North Cascades Institute is seeking candidates who enjoy working outdoors and want to contribute to our mission of inspiring environmental stewardship through transformative learning experiences in nature. Youth Leadership Adventures (YLA) Instructors teach and lead teens in a backcountry wilderness leadership program for high school students in the North Cascades. There are 6 Youth Leadership Instructor positions available.

Youth Leadership Instructors will work at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, and in the field while leading backcountry camping and backpacking courses. At all times during their work, Youth Leadership Instructors will be required to sleep and reside at their place of employment. Youth Leadership Instructors will also be required to spend a substantial portion of their work time in the field subject to call and not engaged in the performance of active duties.

This is a temporary/seasonal, full-time position, exempt/excluded from federal and Washington state minimum wage and overtime requirements. Instructors are paid $116 / non-field day ($126 for senior instructors) and $150-$175 / field day. Where instructors fall on the pay scale and if they are being hired as a Senior Instructor is dependent on experience and determined with the job offer. Instructors will work 29 non-field days and 27 field days. Benefits include sick leave and holiday pay.

Shared rental housing is available for the duration of the position, either at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center or in the neighboring town of Marblemount at the cost of $300/month. Meals are provided when programs are in session. Otherwise, instructors are responsible for providing their own food. Employees are responsible for their own health insurance and transportation. Having your own vehicle is strongly encouraged due to the remote location of the Environmental Learning Center.

June 6 – August 30, 2022
Instructors are also invited to apply for Fall teaching positions (end of Aug-mid Dec) with our Mountain School program if interested in extending their position with the North Cascades Institute.

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Conservation, Full Time, Teaching/Education


Successful candidates must be willing and prepared to reside and sleep in a remote area. This position will require driving institute vehicles. Final offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a background check that may include employment history, national criminal background check, national sex offender registry search and a driving history check. This position requires a Wilderness First Responder certification.

Required Skills:

• One or more season(s) serving as an instructor on backcountry canoe camping and/or backpacking trips for youth.
• Experience mentoring, teaching or leading teens.
• Demonstrated ability to evaluate group and individual needs and make appropriate risk management decisions in a backcountry setting.
• Commitment or experience to educating with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion.
• Bachelor’s degree (any field) OR 3+ years of relevant professional experience in education or youth mentorship.

Preferred Skills:

• One or more season(s) serving as lead instructor on backcountry canoe camping and/or backpacking trips for youth.
• Experience working with students from a diversity of backgrounds and identities, including people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, English Language Learners, students from low income backgrounds, students from both rural and urban communities, and recent immigrants.

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

APPLICATION DEADLINE Applications due: March 21, 2022 Interviewing: March 28 - April 8, 2022 TO APPLY Please apply online on our website at: https://ncascades.org/jobs Complete the online application and upload a cover letter and resume.