Yellowstone Field Instructor – Montana

Ecology Project International
Missoula, MT
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$96-106/day; DOE
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Field instructors in the Ecology Project International (EPI) Yellowstone Program 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 engaging them in the practice of Leave No Trace and taking advantage of teachable moments (e.g., Redefine the Classroom). Because of the diversity of Yellowstone participants (and of EPI staff), it is also important that field instructors have the skills to address implicit bias and be culturally responsive in interactions with participants and co-workers. Instructors are also empowered to identify ways in which we can enhance inclusivity in planning and implementing our program. Responsibilities: • Provide and lead a positive experience for EPI participants in the field. • Plan and deliver quality experiential environmental education lessons to diverse program participants. • Promote and ensure an inclusive and high quality learning/living environment. • Be sensitive to the health and welfare of all participants and meet their developmental needs. • Oversee and/or lead research activities in accordance with research protocols. • Lead conservation service projects in accordance with risk management protocols. • Establish and maintain clear communication with teachers, chaperones, participants, partners, co- instructor(s), and EPI staff. • Provide feedback to and receive feedback from co-instructors and program staff, and effectively integrate feedback into work. • Mentor field interns in course responsibilities and assist with meal preparation. • Effectively manage logistical challenges and emergencies on 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. • Drive EPI vehicles and tow a trailer to transport participating students and gear. • Keep course gear organized, clean, and in good working order. • Show and maintain a positive attitude. • Other duties as assigned. Schedule and Location: The Yellowstone wildlife ecology program runs from late December 2019 through August 2020. There will be a short break in mid-April to early May as the program switches between winter and summer activities. Instructors will work approximately 85 - 110 field days over the course of year, not including two mandatory, unpaid training sessions (room & board provided) to be held in late December and mid-May. Compensation: • $96, $101, or $106 per day starting wage, determined by evaluation of prior experience. Thereafter, daily pay increases according to a 7-tiered pay scale based on field days worked. • Instructors chosen as course leaders will make an additional $10 a day. • Optional shared housing in Missoula, MT for $100 per month throughout the program season from 12/16/2019-8/31/2020. • Room and board while on-course. • Access to discounts with popular outdoor gear retailers. Questions can be directed to: Yellowstone program supervisor, Alexei Desmarais, To apply: Applications will only be accepted electronically. Apply online at:
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; • Field research experience; • Experience and prior success working well on a small team in a dynamic and changing work environment; • Desire to mentor interns in areas like experiential education and group management techniques; • Experience camping; ability to teach LNT camping skills; • Current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications; • 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 with winter activities such as snowshoeing; • AIARE Avalanche Level 1 (or higher) certification; • Leave No Trace trainer or master educator certification; • Curriculum development experience.
Contact Person
Alexei Desmarais
Contact Phone
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