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.

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.
Spring 2023:
• Zoom trainings
• 9-10 day Wilderness First Responder Course (provided)
Summer 2023:
• 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 & 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 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.

PROVIDED: Research supplies, backcountry food, Wilderness First Responder Certification Course (WFR), outdoor gear discounts/prodeal, 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.

• 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

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Conservation, Research/Science and Technical, Trail Supervisor, Trail Supervisor, Crew, and Leaders


• 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;

Required Skills:

• Strong interpersonal and management skills, preferably in outdoor recreation/education or environmental restoration;
• Ability to professionally engage with conservation professionals;
• Wilderness First Responser (required/provided)

Preferred Skills:

• BA/ BS degree from a recognized college or university with emphasis in recreation management or environmental science;
• 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;

About JMT Wilderness Conservancy

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.

Application Instructions

To apply, please send: (1) a cover letter summarizing your qualifications and why you are right for this position; and (2) a resume. Send all materials to our Manager of Field Programs, Brady Latham, [email protected] Please be prepared to have two professional references, when requested.