SUNY Oneonta's Biological Field Station has been awarded a five-year, $2.2-million contract to expand the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) Watershed Steward Program (WSP).
The CRISP WSP aims to halt the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) that have the potential to devastate local waterbodies by providing free inspections of watercraft and equipment at boat launches and fishing access sites throughout the greater Catskill region.
The program provides a unique opportunity for SUNY Oneonta to provide hands-on, professional experiences to college students aspiring to a career in biology, ecology, environmental science and related fields.
"As 'watershed stewards,' these students will have the opportunity to obtain skills in public communication, education and AIS identification," said Paul Lord, who is a lecturer, researcher, and dive master in SUNY Oneonta's Department of Biology.
This is a familiar role for SUNY Oneonta as the previous iterations of the program have been administered by Paul H. Lord since 2012. Lord has overseen the program and helped to expand it by working with the state and partners.
The CRISP WSP aims to hire 25 watershed stewards throughout the CRISP Region (Sullivan, Delaware, Schoharie, Greene, and Otsego Counties) for the 2022 season. Wages will start at $16 per hour with the potential for raises during the season with demonstrated diligence and good performance. Anyone interested and living in or near the Catskill region is urged to inquire for more information and to apply. Please contact Paul H. Lord for more information.
CRISP is a collaboration of organizations and agencies that work cooperatively to promote prevention, early detection/rapid response, and control of invasive species to protect natural resources, the economy and human health. CRISP was formed in 2010 to coordinate invasive species activities of partner organizations; recruit and train citizen scientists in invasive species identification, monitoring, management and prevention techniques; raise awareness about invasive species, and establish a monitoring network for early detection of species.