2017-18 Community Fellow Program – Kooskooskie Commons

Kooskooskie Commons

Mission: To provide a meeting ground to connect cultures within the Inland and Pacific Northwest, through storytelling, arts, environmental education, stream restoration and festive events, which celebrate the ways we inhabit the landscape.

Project: This project is designed to assist Kooskooskie Commons in two programs. One is a three-year water quality monitoring program of streams in Walla Walla to determine the positive benefits of riparian restoration on a large area of Yellowhawk Creek. The Fellow will contribute to stream restoration by collecting much needed, data from creeks to complete the requirements of a grant from Washington Department of Ecology for riparian restoration. Additionally, the value of these creeks will be demonstrated for comprehensive water management for farms, fish, and people in the Walla Walla Basin.

Second, beginning in January, the Fellow will work with Kooskooskie Commons’ staff and Professor Michael Sanchez at Washington State University and his class of landscape architecture students to Revision Mill Creek. This revisioning process is the fourth year of this program to demonstrate to the citizens of Walla Walla the potential for the restoration of the Mill Creek Flood Control Channel.

Job Description

This position is available to Whitman College juniors and seniors who are eligible to work in the U.S. and able to work the entire academic year, September 2017-May 2018.

Title of Fellow: Project Assistant for Walla Walla Streams

Proposed Hours of Work/Days of Week:  The hours anticipated are Monday-Friday/flexible daytime hours and occasional weekend half day or evening meeting depending on Community Fellow’s schedule (ca. 6-7 hours/week). Fellows are expected to work a total of 150-160 hours for the academic year plus 20 hours for bi-weekly meetings with Fellow group.

Supervisor’s Name and Contact Info: Judith Johnson, jsj@bmi.net, 509-301-2973

Please apply via email with your resume and cover letter.

Review of application materials:
Email: jsj@bmi.net
Applications reviewed on a rolling basis (last day to apply is Sept. 10th)

Learning Outcomes:

  • The Fellow will experience the physical, social and psychological aspects of water management in a fascinating river basin.
  • The Fellow will gain skills in water quality monitoring procedures and environmental policy creation by interacting with water users in the basin.
  • The Fellow will learn how to participate in collaborative conversations to solve the multiple, difficult and controversial problems with water in the basin known as, “Water without War, The Walla Walla Way.”
  • The Fellow will learn the history of the Mill Creek Flood Control Channel and interact with the processes and policies that will govern the reconstruction of the channel.
  • The Fellow will contribute to the understanding of the greater Walla Walla Community the importance of reconstructing the Mill Creek Channel to meet multiple needs in Walla Walla including, flood control, ecological restoration and aesthetic and sustainable urban renewal.

Skills Required:

  • Microsoft Office, including word, excel and power point.
  • Familiarity or willingness to learn how to post information on the Kooskooskie Commons website
  • Familiarity with Geographic Information Systems
  • Knowledge of basic chemistry
  • Ability to analyze and display information
  • Physically able to work on creek banks and in creeks
  • Communication skills with landowners
  • Outreach to diverse audiences
  • Interest in planning and coordinating events
  • Personal transportation preferred but not required


  • Collecting water quality data, including temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, conductivity, and turbidity.
  • Uploading data from sensors and collecting water samples for analysis.
  • Downloading the data and displaying the data in a Geographic Information System.
  • Analyze the data for reporting to the Washington Department of Ecology and sharing with other organizations in the Walla Walla River Basin.
  • Provide outreach to the larger Walla Walla Community on the importance of the reconstruction of the Mill Creek Flood Control Channel to achieve ecological, aesthetic and sustainable urban development and flood control.
  • Plan and coordinate two Revisioning of Mill Creek community workshops.
  • Provide coordination with Whitman College faculty and students.


  • Judith Johnson, Kooskooskie Commons’ Program Coordinator will supervise the Fellow providing information and instruction on the process for collecting and downloading information from the data loggers placed in the creeks and collecting transporting water samples from the creeks.
  • Judith will provide an instruction about stream restoration technology and water quality testing as well as the history of stream degradation and restoration in the Walla Walla River Basin.
  • Water quality data input into GIS will be conducted with the assistance of Professor Amy Molitor at Whitman College.
  • Approximately 50% of the fellowship will be supervised and the remainder to be independently completed by the Fellow who will be evaluated on a willingness to enjoy new experiences, curiosity beyond instructions, friendly and efficient communication with partners, independent problem solving and work completed on time.
  • Approximately 50% of the work will be on site at the Kooskooskie Commons office and/or at the GIS lab or other technical labs at Whitman College.
  • Approximately 50% of work time will be conducted at remote sites to upload information from water quality data loggers; principally in Yellowhawk Creek, but including sites on Reser, Cottonwood, Lasiter, Caldwell and Whitney Spring Creek.
  • It is desirable but not necessary that the Fellow has transportation to access the remote locations so they may visit the locations at the time most convenient for their

Student Fellows must be eligible, willing, and able to work entire academic year, September 2017-May 2018 (except for Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring breaks).

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