Job opportunities with Conservation Corps Iowa

Conservation Corps Iowa, a cooperator of Iowa Environmental Council, is now hiring AmeriCorps Field Members & Leaders in Ames and Council Bluffs, and a Water Trails Specialist based out of Des Moines.

Field Crew Leader/Mentor

Crew Members and Crew Leaders receive training and complete habitat restoration projects such as tree planting, exotic species management and herbicide application, timber stand improvement, stream bank stabilization and erosion control, basic carpentry, prescribed burning, trail construction and maintenance, wildlife habitat improvement, wildland fire fighting and emergency response. Habitat restoration projects are performed outdoors in partnership with public land management organizations such as state and federal agencies, cities, counties, and trail associations.

The Crew Leader is responsible for daily crew operations, leading a crew of 4 or 5 members to perform natural resource management projects safely, effectively, and efficiently. The Crew Leader assists with Crew Member training and development, provides on-site education, assists with equipment maintenance, and helps members improve technical skills. In addition, the Crew Leader serves as a liaison between project hosts and the crew, communicating with hosts to determine project priorities and equipment needs.

Water Trails Specialist

The Water Trails Specialist is stationed at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and will assist DNR River Programs staff in site reviews, project design, equipment and materials procurement, maintenance, repair, budget estimation, permitting, engineering submittals and other facets of project planning. The member will assist with field data collection using mobile units and process, edit, or analyze data using GIS and other software tools in the office; and design signage plans and native planting plans for river restoration and water trail projects using DNR guidelines.

During the construction field season, this position will serve as a liaison between Conservation Corps field crews and the DNR Construction Technician, providing Corpsmembers with training, leadership, and project management. The Water Trails Specialist must be able to safely operate power and hand tools, small equipment and trucks pulling trailers and must effectively read and implement landscape drawings and designs. Previous knowledge or experience of landscaping, design, or restoration projects is beneficial

To read the full position descriptions and apply, visit: http://conservationcorps.catsone.com/careers/index.php

Questions? Please connect with the individual listed as the contact for the position you are applying for. The Council cannot answer questions about individual positions.

Have an opening at your organization? Send information to iecmail [at] iaenvironment [dot] com

Act on Climate Change

act on climate
To meaningfully address climate change and its costly impacts on our health, environment and economy, we must confront the leading contributor to climate change: carbon pollution.

Fossil fuel power plants are currently the largest concentrated source of carbon pollution. However, despite accounting for nearly 40% of our nation’s carbon pollution, existing power plants have no federal limits on the amount they emit. The EPA’s recently proposed Clean Power Plan aims to change that.

Arguably the single most important action the EPA has taken to address climate change to date, the proposed Clean Power Plan will require states to cut carbon pollution from their existing power plants and result in an overall national reduction of 30% by 2030 (from 2005 levels). Individual state goals vary depending on local factors.

In addition to the environmental impacts, climate change poses a significant health threat to Iowa. In the recently released Iowa Climate Statement 2014, scientists from 38 Iowa colleges and universities recognized that climate change can contribute to a wide range of health factors including respiratory and cardiovascular problems, increased incidence of vectors (mosquitoes, ticks, etc.) and vector-borne diseases, increased mental health issues and exposure to toxic chemicals, and decreased water quality.

Powerful opponents of the proposal with an interest in maintaining our dependence on coal are determined to undermine it. Your voice is critical. Public comments on the proposal are being accepted through Dec. 1. Take action today and urge the EPA to finalize the strongest possible standards that reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

Iowa Environmental Council to Partake in National Discussion about the Future of Food

This blog post was written by Water Program Director Susan Heathcote.

Tomorrow, a diverse group of producers, environmentalists, businesses and academics concerned with the issues and opportunities currently facing U.S. agriculture – including the Iowa Environmental Council – will gather in Washington D.C. to discuss the future of farms and food.

The public forum, “A Better Path from Farm to Fork: Policy Solutions for the Future of Food,” is co-hosted by National Geographic and AGree, an initiative that seeks to drive positive change in the food and agriculture system by connecting and challenging leaders from diverse communities to catalyze action and elevate food and agriculture as a national priority.

Last Monday, Nov. 10, AGree released three new consensus recommendations on Working Landscapes, Food and Nutrition and International Development. These recommendations are intended to serve as roadmaps for action.

The public forum, which will discuss policy solutions, food and agriculture partnerships and AGree’s recommendations, will be held at National Geographic’s D.C. headquarters from 3:30 – 5 p.m. Central Time. AGree will be live streaming the event at http://www.foodandagpolicy.org/livestream.

A partners Forum that will include leaders from more than 100 organizations, will also be held on Wednesday, November 19.

I have been serving on the Advisory Committee for the AGree Initiative on Agriculture and Food Policy for the past three years. In my work with AGree, I have been most actively engaged in the AGree workgroup on Working Landscapes. This workgroup was tasked with providing policy recommendations on how the US can improve agricultural production to feed a growing world population while also improving environmental outcomes.

In Iowa, over 90% of our land area is dedicated to agricultural production. Agriculture has a big foot print on the Iowa landscape, so we have a big stake in the management of agricultural land to produce not just food, fiber and fuel, but also clean water, air and diverse habitat for plants, animals and people.

The AGree Initiative is an opportunity to work with a diverse coalition to find common ground on controversial issues and develop shared strategies for achieving transformative change. Our goal is to help advance a future that supports productive and profitable farms where soil, water and biodiversity are conserved and enhanced; and environmental quality is improved.

