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River Monitoring Coordinator – Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP)
Nevada City, California
South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River and the greater Yuba Watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with over 3,500 members and volunteers based in Nevada City.
SYRCL’s Watershed Science Department is comprised of a number of restoration and project monitoring efforts throughout the Yuba River Watershed. These programs inform priority issues and restoration opportunities through extensive monitoring, analysis of conditions and trends, and collaborative watershed assessment. SYRCL works with a variety of project partners to develop, implement, and monitor restoration projects throughout the Yuba River Watershed. Projects include large-scale floodplain rehabilitation, construction, and riparian planting projects in the lower Yuba River, water quality monitoring throughout the watershed, and a variety of meadow restoration projects. In addition to all aspects of project design and implementation, SYRCL works with project partners to design academically rigorous research projects associated with restoration projects to quantify the benefits of restoration actions and inform future restoration and management decisions.
SYRCL’s citizen-based River Monitoring Program utilizes over 50 volunteers to collect water quality data on a monthly basis at 37 sites throughout the 1,300 square mile watershed. The program also monitors water quality conditions for mine-impacted streams and meadow restoration projects. Program volunteers are trained in the identification of sensitive and invasive species, bioassessment, photo documentation, temperature logger deployment, and meadows health assessment. In 2021, the publication of the online RiverDB (www.RiverDB.org) created a repository for River Monitoring data and a platform for watershed assessment. It also serves as a database of Yuba River water quality available to the public, with simple, automatically generated graphs for visualization.
The River Monitoring Coordinator will provide leadership and the primary coordinating capacity for SYRCL’s renowned water quality monitoring program. The River Monitoring Coordinator will work closely with SYRCL’s Hydrologist to implement the River Monitoring Plan and ensure high-quality data collection and analysis.
Further, the coordinator will participate in a range of data-gathering activities within SYRCL’s Watershed Science Program and will take primary responsibility for specific monitoring and reporting tasks, such as the coordination of and training of volunteers, and review of volunteer data collection.
The River Monitoring Coordinator will also assist the Watershed Science staff with pre- and post- restoration project monitoring for meadow and floodplain habitats. The River Monitoring Coordinator will utilize SYRCL’s River Monitoring Plan to collect new data in order to resolve issues around mine land streams, pollution concerns in the Yuba, restoration, dam-affected reaches, fish habitat requirements, in addition to bacteria, nutrients, and algae.
In addition to the specific fieldwork component, all monitoring tasks will require recording data in digital formats and/or on paper. The River Monitoring Coordinator will work with the ecohydrologist to QA/QC data, analyze and track trends, generate graphics, and write reports. The River Monitoring Coordinator will also provide outreach and education at community events, school classes, and in our field science high school education meadow research programs, YOLO and Earthwatch.