Program Instructor

Job position / title
Program Instructor
Name of business / employer
North Cascades Institute
Job description / duties
Based out of the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center in North Cascades National Park, the Program Instructor position functions as a professional member of the North Cascades Institute’s program instructional team. This position primarily supports the Mountain School program in the spring and fall, Adult & Family programs in the summer, and assists with other Institute programming throughout the instructor season. The ideal candidate is a creative, energetic, professional, motivated, cooperative team player. They possess a strong work ethic with motivation to grow professionally as an instructor and as a key staff member of a mission-driven organization. Priority consideration will be given to candidates with prior experience in the roles, program areas, and tracks in which they apply.

The work location for the Program Instructor is at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. The Learning Center is located in the heart of the North Cascades National Park near Diablo, WA, and serves as a hub for a small network of trails along the shores of Diablo Lake. This region of North America has been visited by native tribes for over 9,000 years and continues to be a meaningful location for thousands of visitors each year. Opened in 2005, the Learning Center is a collaboration between North Cascades Institute, the National Park Service, and Seattle City Light, the public utility that owns and operates the hydroelectric project that includes Diablo Lake, and provides electricity to the residents of Seattle. The Learning Center is approximately 20 miles from the nearest gas station and post office, and 60 miles from towns with full amenities.

Mountain School Programs (Spring)
Mountain School is the Institute’s primary school based education program. It is a nationally recognized residential environmental education program serving approximately 2,400 elementary and middle school students annually. Students spend three days and two nights at the Learning Center hiking under towering trees, exploring terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and learning about the rich natural and cultural history of one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Program instructors lead trail groups of students primarily from fifth grade classrooms, facilitating a safe, hands-on, outdoor learning experience.

Graduate Program (Spring)
North Cascades Institute, in partnership with Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment, offers a Master of Environmental Education degree program. This program blends teaching, leadership, nonprofit administration, curriculum development, instructional strategies, as well as natural and cultural history. Graduate students function as Mountain School instructors during the Spring Mountain School season as a way to fulfill their teaching practicum requirement. Program instructors function as professional examples for graduate students during this teaching practicum.

Program Instruction & Delivery (85%)
• Create a safe, welcoming learning environment for youth and adults through positive reinforcement, role-modeling, and cultural sensitivity
• Design and implement lessons with clear learning objectives in natural and cultural history, science, the arts, and other subjects during Mountain School
• Deliver Mountain School student orientations
• Lead program participants on trail hikes
• Assist with maintaining and managing inventory of program educational materials
• Provide positive learning environment and peer coaching to Graduate Students during Mountain School teaching practicum
• Drive participants to and from off-campus locations using Institute vehicles, if qualified to drive and as needed
• Function as Camptender for Mountain School, as needed
• Assist in other Learning Center program areas as needed
Administration (10%)
● Regularly report on programming activities and field issues/concerns to Program Coordinator
● Participate in all scheduled program trainings including check-ins with supervisor
● Manage, respond to, and report any risk management incidents
● Engage in self-guided research into relevant natural history topics
● Support marketing and registration that promote enrollment

General (5%)
● Support and actively contribute to the Institute’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives
● Participate in Learning Center staff meetings and weekly community work parties
● Provide ELC facilities, housekeeping, and kitchen staff with occasional light duty support
● Other duties as assigned

This is a temporary/seasonal, full time, non-exempt position, eligible for overtime pay. The wage is $13.00 per hour; benefits include sick leave and holiday pay. Shared rental housing may be available, either at the Learning Center or in the neighboring towns of Diablo or Marblemount. Pets and smoking are not allowed in Institute housing. Meals are provided when programs are in session; otherwise, instructors are responsible for providing their own food. Employees are responsible for transportation to and from work.

Successful candidates will have a commitment to the mission of North Cascades Institute and the organization’s effort to promote diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the Institute’s culture, work and partnering relationships to ensure that the Institute and its programs are welcoming, relevant and accessible.

Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is a high priority at North Cascades Institute. The Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, military, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, age, citizenship or any other basis prohibited by law in any of its policies or programs.

The Institute’s mission is to inspire and empower environmental stewardship for all through transformative educational 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. The Institute is committed to innovation and excellence in environmental learning and leadership in the nonprofit community. We believe that sustainable communities are built on healthy environments, vibrant economies and social equity.

North Cascades Institute,, is a respected, national leader among U.S. environmental education organizations. The Institute is in sound financial health with a $3 million budget and strong reserves and more than a decade of Four-Star ratings with Charity Navigator. The Institute was also voted “Best Place to Work” in 2013 Bellingham Alive- Best in the Northwest Annual readers’ poll. This is a wonderful opportunity to join North Cascades Institute at a time of exciting growth.

● Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ages
● Enthusiasm for learning and teaching about the natural world
● Previous experience in instructional roles
● Good judgment, flexibility and ability to work independently and reliably
● Current Wilderness First Responder (preferred) or Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification upon date of hire
● Ability to lift and carry 30 pounds
● Ability to talk and instruct while hiking over uneven terrain
● Ability to work flexible hours including evenings and weekends
● Ability to work and live in a small, rural community
● Final offer of employment is 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

• Working collaboratively with individuals from different identity groups, including historically excluded groups
• Teaching elementary and middle school youth, as well as working with teachers and parent chaperones
• Employing different teaching methods and styles to accommodate different audiences and learning styles
• Developing lesson plans
• Leading wilderness programs and associated risk management protocols
• Creating identify-safe learning environments
• Inquiry-based teaching and learning
• Bachelor’s degree in related field
• Knowledge of basic scientific principles and how to teach them
• Knowledge of the North Cascades natural and cultural history
• Valid driver’s license. Driving record must have no more than one moving violation in the past three years, no DUI, reckless driving, or serious moving violations, etc.

Application deadline / closing date
Salary / rate of pay
Days and hours of employment
35+ hours

Dates of employment (specify if temp or seasonal)
2/19/2019 – 6/4/2019
Person or department to contact
Cindy Lee
Business address
810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284
Work location (if different from above)
1940 Diablo Dam Rd, Rockport, WA 98283
How to apply
Please apply online on our website at:
Complete the online application and upload a cover letter and resume.

Applications should include
[×] Resume
[×] Cover letter