Placement Site Applicants

image salmonid fish

Underwater view of salmonid count.

Download Year 26 (2019-2020) Placement Site Applications

All materials are due February 1st, 2019

If you have any questions, please contact

Each year, the Watershed Stewards Program partners with approximately 25 natural resource organizations throughout California to support and mentor our WSP Members as they begin their careers as natural resources professionals.

The Placement Site Selection Process
Representatives from community-based watershed groups, private landowners, local tribes, governmental agencies, legislative field personnel, program founders, program staff, and WSP Team Leaders make up the WSP Advisory Committee. Together, they review all applications for compliance with WSP objectives and the ability to provide Members with a rewarding term of service.

Placement Site Applications emphasizing these qualities will be given priority:

  • Alignment of Member activities with WSP’s mission, objectives, and performance measures
  • Diversity of Member activities and professional development opportunities, including hands-on field training
  • High quality mentorship (see “Mentor Position Description” below)
  • Watershed recovery work in high-need; coastal anadromous watersheds
  • Member housing opportunities and site vehicle availability
  • Flexibility and support for all areas of Member service, including education and outreach
  • Funding security
  • For existing sites only: Current and prior year(s) performance and compliance will be taken into consideration
Application Process Calendar for Year 26

January 4, 2019
Placement Site Applications Released

February 1, 2019
Placement Sites Applications DUE to

April 4, 2019
Placement Sites chosen and notified

April – July, 2019
WSP Program Coordinators conduct initial interviews with applicants

May 21, 2019
WSP/Placement Site contracts distributed by WSP

June 19, 2019
WSP/Placement Site contracts DUE to

July 10 – 22, 2019
Placement Site Mentors interview Member applicants

July 22, 2019
WSP Member applicant rankings DUE to

Sunday, October 6 – Saturday October 12, 2019
WSP Member Orientation in Fortuna, CA

October 9th or 16th, 2019
Placement Site Training- Fortuna OR San Luis Obispo (respectively)

October 15th – 17th, 2019
WSP Members report to Placement Sites (sites determine exact date/time/location)

November 12 – 14 & November 19 – 21, 2019
Regional II and I Training for Members (respectively)

August 14, 2020
WSP Member Recognition Ceremony

Benefits of Partnering with WSP

When you partner with WSP, you receive:

  • Exclusive recruitment
  • Extensive member screening
  • Covered employer costs
  • Covered member benefit costs
  • Thorough member training and certifications
  • Positive public outreach
  • Member/site staff support
  • Member management support

Detailed information about the Benefits of Partnering with WSP (PDF)

Placement Site Responsibilities

1. Placement sites must provide a cash match per Member:

  • $9,500 – Non-Profits and RCDs
  • $12,500 – All Other Organizations

2. Site must provide full-time, rewarding work for Members that aligns with WSP’s main service areas of Watershed Recovery and Protection, Watershed Education and Outreach, Volunteer Recruitment, and Member Development.

3. Each Placement Site must name a Site Supervisor and at least one Mentor (and no more than four). Mentors are Member’s primary on-site supervisors for the majority of their time with the Placement Site organization- they complete necessary reporting paperwork, evaluate Members, and provide regular oversight and support. All designated Mentors must have experience in supervision.

4. Placement Site must not be political and must have a positive reputation in the community.
Please note: All hours served by WSP Members must be non-controversial and non-political in nature and directly relate to the WSP mission. WSP Members cannot be engaged in general clerical support or regulatory activities, and WSP Members cannot supplant staff positions. Organizations that do not meet these guidelines will not be considered as WSP Placement Sites.

5. At least one representative (preferably lead Mentors and co-mentors) must attend Mentor Training, held each fall in Fortuna and San Luis Obispo.

6. Members must have regular access to office space, telephone, fax, computer, Internet, and an agency vehicle or reimbursement for private vehicle use for site work.

7. Members must always work with a CPR and first aid trained field partner.

8. Sites must participate in the recruitment and Member selection process, including conducting interviews either in person or via telephone in July.

9. Ensure Members adhere to all WSP/CCC policies.

10. Mentor and support Members as they complete their service requirements:

  • Serve the full 10.5 month term (1700 hours)
  • Coordinate two Watershed Awareness Projects (a community-based volunteer project) and recruit 30 volunteers
  • Conduct one series of Wonders of Watersheds lessons (six visits) in a local classroom
  • Attend all mandatory WSP trainings (Orientation and Regional Training) and all mandatory outreach events for their district
  • Serve a minimum of four hours on each National Service Day
Member Activities

During their term of service, WSP Members gain experience in five areas:

  • Watershed Recovery and Protection
  • Watershed Education
  • Community Outreach
  • Volunteer Recruitment
  • Member Development

The work that Members do at their Placement Sites must align with WSP’s mission and goals and coincide with WSP guidelines.

Detailed information on Member Activities (PDF)

Mentor Position Description


  • Strong professional standing, educational background, and supervisory experience
  • Professional association with a WSP Placement Site
  • Minimum of three years of expert skill and knowledge in natural resources
  • Experience in mentoring young professionals within the area of focus
  • Dedication to service within the community
  • Previous WSP Members must have three years of post-WSP experience before qualifying as a Mentor

Detailed description of mentor duties (PDF)

WSP Funding Sources

WSP Funding Sources

  • California Conservation Corps, 9%
  • Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, 39%
  • AmeriCorps, 30%
  • Placement Site Partners, 22%