AGree differs from other initiatives seeking to address similar issues in two ways – it’s approach and long-term commitment.

AGree used an integrated approach to identify opportunities that will result in mutually beneficial outcomes for its various stakeholders, thus promoting cooperation and better positioning itself for long-term shared success.

Additionally, nine foundations made a long-term commitment to not only working together to create and make recommendations, but to then take the lead to implement and invest their own resources in these recommendations with the overarching goal of creating transformative change.

To learn more about AGree and Working Landscapes, visit their website.

Job opportunities at Prairie Rivers of Iowa, Center for Rural Affairs & WFAN

Are you passionate about protecting Iowa’s natural environment? Several of our member organizations are currently hiring. Don’t miss this opportunity to work for these incredible organizations alongside some truly amazing, smart and talented individuals.

Questions? Please connect with the individual listed as the contact for the position you are applying for. The Council cannot answer questions about individual positions.

Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Coordinator – Prairie Rivers of Iowa
The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Coordinator will develop and lead our Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Program. We are looking for the right person who wishes to develop this dynamic program along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway over the next several years. The Lincoln Highway is Iowa’s longest designated roadway, its only historic byway and the state’s portion of the original Lincoln Highway, the first coast-to-coast improved highway in the United States. This Coordinator must be enthusiastic about history, preservation, heritage tourism and community development in relationship to the Lincoln Highway. This unique position will assist in the development and implementation of fundraising strategies for the road’s intrinsic qualities, meet and develop stakeholder groups and conduct project activities along the Byway. This position also offers the opportunity to interact with a wide range of stakeholders in locations across the state, and to make an impact in many byway communities.

Read the full job description

Application
To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to Executive Director Penny Brown Huber, pbrownhuber@prrcd.org, by Monday, November 10, 2014.


Rural Caucus Coordinator / Climate and Energy Organizer – Center for Rural Affairs
REAMP is a network of 160 nonprofits and foundations working across eight Midwestern states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% economy wide by 2050. The REAMP Rural Caucus is created to deepen climate engagement with rural constituents and position the Network to advance policy priorities at the state, regional and federal level. The successful candidate will spend approximately one-half of his or her time coordinating this Caucus and engaging network members around the Caucus’ workplan and goals.

The Center for Rural Affairs is a leading nonprofit organization with a national reputation for progressive rural advocacy and policy work. Approximately one-half of this position will be devoted to working alongside the Center to further energy and climate advocacy efforts throughout Northeast Iowa and Southwest Wisconsin. This work plan focuses on engaging important stakeholders and local communities to advance renewable energy systems, including clean energy transmission. The Center is an active member of the RE-AMP Network and a leader in the Rural Caucus.

Read the full job description

Application:
Send a cover letter, resume, three professional references, and one short writing sample (1-3 pages), to trishd@cfra.org. Apply by November 1, 2014 for full consideration.


Women, Land and Legacy Coordinator – Women, Food and Agriculture Network
The WLL Coordinator will be responsible for the daily operations of the WLL project, promote growth of WLL throughout Iowa, and provide outreach to the local teams to help them be more sustainable. The coordinator will support local teams so that they better meet the needs of agricultural and rural women in Iowa and ensure that they have a safe place to learn and ask questions. The coordinator will serve as the key contact with local teams as well as the WLL State Team and partner groups to better coordinate the services provided through WLL.

The WLL Coordinator will report to the WFAN Executive Director, and will be advised by the WLL State Team. The WLL State Team will provide the coordinator training and direction, assistance with the quarterly newsletter and social media, assistance with communication with key state-level agency leadership, and support in conducting evaluations.

Read the full job description

Application:
Please submit a cover letter addressing how you meet the above qualifications, resume, and two professional references to wfanjobs@wfan.org no later than 5pm central time on December 1, 2014. Questions regarding the position announcement can be directed to Bridget Holcomb: 515.460.2477 or bridget@wfan.org.

Protect Our Waterways – support the proposed Clean Water Act rules

The U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed new Clean Water Act rules that clarify - not broaden - which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, including headwater streams and wetlands adjacent to rivers.

The U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed new Clean Water Act rules that clarify – not broaden – which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, including headwater streams and wetlands adjacent to rivers.

As reported in today’s Des Moines Register, Governor Branstad’s office recently submitted a letter to the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers regarding the proposed Clean Water Act rules.

The Iowa Environmental Council disagrees with Governor Branstad’s characterization of the rules in his letter and his assertion that the rule should be withdrawn. We strongly support the rules, which clarify which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, including small headwater streams that flow into larger rivers and to wetlands adjacent to these rivers.

These small streams and wetlands help reduce flooding, supply drinking water, filter pollution and provide critical support and habitat for fish and wildlife in downstream waters.

Iowans want clean water, and these rules advance that goal. We believe that the stakeholder meetings convened by the Governor should have included representation from groups who support federal protections for our waters, including people who drink, fish, swim and boat in our waters. As we know all too well in Des Moines, many pollutants affecting the quality of our drinking water  come from small streams that flow into the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, in some cases crossing state borders. A strong Clean Water Act is needed that clarifies these headwater streams are protected.

Help protect some of our country’s most important waters. Submit your public comments to the U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of the proposed Clean Water Act rules today. Public Comments are being accepted through Friday, November 14.