The JMT Wilderness Conservancy is looking for Team Leads to join our non-profit organization. This position will support a team of three to four undergraduate research interns in the summer season of 2023. These teams will be deployed through the John Muir Trail (JMT) region of the Sierra Nevada, CA. Team Leads and interns will be working in remote, backcountry settings where they will do significant full-pack backpacking, conduct modest restoration work, and collect detailed data on current field conditions. This work will support restoration of meadow ecosystem and riparian habitats in highly impacted areas across the region. Please note that this is an introductory management role. It is a seasonal position from June through mid-September, which during the 8-weeks of backcountry deployment is 24/7.
The JMT WC is dedicated to the conservation of the wilderness, wildlife and waters along the high Sierra Nevada crest defined by the John Muir Trail (est. 1915). Our mission is to restore and conserve the wilderness of the JMT corridor, in light of steeply increasing recreational use compounded by the effects of climate change. The region is roughly 20 miles wide and 220 miles north-to-south running from Yosemite Valley to just south of Mt. Whitney, and includes over 390 miles of trails and 2.8 million acres of surrounding wilderness areas along the high Sierra Nevada crest. We work with the National Park Service (NPS) and United States Forest Service (USFS) who design and implement the restoration projects, and add grants of public funds in addition to our private donations to support their efforts.
In particular, we work with the five principle federal land management units: the NPS in Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and Devils Postpile National Monument, and the USFS in both the Inyo and Sierra National Forests. We bring together the various stakeholders and resource managers in an effort to strategically fund and support implementation of on-the-ground projects to conserve and protect this sensitive wilderness and the many species that inhabit these lands for future generations.
COMMITMENT: June - mid September. Final dates are tentative and will be finalized in early spring as the seasonal snowpack recedes. It is important to note that the work window in the Sierra Nevada may vary based on seasonal snowpack, weather conditions and wildfire season.
• Zoom trainings
• 9-10 day Wilderness First Responder Course (provided)
• Team Lead Training: dates in June TBD – Truckee, CA
• Intern Field Training: June 20-24, 2023 – Truckee, CA
• Season: mid-July through mid-September (exact dates TBD)
FIELD ROUTINE AND LOCATION: Teams will each be assigned a deployment area such as Ansel Adams Wilderness north of Mammoth Lakes, Kings Canyon National Park east of Fresno near Florence Lake, the west side of Mount Whitney, and more! Teams will be located at varying levels of backcountry remoteness depending on which deployment area they are selected for. Some teams will be in the backcountry for the majority of the summer while others may have more access to the front country.
Example: One team is stationed near ranger stations in the backcountry for 9 days at a time. On the last day of this backcountry section, the team will hike out to their home base accommodations for their breaks. Breaks may take place for 5 days in duration, with 3 full days and 2 half days (the other half being used for hiking in and out of the backcountry). Teams will follow this schedule of 9 days in and 5 days out, constituting a “tour”. This routine will continue over four tours (8 weeks), depending on snowpack, project demands, weather and the wildfire season.
Please note that no overnight guests will be allowed at project sites or home base accommodations. Team Leads and interns are obligated to comply with all accommodation rules, including no smoking and no parties.
PROVIDED: Research supplies, backcountry food, outdoor equipment discounts/prodeal, Wilderness First Responder Certification Course (WFR), stipend ($12,000 per team lead), housing and food during Truckee field trainings, and housing in between backcountry tours. Please note that the WFR course must be completed before training starts in June 2023.
REPORTING: Team leads directly report to the JMT WC Project Coordinator relevant to their deployment area.
• Coordinate and manage assigned intern team in the field;
• Participate in restoration monitoring, data collection, report writing, hiker traffic documentation, biological and archeological surveying, and light restoration work;
• Responsible for in-field risk management and field communications;
• Assist in training interns;
• Mentor and hold interns accountable;
• Ensure high-quality data collection;
• Coordinate and work alongside National Forest and Park Service scientists and rangers;
• Contribute to the design and content of the internship program;
• Submit social media content from field tours
The JMT Wilderness Conservancy is 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable nonprofit located in Menlo Park and Truckee, CA which does not unlawfully discriminate against employees or applicants because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition or any other basis protected by state or federal laws.
Please send (1) a cover letter summarizing your qualifications and what makes you excited about the position; and (2) a resume. Please be prepared to have two professional references, when requested.
• BA/ BS degree from a recognized college or university with emphasis in recreation management or environmental science;
• Strong interpersonal and management skills, preferably in outdoor recreation/education or environmental restoration;
• Ability to train, develop, and support a team in the backcountry;
• Trained in backcountry wilderness skills and leadership, including the handling of emergencies and wilderness first aid;
• Experienced in multi-day backcountry hiking/backpacking;
• Ability to perform sustained, physically-challenging work in high-elevation backcountry terrain;
• Enhanced educational background or field experience involving environmental, botanical or biological sciences. Including but not limited to: wildlife surveys, archaeological surveys, plant identification, and wildlife identification;
• Experienced in restoration techniques, GIS field tools, and data collection;
• Ability to professionally engage with conservation professionals;
• Ability to strictly comply with COVID-19 regulations set by the National Parks Service, US Forest Service, and JMT WC