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Rhode Island Climate & Health Fellow

Rhode Island Climate and Health Fellow american forests

Job Title:                     Rhode Island Climate & Health Fellow

Location:                     235 Promenade Street Providence, Rhode Island 02908

Department:               American Forests Programs

Reports to:                  1. Director of Urban Forestry, American Forests (Washington, DC). 2. Deputy Chief, Rhode Island DEM Division of Forest Environment

FLSA Status:              Non-exempt, 2-year term

Updated:                     April 26, 2019


SUMMARY:  This is a full-time, two-year American Forests position embedded in the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management in Providence, RI. Its responsibility is to work directly with the State of Rhode Island to lead the implementation of the state’s urban forest strategy in service of Resilient Rhody and other state climate change and health goals. This project will also serve as the first-ever statewide demonstration of American Forests’ national Tree Equity: Climate and Health initiative, which is focused on elevating climate mitigation and improved public health as outcomes of urban forestry while enhancing the delivery of critical co-benefits (see vibrantcitieslab.com) among low income and vulnerable populations. The collaboration between the State of Rhode Island and American Forests will facilitate the development of better urban forestry practices that align the right kind of tree canopy to places of greatest health, socioeconomic and environmental impact, as well as develop next-generation urban forestry decision-support tools. Once developed and piloted in Rhode Island, best practices will be replicated nationwide.

REQUISITE EDUCATION OR CERTIFICATIONS: Minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience in urban natural resources management and/or public health, with a working knowledge of urban forestry and/or environmental health. A master’s degree and/or Arborist certification preferred.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE: The ideal candidate is a self-motivated, interdisciplinary thinker with a passion for urban sustainability and social equity. The candidate should have experience working on resiliency and/or public health issues in Rhode Island, project management experience, excellent verbal and written communication skills, be detail-oriented, be proficient in Microsoft Office and have event planning experience.

WORKING CONDITIONS: The position will be located in the offices of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management located at 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI. Regular travel will be required throughout the State of Rhode Island, as well as to Washington, DC for American Forests events. Most work will be in a general office environment with some outdoor tree planting events (physical labor is not required as part of this position).

SPECIFIC DUTIES: Working under the overarching supervision of American Forests’ Director of Urban Forestry, located in Washington, DC, and the direct supervision of the Deputy Chief of the Division of Forest Environment, the individual will:

  1. Serve the needs of RIDEM and other State of Rhode Island agencies for coordination with urban forest practitioners across the state, facilitating their engagement with the range of technical assistance opportunities under this public-private partnership.
  2. Work with RIDEM and American Forests’ GIS staff to facilitate development of a decision-support tool to identify pathways to maximize the impact of Rhode Island’s urban forest for such factors as energy use reduction, carbon storage and reduced surface temperature among vulnerable populations.
  3. Lead development of a rating system that integrates various environmental and socioeconomic factors for use by both jurisdictions and urban forestry project implementers, initially in Rhode Island but with the goal of expanding nationwide.
  4. In partnership with RIDEM and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS), develop a forestry guide that includes the best species for Rhode Island based on climate projections and a toolkit to help municipalities adapt their urban forestry programs to maximize climate mitigation and public health benefits.
  5. Organize workshops using American Forests’ Learning Lab model to help city managers incorporate these decision-support tools and a national climate mitigation pathways scientific analysis into their overall urban forest management strategies.
  6. Work with RIDEM and American Forests’ policy department to pursue diverse federal agency funding, Civic Courage to develop citizen advocacy capacity, and the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank to develop innovative state and private finance mechanisms that generate significant new investment in Rhode Island’s urban forest.
  7. Become proficient in City Forest Credits (cityforestcredits.org) and pursue opportunities to developed carbon+ preservation and planting projects with communities statewide.
  8. Support other American Forests’ Programs, Policy, Communications and Development activities as needed.

A combination of education and experience will be considered in determining relative candidate qualifications.


SALARY: Commensurate with experience. This two-year position receives all standard American Forests benefits, including 401(k) matching, healthcare, dental and paid leave.

American Forests is an equal opportunity employer.


Please submit a cover letter and resume to jobs@americanforests.org. Applications will not be accepted or reviewed elsewhere. The position will remain open until filled.

April 29th, 2019|Categories: Employment|