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 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, and whitewater rafting. 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.
An ideal candidate will demonstrate experience and aptitude in environmental education, 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 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.
• Provide and lead a positive experience for EPI participants in the field.
• 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.
• Mentor field interns and support their ability to complete their designated course responsibilities including curriculum delivery and meal preparation.
• Effectively manage logistics before, during, and after each course.
• Conduct all courses with rigorous attention to risk management.
The Yellowstone wildlife ecology program will run from late May through August 2021. Instructors will work approximately 35-45 paid field days over the course of summer. Instructor training (unpaid) will be held in early May.
Position is based in Missoula, MT. Pay is $96-116 per day, DOE, plus subsidized housing.
• 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.
• Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and demonstrated ability to work with youth across a wide variety of backgrounds.
• Field research experience.
• Experience and prior success working well on a small team in a dynamic and changing environment.
• 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.
• Leave No Trace trainer or master educator certification.
• Curriculum development experience.
About Ecology Project International
EPI is an international non-profit organization dedicated to addressing critical conservation issues through field-based partnerships between local experts and high school students. We engage adolescent youth from local communities and visiting youth from other regions in applied conservation hands-on science and conservation as they learn about and help protect threatened species and habitats. Through EPI’s programs in five countries throughout the U.S. and Latin America, teens are inspired and empowered to engage in conservation efforts at home and worldwide to become the next generation of conservation leaders.