Position Announcement: Westfield River Fishways Public Education Intern

Background: Despite significant efforts to reverse historical trends, the survival of several Connecticut River species of migratory fish is imperiled.

As a Leopoldian school of environmental philosophy, it is Biocitizen’s mission to educate the public about this problem, and also about the solution to it: “Promote improved flow and fish passage to ensure clean, free-flowing, and plentiful rivers for future generations.” (Quoted from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s “Environment Plan 2014“.)

This map, produced by UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences’s “Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System” program, shows how beneficial fishways on the Westfield River will be for our migratory (and other native) fish species: “The darker the color the greater the benefit of using a passage structure at that location.”

The Holyoke and Turners Falls Dams present formidable and permanent obstacles to migratory fish species.

Since the mouth of the Westfield River is downriver of these dams, and since there are no dams on the Ct River downriver of the Westfield all the way to the Long Island Sound, establishing fishways on the Westfield will dramatically increase the habitat, and chances of survival, for these imperiled species.

Position Announcement:

Biocitizen School is seeking the services of a talented person who will assist the Director in organizing and implementing the Westfield River Fishways public education initiative.

The intern will participate in the creation and dissemination of the fishways curricula.

—The curricula will be articulated as a ½ hour slideshow lecture, a brochure; both will also be presented on our website. The curricula will teach the natural and cultural history of the migratory fish of the CT and Westfield Rivers.

—The curricula will be disseminated via public presentations at environmental clubs, conservation commissions, K-12 science classes, retirement homes, etc. The intern will make contact with these groups, explain the campaign, and schedule the presentations.

Our ideal intern is a person who understands why it is so important to increase the habitat of the migratory fish, and is eager to play a significant role in sharing that understanding with thousands of people.  They must be a “people person” who communicates clearly and establishes warm relations with others easily. For, once the curricula is created, this position is that of outreach, networking and the organization of contacts and volunteers who have joined with us to increase the habitat of these imperiled creatures.

The intern will be compensated for their services at a starting rate of $11. an hour. This is an open-ended project so hours of employment are not fixed, though at least 10 hours of work are guaranteed per week from the start until the end of the internship. Biocitizen has committed itself to see the campaign through until the fishways are in place; this will probably take years. For this reason, the length of the internship will be 6 months, with an extension negotiable.


Please send a statement of interest and a resume to Kurt Heidinger, Biocitizen Director, at info@biocitizen.org. If you have questions about the internship, please send a note to the same email address.


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