Field Instructor - Yellowstone Wildlife Ecology Program

Ecology Project International Missoula, Montana
Deadline 09/26/2018
Job Type Seasonal / temporary

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 middle to high school students. We engage adolescent youth 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. 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. More information can be found at

Job Description: 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 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 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, playing in the snow (winter), and whitewater rafting (summer). 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 (e.g., Redefine the Classroom).


  • Provide and lead a positive experience for EPI participants in the field.
  • Plan and deliver quality experiential environmental education lessons to diverse middle and high school students.
  • Be sensitive to the health and welfare of all participants and meet their developmental needs.
  • Oversee and/or lead research activities in accordance with research protocols.
  • Lead conservation service projects in accordance with risk management protocols.
  • Establish and maintain clear communication with teachers, chaperones, participants, partners, co- instructor(s), and EPI staff.
  • Effectively manage logistical challenges and emergencies on course.
  • Conduct all courses with rigorous attention to risk management.
  • Respond to medical emergencies and provide appropriate first aid following EPI’s medical protocols and according to your level of training.
  • Understand, model, monitor, and enforce EPI policies and protocols.
  • Participate in all EPI staff development sessions throughout the season, including staff training, staff meetings, staff retreats, and feedback/evaluation forms.
  • Promptly and accurately complete paperwork associated with each course.
  • Drive EPI vehicles and tow a trailer to transport participating students and gear.
  • Keep course gear organized, clean, and in good working order.
  • Mentor EPI Yellowstone field interns and assist them in meal preparation management.
  • Promote and ensure an inclusive and high quality learning/living environment.
  • Show and maintain a positive attitude.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor's degree in biology, ecology, environmental education, or related field;
  • Experience delivering science and ecology-based curriculum;
  • 2-3 years of prior experience instructing middle to high school students in a formal or informal setting;
  • Outdoor leadership experience with young adults;
  • Enthusiasm for leading student groups in remote areas;
  • Field research experience;
  • Experience camping; ability to teach LNT camping skills;
  • Experience with winter activities such as snowshoeing;
  • Willingness to work hard and actively participate as part of a team;
  • Desire to mentor interns in areas like experiential education and group management techniques;
  • Desire to make a difference in the world;
  • Current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications;
  • Valid driver’s license with an insurable driving record;
  • Minimum 21 years of age;
  • Must be physically fit and capable of participating in intense physical labor including, but not limited to: ability to lift 50 pounds, spend 8-10 hours a day in all weather conditions (e.g., sun, heat, wind, cold, snow, etc.) and hike up to 5 miles a day with a day pack and equipment, ability to conduct repetitive hand and arm motions, and able to maneuver in tight spaces including bending and kneeling;
  • Legally able to work in the US;
  • English fluency.


  • Wildlife biology research experience, especially with species of the Rocky Mountains;
  • Knowledge and familiarity with the Rocky Mountains, especially the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem;
  • AIARE Avalanche Level 1 (or higher) certification;
  • Leave No Trace trainer or master educator certification;
  • Curriculum development experience.

Schedule and Location: The Yellowstone wildlife ecology program runs December 31, 2018 through August 2019. There will be a short break in mid-April to early May as the program switches between winter and summer activities. Instructors will work approximately 85 field days over the course of year, not including two mandatory, unpaid training sessions (room & board provided) to be held in late December/early January and mid-May.


  • $80, $85, or $90 per day starting wage, determined by evaluation of prior experience. Thereafter, daily pay increases according to a 7-tiered pay scale based on field days worked.
  • Instructors chosen as course leaders will make an additional $10 a day.
  • $315 season start bonus, received upon transitioning from conditional to full hire status.
  • Optional shared housing in Missoula, MT for $85-100 per month throughout the program season from 12/30/2018-8/30/2019.
  • Room and board while on-course.
  • Access to discounts with popular outdoor gear retailers.


To apply: Applications will only be accepted electronically. Apply online here.

Questions can be directed to: Yellowstone program supervisor, Rachel Garwin,

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.
EPI staff member Laura T. practices digging a snow pit during 2018 Winter Instructor Training.. Uploaded by Ecology Project International
EPI staff member Laura T. practices digging a snow pit during 2018 Winter Instructor Training.. Uploaded by Ecology Project International

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