Residential Outdoor Science Instructor

Sierra Nevada Journeys Portola, California
Job Type Seasonal / temporary

This is a seasonal position with varying roles and responsibilities. During the fall and spring seasons, Instructors’ primary responsibility is delivering residential, one- to five- day outdoor science educational programs primarily serving 5th and 6th grades from regional elementary and middle schools. All of our lessons are hands-on science and collaborative problem solving-based with a focus on critical thinking, exploration, and environmental stewardship. Instructors are responsible for leading and educating a group of 12 – 15 students throughout their program, including facilitating large group activities, leading meals, and working evening programs.  All lessons are written according to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and we train our staff using the University of California at Berkeley’s BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning & Expertise Sharing) teaching techniques and pedagogy.

During the summer season, SNJ delivers both residential summer camp programs and community group programs for special needs and leadership development.  During SNJ’s traditional, week-long summer camp, Instructors facilitate activities such as the challenge course, swimming, kayaking, off-site trips, and teen leadership programs.  Instructors may find themselves in a summer camp leadership position such as Head Lifeguard, Camp Helper, Staff Mentor, or Challenge Course Aid if they possess the skills and required certifications.  For community groups, Instructors will use SNJ’s challenge course to facilitate leadership experiences and develop collaborative problem-solving skills.  Instructors also assist our special needs organizations by adapting traditional camp activities to provide an enriching experience for their campers.  Many of our community groups also bring participants to campus on the weekends in the fall and spring and Instructors work with them to meet their program goals.

Instructors will be directly responsible for ensuring that attending schools’ and campers’ educational outcomes are met. Instructors are supervised by the Program Manager. For more information about this position please visit 


  • Facilitate high quality, NGSS- based outdoor education programs (day and evening)
  • Safely facilitate the challenge course to achieve collaborative problem-solving goals
  • Be proficient in all SNJ outdoor school curriculum and teaching methods
  • Attend training delivered by the Program Management Team
  • Deliver, organize, and grade student assessments and related paperwork
  • Be able to deliver programs effectively while working with chaperones, teachers, community group staff members, and other instructors as needed
  • Lead meals and engage students before meals
  • Work on projects when assigned, including but not limited to creating necessary paper materials for schools, campus improvement projects, revamping curriculum, etc.
  • Act as overnight on-call staff as needed – staying overnight and helping groups with needs
  • Clean and inventory program supplies, and participate in debriefs after each program


Please visit the Sierra Nevada Journeys website for full job description and details.

To directly apply online, please visit our application site.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.