Aton Forest, Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Aton Forest, Inc.
P.O. Box 509
270 N. Colebrook Rd.
Norfolk, CT 06058
(860)542-5125

www.atonforest.org
www.sandybrook.org

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Great Summer Jobs with Greenagers!

Apply now.

Greenagers employs 50 youth each year for work on local trails and farms, through our trail crews (3 in Berkshire County and 2 in Columbia County) and our Farm Apprenticeships.

Our new and improved Farm Apprenticeships program is the result of an exciting collaboration with Jen Salinetti of Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, MA. Jen is the new Farm Apprenticeship Coordinator and she has designed a thorough farm/soil/food curriculum to bolster the paid apprenticeship experience. The program runs from April through November. Apprentices are matched with area farms and are expected to work a minimum of four hours per week on that farm. Apprentices will also participate in the Young Farmer Education Series, bi-monthly farm education workshops and farm tours led by Jen on the first and third Wednesday of every month. Workshops are held at Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA and Greenagers, Housatonic, MA. Farm visits will take place throughout Central and South County.

Participant Requirements: 15-22 years old • Able to manage own transportation • Prepared to work outdoors for a minimum of 4 hours/week • Willing to commit to workshop and farm visit schedule • Ready to engage in community dialogue and discovery

Workshop Topics Include • The Soil Food Web • Food Systems • Food Literacy • Food Diversity • Food Justice • Sustainability • Wholesome Food Preparation

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Jen Salinetti, Program Coordinator.

Apply for a Farm Apprenticeship.

 

 

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Experienced Solar Technician
BPVS, Berkshire Photovoltaic Services – Adams, MA

BPVS, Berkshire Photovoltaic Services, Inc is seeking a full time experienced solar technician. Minimum requirements are a High School Diploma, valid drivers license, 1 year experience in solar design and installation is required. NABCEP certification and a valid Massachusetts Construction Supervisors License is a plus. Competitive compensation based on experience and excellent benefits.

Please send resume & cover letter to Becca Martin at [email protected].

BPVS, Berkshire Photovoltaic Services, Inc
46 Howland Ave
Adams, MA 01220
HIC MA 131996
Tel.: 413-743-0152
Fax: 413-743-4827

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