River Captain (2 positions)

River People · Nevada City, California
Department River People
Employment Type Part-Time, Seasonal
Minimum Experience Entry-level
Compensation $13-$14/hour DOE

TITLE:                        River Captain
TYPE:                        Part-time, Temporary Employee, (May-September 2021)
ORGANIZATION:    South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)
LOCATION:              Nevada City, CA


Each summer more than 800,000 visitors journey to the South Yuba River to soak in the sun and rejuvenate in its sparkling waters. Because of the Yuba’s popularity, it is at risk of being over-loved. Trash gets left behind and accumulates along the river which is a health threat for people and wildlife. SYRCL has developed the River Ambassador program in partnership with the South Yuba River State Park to educate and inspire visitors to join the effort to keep the river clean, healthy, and safe. Each weekend of the summer, teams of volunteer River Ambassadors and their supervising River Captains engage visitors in best stewardship practices by talking one-on-one with people at busy crossings, beaches, and trails. For more information about the program please visit https://yubariver.org/our-work/river-ambassador-program/.

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River 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 more than 3,500 members and volunteers. See: www.yubariver.org.


SYRCL seeks to hire three part-time River Captains who are enthusiastic and passionate about the Yuba River and its health. The River Ambassador program runs 15 weekends between May 28th and September 6th, with mandatory trainings for Captains in May and July. River Captains work three to four weekends per month, or an average of 12 hours per weekend on the river with River Ambassador volunteers educating visitors about best stewardship and fire-safety practices. In addition, River Captains can expect to spend two hours midweek in meetings and completing administrative duties, such as record keeping, scheduling, and supply restocking. River Captains average 8-14 hours a week total.

NOTE: River Captains must be available to work weekends during the summer. The River Ambassador program will run during Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends. Please only apply if you are available to work these dates. Applicants must also be available for trainings in May and as needed, in addition to post-program evaluation during the first week of September.


  • Coordinate with River Ambassador volunteers to confirm scheduling each weekend.
  • Pick up outreach materials and set up booth each shift.
  • Supervise and train volunteer River Ambassadors on Saturday and Sundays.
  • Model non-confrontational interactions with visitors encountered along trails, at beaches, and parking lots with the help of River Ambassadors.
  • Educate visitors about river stewardship and remove trash, dog waste, and fire pits as needed.
  • Educate visitors on SYRCL’s programs. Encourage membership and volunteerism.
  • Maintain daily logs detailing contacts made, litter-collected, and other data.
  • Assist Education and Outreach Coordinator as needed in planning and implementing regular training and evaluation sessions, a mid-season potluck and end-of-season volunteer appreciation event.
  • Develop outreach materials as needed.
  • Maintain organized and fully stocked River Ambassador supply bins.


  • Extensive familiarity and love for the Yuba River.
  • Excellent “people skills” including superior communication skills and a commitment to positive interactions with diverse visitors.
  • Expertise in supervising, training, and coordinating volunteers.
  • Computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Docs, Email.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail for scheduling, data collection, and record keeping.
  • Ability to work independently, solve problems, and exercise good judgment.
  • Have own vehicle with valid driver’s license and proof of insurance.
  • Readily available by phone and email.
  • First Aid experience a plus.
  • Willingness to submit to a Livescan background check.


  • Able to speak clearly on the phone and in person and be understood by others.
  • Able to occasionally lift objects weighing up to 40 pounds.
  • Able to work outdoors in the summer season for at least 5-6 hours at a time.
  • Able to walk on trails.


  • Fluency in Spanish; ability to comfortably and confidently speak with river visitors in Spanish.
  • Ability to read and write in Spanish.


Compensation will be $13-$14 per hour; this includes all trainings, post-program evaluations, and required meetings. Reasonable mileage and pre-approved expenses will be reimbursed. SYRCL’s part-time temporary employees are not eligible for health insurance benefits, paid time off, or holiday pay. Sick leave will be accrued at a rate of 1 hour per every 30 hours worked.

River Ambassador training is May 12, 2021 and the first day on the river is May 28th, 2021. Positions are open until filled. Please apply at https://syrcl.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=47

SYRCL is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other protected status.  Women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ people, and members of other historically disenfranchised populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

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  • Location
    Nevada City, California
  • Department
    River People
  • Employment Type
    Part-Time, Seasonal
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    $13-$14/hour DOE