North Cascades Institute seeks an experienced mentor, skilled relationship-builder, and engaging public speaker to join our Youth Leadership Adventures (YLA) team. YLA provides outdoor experiences for local high school students, including multi-day canoeing and backpacking trips in the summer, and outdoor day programming in the spring and fall. The Youth Leadership Specialist is the primary student liaison within the YLA team, providing year round support and information to enrolled students and their families. In the fall, winter, and spring, this position leads our recruitment and enrollment efforts, and facilitates some of our day programs. In the summer, this position provides logistical support for our backcountry trips, and ensures a smooth flow of information between students, staff, and families. It is essential that the Specialist is able to uphold a safe learning environment for all identities and model culturally responsive teaching and leadership practices. This position reports to the Youth Leadership Manager.

In the non-summer months (September – May), the work location for this position is the Sedro Woolley Administrative Office, and is in-person at least one day per week. During these months, the Specialist can choose to either work:
• 32 hours/week, with a regular furlough from December 16 – December 31; or
• 40 hours/week, with a regular furlough from December 16 – February 15

During the summer (June – August), the Specialist will be at least 40 hours/week, and will likely earn overtime pay (1.5x base pay). This position has a variable work location in the summer, including working at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center (located on the shore of Diablo Lake), staying at campgrounds in the National Park, and/or working remotely.

Work schedules will vary, especially in the summer, and may require working early mornings, late nights and weekends when programs are occurring. An Institute vehicle may be available in the summer when they need to work at the Environmental Learning Center or in the National Park.

This is a regular, non-exempt (meaning hourly), full-time (32-40 hours/week) position, with a wage range of $18-$19 per hour.

We offer a competitive compensation package. Benefits include the following:
• Sick Leave – ~8 hours per month
• Vacation Leave – ~10 days per 1st year. Positions with furloughs may accrue less than 10 days
• Holiday Leave – 12 days maximum per year
• Service Days – 2 days per year
• Other paid time-off such as family leave, bereavement leave, jury duty, etc.
• Medical/vision/dental insurance, long and short-term disability insurance, and retirement plan
• Yearly stipend to participate in Institute programs

Benefits are prorated for employees working less than 40 hours per week.

Preferred start date is January 15, 2024 with some flexibility based on applicant availability.

Tagged as: Conservation, Full Time, Support Staff


• Strong ability to build relationships and trust with teens, families, and community members
• Experience teaching or mentoring teens
• Spanish language proficiency
• A valid driver’s license and driving record check must have no more than one moving violation in the past three years, no DUI, reckless driving or serious moving violations, etc.
• Final offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a background check

Required Skills:

• Excellent communication, public speaking, interpersonal, organizational, and time management skills with strong attention to detail
• Ability to prioritize effectively and handle multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously
• Experience living in and working with communities who are historically underrepresented in the outdoors
• Demonstrated commitment to environmental justice
• Competency in Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, spreadsheet management, data entry, and social media platforms

Preferred Skills:

• Lived experience in Skagit and/or Whatcom counties and school districts
• Enthusiasm for learning and teaching about climate change, the natural world, and/or North Cascades natural and cultural history

About North Cascades Institute

North Cascades Institute's mission is to inspire environmental stewardship through transformative learning experiences in nature. Since 1986, we have helped connect people, nature and community through science, art, literature and the hands-on study of natural and cultural history. Our goal is to help people of all ages and backgrounds experience and enjoy the mountains, rivers, forests, people and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest – so all will care for and protect this special place.

North Cascades Institute is a respected leader among U.S. environmental education organizations, and we believe that sustainable communities are built on healthy environments, vibrant economies and social equity. The Institute is in sound financial health with a $4 million budget and strong reserves, and 15 four-star ratings with Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Application Instructions

Please apply online through our website at: https://ncascades.org/jobs. Complete the online application and upload a cover letter and resume. Review of applications will begin immediately. Position will remain open until filled.