||Summary of Position
North Cascades Institute is seeking an enthusiastic and energetic educator to be a Program Instructor. Candidates must have a strong connection to, and passion for, the Institute’s mission to inspire and empower environmental stewardship for all through transformative educational experiences in nature. This is a wonderful opportunity to join North Cascades Institute at a time of exciting growth.
The Institute strives to further our identity as an institution that welcomes and embraces diversity in community and curriculum, works to redress historical inequities, and seeks a diverse pool of candidates.
North Cascades Institute (NCI) offers a wide variety of programming for learners of all ages. This position will teach in a combination of program areas. All Program Instructors will teach Mountain School during the spring and fall seasons. Due to the array of summer programming that NCI offers, Program Instructors will teach primarily in one of two focus areas: 1) Adult Seminars, Base Camp, Family Getaways and Conferences and Retreats or 2) Skagit Tours program. Program Instructors may be scheduled to assist in program areas outside of their focus area.
Each of the Learning Center programs is described below. Please indicate in your cover letter which of the two focus areas you are applying for.
Adult Seminar: classes and field excursions (Year-round)
Since 1986, North Cascades Institute has been providing hands-on learning adventures for adult learners. Classes and field excursions explore a wide variety of topics including wildlife biology, art, geology, poetry, botany, photography, forest ecology and recreational activities.
Base Camp (Year-round)
Base Camp offers visitors to the North Cascades a flexible, affordable program option. Visitors may choose to stay one or more nights and participate in a variety of guided activities or choose their own adventure.
Family Getaways (Summer)
During the summer months, NCI provides opportunities for families to explore the wonders of the North Cascades together. The Family Getaways program takes place at the Learning Center campus and has quickly become a favorite summer retreat. Program Instructors deliver hands-on activities and lessons that engage generations of participants!
Conferences and Retreats (Year-round)
North Cascades Environmental Learning Center is the perfect place to host group events such as educational retreats, meetings, conferences and celebrations of all kinds. Guests enjoy the lodges, delicious, locally sourced meals and daily field trips led by Program Instructors. Proceeds from these revenue generating programs directly support youth education.
Skagit Tours (Summer / Early Fall)
Skagit Tours provides participants with an inside look at the relationship between humans and the landscape of the upper Skagit River. Participants embark on a tour of the region by bus and boat, learning about the natural history, hydroelectric projects, early European settlement, and pre-contact use of the landscape. Tours range from 1-5 hours long.
Mountain School Programs (Spring and Fall, All Program Instructors)
Mountain School is the Institute’s primary school based education program. It is a nationally recognized residential environmental education program serving approximately 2400 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.
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.
Field Instruction 80%
● Serve as an instructor for Mountain School
● Function as Camp Tender for Mountain School, when scheduled
● Participate in program briefing and debriefs
● Participate in all scheduled program trainings including check-ins with Senior Instructor(s)
● Team teach with graduate student partners during the spring Mountain School season
● Conduct teaching observations of graduate students (spring only)
● Conduct peer teaching observations of other Program Instructors
● Create a safe learning environment for youth and adults through positive reinforcement, role-modeling and cultural sensitivity
● Instruct lessons in natural and cultural history, science, the arts and other subjects
● Lead program participants on trail hikes and canoeing
● Serve as assistants for Adult Seminar programming
● Serve as guide for Skagit Tours
● Serve as instructor for other program areas including Base Camp, Family Getaways, and Conferences and Retreats.
● Assist with maintaining and managing inventory of program educational materials
● Drive Institute vehicles with program participants, including vans and 14-passenger busses
● Responsibility to report any risk management incidents
● Design and implement program lessons with clear learning objectives
● Self-guided research into relevant natural history topics
● Support marketing and registration activities that promote enrollment
● Other duties as assigned
Shared rental housing may be available, either at the Learning Center or in the neighboring towns of Diablo, Newhalem, 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.
Equal Opportunity Employer
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.
About North Cascades Institute
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 (www.ncascades.org) is a respected, national leader among U.S. environmental education organizations. The Institute is in sound financial health with a $3.5 million budget, strong reserves, and more than a decade of Four-Star ratings from Charity Navigator. The Institute was voted “Best Place to Work” in the 2013 Bellingham Alive – Best in the Northwest annual readers’ poll. Our administrative office is co-located with the National Park Service and US Forest Service in Sedro-Woolley, WA. The North Cascades Environmental Learning Center is located on Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park.
North Cascades Environmental Learning Center
Named a “Top Three Spots in the North Cascades” by The Seattle Times and “Top Ten Great Getaways” by ParentMap Magazine, the Environmental Learning Center is a hub of discovery for all ages in one of the wildest, most biologically diverse landscapes in North America. Operated by North Cascades Institute in partnership with the National Park Service and the City of Seattle, our award-winning residential campus is nestled on the shores of Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park. Activities include school and youth programs, a graduate program, classes for adults, teachers and families, and a wide array of conferences and retreats. Featuring earth-friendly design and operations, our tree-sheltered campus features 16 buildings:
• Multimedia classrooms, a research library and aquatic and terrestrial labs
• Overnight lodging for up to 92 participants, plus housing for graduate students and staff
• A lakeside dining hall with a recycling/composting center
• An amphitheater, outdoor learning shelters and trails leading into the surrounding wildlands
• A dock on Diablo Lake for paddling adventures
• ADA-accessible facilities and pathways