In 2021, Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) started a new program with Appalachian Conservation Corps (ACC) that provides AmeriCorps interns opportunities to jump-start a career in land conservation. In its first year, the program gave two early-career conservationists hands-on experience monitoring and mapping open-space easement properties, communicating with landowners, and learning best-practices of easement record-keeping and data management.
Becca Budrock and Emily Stern, both recent graduates of programs in environmental studies, are veterans of the program’s first year and are excited to see others benefit from it. “It’s a great introduction to open-space easements, and there is so much to learn,” Budrock says. “Anyone who is a self-starter and is flexible in the sense of being able to switch gears at a moment’s notice, from communicating with landowners to dealing with data” would be the right fit in the position, she says.
“It’s also helpful to have a good sense of direction,” she adds. “If I need to walk a mile into the woods I definitely want to know how to get back out!”
Budrock has decided to stay on a second year and will be available to help show the new interns the ropes, and Stern has landed a position with Scenic Hudson as a conservation easement management assistant. Her experience at VOF for the past year has been invaluable, she says. “I definitely couldn’t have gotten [the job] without the experience at VOF this year,” she says.
After a successful first year, the program is adding two more positions, for a total of three open positions in 2022. To find out more and to apply, go to:
Appalachian Conservation Corps (ACC) works to connect young people to critical conservation service projects across the Appalachian region and neighboring communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Our internships engage individuals in positions with federal, state and local land management agencies and environmentally focused non-profits. Individual Placements (interns) are paired with local supervisors and these positions offer more technical, hands-on experience in the work of these organizations or agencies and many times provide the training necessary to secure long term employment in these fields.