Land Ecology Internship @ Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood, NY

Land Ecology Internship @ Sisters of St. Joseph – Brentwood, NY 

Sustainability Initiatives

The 212-acre Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood property is a tranquil campus in the suburbs, consisting of woodlands, beautiful meadows, landscaped areas, historic buildings and 28 acres of organic farm land. Our 40-acre pine-oak woodland hosts a unique diversity of plants and wildlife.

The Sisters hold this land in sacred trust for the next generation.  Recognizing the value of this place, the Sustainability Department has worked on a number of environmental initiatives including replacing lawns with native meadows, establishing a conservation easement to preserve the woodland in perpetuity and leasing land to local organic farmers.  To protect and replenish the aquifers which are Long Island’s sole source of drinking water we have sought to manage stormwater with rain gardens, porous asphalt and permeable pavers.  Innovative/alternative waste treatment systems are being installed to replace the groundwater polluting systems which are common in the area.  In an effort to provide renewable energy a five acre, 1.3MW ground-mounted solar array (3,192 panels) was installed on a patch of degraded woodland.   We strive to make the campus a model for best practices and a sanctuary for the community.  You can learn more about these projects at our website: https://brentwoodcsj.org/ecology/

Internship Program

This is a non-stipend position but we provide on-site room and board.  Much of time in the position will be dedicated to habitat management and restoration however, interns can expect to learn about all of the sustainability projects on campus.  A key motivation for providing this internship is to provide a skill-set, education and inspiration so that participants are empowered to continue this work.

Interns will work as part of the Sustainability Department, under the supervision of Landscape Ecologist, Amanda Furcall.  Amanda holds a B.S. in Conservation Biology and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.  She has worked for multiple nonprofits managing Long Island’s unique natural habitats.  Coordinating interns and volunteers has been an integral part of her work experience.  At North Shore Land Alliance, she designed and ran the college internship program for three years, overseeing four students a year. At Friends of Hempstead Plains, she won a grant funding a similar program. She frequently coordinates volunteer days for the public, scout troops, clubs and corporate groups. Amanda takes pride in fostering a strong sense of collaboration and learning. With interns and volunteers she strives to match each person with a project that will suit their interests, produce tangible results and inspire them to continue this important work.

Internship Activities

  • Manage woodland and meadow habitat
  • Care for native gardens
  • Conduct and analyze botanical and wildlife surveys
  • Survey for new invasive species and eradicate or control them
  • Maintain trails
  • Propagate native plants for use on campus
  • Organize community volunteer days
  • Create outreach materials

Relevant Skills

  • Horticulture/gardening
  • Local flora and fauna identification
  • Invasive plant removal
  • Field research
  • Organizing events/volunteers

Duration & Hours: Minimum of 8 weeks with option to extend, flexible start date, 25 hours per week, about five hours per day and five days per week.

Accommodations: The lodging accommodation is shared with people in the WWOOF program (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms).  The lodging is quiet, spacious, private and clean with nine single bedrooms, a very large common area, rooftop terrace and large bathroom. Towels and sheets etc. are supplied and washed weekly. The kitchenette is always filled with fresh produce and essential staples for interns to prepare their own meals. Internet access provided. All rooms are non-smoking.

*Due to coronavirus only five of the nine rooms will be used at a time and lodgers must arrive with a negative test from the last 72 hours.

How to Apply:

E-mail resume and cover letter to Amanda Furcall, Landscape Ecologist  furcall@csjbrentwood.org

The Sisters of St. Joseph welcome all individuals regardless of their beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, race or nationality.

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