Ecology Project International (EPI) is hiring assistant field instructors to help deliver five- to nine-day field winter ecology courses for middle and high school students in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (late December through April). Upon successful completion of a winter season, assistant instructors will be considered for a position as a field instructor for our summer wildlife ecology programs (May through August).
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 participate 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 staff 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.
Assistant field instructor positions at EPI Yellowstone provide opportunities for aspiring outdoor educators to learn, practice, and develop the fundamental skills necessary for a successful career in this field. Assistant instructors benefit from real-world experience delivering the best educational and field experience possible to EPI Yellowstone participants with other members of the instructional team. Under the supervision of instructors and program staff, assistant instructors develop their skills in group leadership, risk management, logistics, experiential teaching techniques, teamwork and group dynamics, and ecology field research.
As a member of a three-person field team, assistant instructors guide students in the preparation of meals in the field, maintain EPI field equipment, transport participants, lead students in leadership games/activities, and support field instructors in delivering curriculum. As the season progresses, assistant instructors will deliver increasingly complex ecology and science curriculum to students.
Because of the diversity of Yellowstone participants and EPI staff, assistant instructors will develop the skills to address implicit bias and be culturally responsive in interactions with students and co-workers. Assistant instructors are also encouraged to identify ways in which we can enhance inclusivity in planning and implementing our program.
Teaching or mentoring experience, preferably with middle or high school age students.
Enthusiasm for working with student groups 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 Native youth, low-income youth, and rural and reservation populations.
Experience camping and living in outdoor settings, especially preparing meals for large groups on camp stoves.
Experience and prior success working well on a small team in a dynamic and changing work environment.
Valid driver’s license with an insurable driving record.
CPR and Wilderness First Aid certifications
Legally able to work in the US.
Minimum 21 years of age.
Knowledge of the Rocky Mountains/Intermountain West, especially the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Field research experience.
Experience working in field settings with teenage populations experiencing mental and emotional health challenges (i.e., wilderness therapy)
Current Wilderness First Responder or WAFA certifications.
Undergraduate coursework or bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, environmental science/studies, environmental education or related field.
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 www.ecologyproject.org.