Yellowstone Field Instructor: Missoula, Montana

Ecology Project International
Missoula, Montana
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Applications will be reviewed when received and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Priority application period will close Sunday, October 9, 2022. About Ecology Project International: EPI is an international non-profit dedicated to addressing critical conservation issues through field-based partnerships between local experts and middle/high school students. We engage adolescents from local communities and visiting youth from other regions in applied hands-on science and conservation as they learn about and help protect threatened species and habitats. EPI’s programs in the U.S. and Latin America inspire the next generation of environmental leaders to engage in conservation efforts at home and around the world. More information can be found at Description: Field instructors in the Ecology Project International (EPI) Yellowstone Program work in teams of three to teach five- to nine-day field ecology courses for middle and high school students in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Our programs introduce students to real-world scientific study, engage them in conservation service projects, and raise their cultural and ecological awareness. During Yellowstone winter and summer courses, students work with research partners (e.g., National Park Service) to collect data for wildlife research projects. Participants in our summer program also engage in a hands-on conservation service project with partners like B Bar Ranch or National Parks Conservation Association. Additionally, there is time dedicated to observing wildlife and experiencing Yellowstone’s unique geology, playing in the snow (winter), and whitewater rafting (summer). Field instructors guide student exploration via relevant ecology and scientific process lessons while practicing responsible relationships to place. An ideal candidate will demonstrate experience and aptitude in environmental education, field research, outdoor leadership, and/or the ecology, geography and cultures of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Instructors work as a team with support from program staff to plan, lead, and teach EPI’s curriculum. Instructors coordinate logistics and opportunities with partners, vendors, group chaperones, and participants to craft an inspirational and educational experience. They are responsible for establishing and maintaining a safe physical and emotional learning environment. Because of the diversity of Yellowstone participants and EPI staff, field instructors should have the skills to address implicit bias and be culturally responsive in interactions with students and co-workers. Instructors are also encouraged to identify ways in which we can enhance inclusivity in planning and implementing our program. This position also works to identify new and creative ways to cultivate an environment true to our core values: making a positive difference in the world; bringing integrity, honesty, and excellence to all aspects of our work; appreciating the outdoors for education, inspiration and enjoyment; and having fun and thinking BIG! COVID-19 Statement: EPI has prepared COVID-19 policies and practices that follow health department and CDC guidelines to reduce the risks of exposure and transmission of the virus during course activities. The situation is constantly changing and many of the policies we have put in place over the past few years are no longer relevant, but the pandemic is not “over” and exposure to the virus is still possible and may impact instructors’ health, work schedules, or require extended situation management if it occurs in the field. Instructors are asked to role model, lead, and enforce our field COVID-19 policies during a course and make appropriate decisions before, during, and after a course to reduce their exposure to the virus. Failure to comply with expectations may result in lost employment opportunities. Health insurance is not provided by EPI as part of the compensation for this position. Responsibilities: Provide and lead a positive experience for EPI participants in the field with two co-instructors. Plan and deliver quality experiential environmental education lessons to diverse program participants. Create and foster an inclusive group culture and positive learning environment among participants and co-workers. Oversee and/or lead research activities in accordance with research protocols. Lead conservation service projects in accordance with risk management protocols. Effectively collaborate and communicate with teachers, chaperones, participants, partners, co- instructor(s), and EPI staff. Give and receive quality feedback with co-workers and supervisor, and integrate feedback into work. Drive EPI vehicles and tow a trailer to transport participating students and gear. Supervise group cooking and camping chores in a rotation with co-instructors. Effectively manage logistics before, during, and after each course. Conduct all courses with rigorous attention to risk management. Respond to medical emergencies and provide appropriate first aid following EPI’s medical protocols and according to your level of training. Understand, model, monitor, and enforce EPI policies and protocols. Participate in all EPI staff development sessions throughout the season, including staff training, staff meetings, staff retreats, and feedback/evaluation forms. Promptly and accurately complete paperwork associated with each course. Keep course gear organized, clean, and in good working order. Maintain effective self-care during extended trips and throughout the length of the season. Other duties as assigned. Schedule and Location: The Yellowstone wildlife ecology program runs from early January 2023 through August 2023. There will be a short break in late April to early May as the program switches between winter and summer activities. Instructors will work approximately 85 - 105 field days over the course of year, not including two mandatory pre-employment training sessions (room & board provided) to be held in early January and early May. Compensation: $100+ per day starting wage, determined by evaluation of prior experience. Thereafter, daily pay increases according to a tiered pay scale based on field days worked. Additional $10 per day for valid WFR. Optional shared housing in Missoula, MT for $200 per month throughout the program season from 1/1/2023-8/31/2023. Room and board while on-course. Access to discounts with popular outdoor gear retailers.
Required: Bachelor's degree in biology, ecology, environmental education, or related field; or equivalent experience. Experience delivering science and ecology-based curriculum. Outdoor leadership experience working with young adults in remote areas. Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and demonstrated ability to work with youth across a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences—including Indigenous youth, low-income youth, and rural and reservation populations Field research experience. Experience and prior success working well on a small team in a dynamic and changing work environment. Experience camping in bear country; ability to teach camping skills to teens who may have little to no camping experience. Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and CPR certifications. Applicants without a current WFR certification will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Valid driver’s license with an insurable driving record. Experience driving participants in programmatic vehicles in variable road conditions. Minimum 21 years of age. Must be physically fit and capable of participating in intense physical labor including, but not limited to: ability to lift 50 pounds, spend 8-10 hours a day in all weather conditions (e.g., sun, heat, wind, cold, snow, etc.) and hike up to 5 miles a day with a day pack and equipment, ability to conduct repetitive hand and arm motions, and able to maneuver in tight spaces including bending and kneeling. Legally able to work in the US. English fluency. Preferred: 2-3 years of prior experience instructing middle to high school students in a formal or informal setting. Wildlife biology research experience, especially with species of the Rocky Mountains. Knowledge and familiarity with the Rocky Mountains, especially the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Experience working in field settings with teenage populations experiencing mental and emotional health challenges (i.e., wilderness therapy) Experience with winter activities such as snowshoeing. Curriculum development experience. Experience towing trailers in work vehicles.
Contact Person
Yellowstone Program Supervisor, Sarah Wood
Contact Phone
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