Yellowstone Program Assistant Field Instructor

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Deadline to Apply:

Sunday, February 20, 2022, 11:45pm


Missoula, MT
United States

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About Ecology Project International: EPI is an international non-profit dedicated to addressing critical conservation issues through field-based partnerships between local experts and middle/high school students. We engage adolescents 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. EPI’s programs in the U.S. and Latin America inspire the next generation of environmental leaders to engage in conservation efforts at home and around the world. More information can be found at

Job Description: Ecology Project International's (EPI) Yellowstone Program is hiring assistant field instructors to help deliver five- to nine-day field summer ecology courses for middle and high school students in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (late April through mid-August). Upon successful completion of a summer season, assistant instructors will be considered for a position as a field instructor for the 2023 winter and summer seasons.

Our programs introduce students to real-world scientific study, engage them in conservation service projects, and raise their cultural and ecological awareness. During Yellowstone summer courses, students work with research partners (e.g., National Park Service) to collect data for wildlife research projects and participate 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 and whitewater rafting. Field staff 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.

Assistant field instructor positions at EPI Yellowstone provide opportunities for aspiring outdoor educators to learn, practice, and develop the fundamental skills necessary for a successful career in this field. Assistant instructors benefit from real-world experience delivering the best educational and field experience possible to EPI Yellowstone participants with other members of the instructional team. Under the supervision of instructors and program staff, assistant instructors develop their skills in group leadership, risk management, logistics, experiential teaching techniques, teamwork and group dynamics, and ecology field research.

As a member of a three-person field team, assistant instructors guide students in the preparation of meals in the field, maintain EPI field equipment, transport participants, lead students in leadership games/activities, and support field instructors in delivering curriculum. As the season progresses, assistant instructors will deliver increasingly complex ecology and science curriculum to students.

Because of the diversity of Yellowstone participants and EPI staff, assistant instructors will develop the skills to address implicit bias and be culturally responsive in interactions with students and co-workers. Assistant instructors are also encouraged to identify ways in which we can enhance inclusivity in planning and implementing our program.

This position also works to identify new and creative ways to cultivate an environment true to our core values: making a positive difference in the world; bringing integrity, honesty, and excellence to all aspects of our work; appreciating the outdoors for education, inspiration and enjoyment; and having fun and thinking BIG!

COVID-19 Statement: EPI has prepared COVID-19 policies and practices that follow health department and CDC guidelines to reduce the risks of exposure and transmission of the virus during course activities. We can't eliminate this risk and it is possible that assistant instructors will be exposed to the virus from participants, partners, vendors, or the general public while performing course duties. Health insurance is not provided by EPI as part of the compensation for this position. Assistant instructors are asked to role model, lead, and enforce our field COVID-19 policies during a course and make appropriate decisions before, during, and after a course to reduce their exposure to the virus. Failure to comply with expectations may result in lost employment opportunities.

Assistant Instructor Responsibilities:

  • Drive EPI vehicles and tow a trailer to transport participating students and gear.
  • Supervise group cooking and camping chores.
  • Effectively manage logistics before, during, and after each course.
  • Create and foster an inclusive group culture and learning environment among participants and co-workers.
  • Understand, model, monitor, and enforce EPI policies and protocols.
  • Assist in managing logistical challenges and emergencies on course.
  • Maintain clear & consistent communication with chaperones, participants, partners, instructors, and EPI staff.
  • Assist with lesson design and facilitation, as discussed with fellow members of the instructional team.
  • Deliver curriculum and lead designated activities effectively, utilizing EPI educational techniques.
  • Support accurate field research data collection.
  • Complete data entry of student and chaperone evaluation data.
  • Maintain effective self-care during extended trips and throughout the length of the season
  • Give and receive quality feedback with co-workers and supervisor, and integrate feedback into work.
  • Demonstrate growth throughout the season in core outdoor education responsibilities including group leadership, risk management, experiential teaching techniques, and logistics.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Teaching or mentoring experience, preferably with middle or high school age students.
  • Enthusiasm for working with student groups in remote areas.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and demonstrated ability to work with youth across a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences—including Native youth, low-income youth, and rural and reservation populations.
  • Experience camping and living in outdoor settings, especially preparing meals for large groups on camp stoves.
  • Experience and prior success working well on a small team in a dynamic and changing work environment.
  • Valid driver’s license with an insurable driving record.
  • CPR and First Aid certifications
  • 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.
  • Minimum 21 years of age.


  • Knowledge of the Rocky Mountains/Intermountain West, especially the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
  • Field research experience.
  • Experience working in field settings with teenage populations experiencing mental and emotional health challenges (i.e., wilderness therapy)
  • Current Wilderness First Responder or WFA certifications.
  • Undergraduate coursework or bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, environmental science/studies, environmental education or related field.


The EPI Yellowstone summer program runs from late April 2022 through August 2022. Assistant instructors will work approximately 45-55 field days over the course of season. There may be opportunities to pick up additional hourly office work supporting summer programs when not in the field. These work estimates do not include two mandatory, unpaid pre-employment training sessions (room & board provided) to be held in late April and early May.

Compensation and benefits:

  • $67 per day starting wage as an assistant instructor during the summer season. Assistant instructors will receive an additional $5/day for a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification or an additional $10/day for a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification
  • Optional shared housing in Missoula, MT throughout the program season from 4/25/2022 -8/31/2022
  • Room and board while on-course
  • Access to discounts with popular outdoor gear retailers

How to Apply:

Visit our online application portal to apply. 

Applications will be reviewed when received and interviews scheduled on a rolling basis, and the application period will close Sunday, February 20, 2022.

Questions can be directed to: Yellowstone Program Coordinator, Sarah Wood, at, 406-218-2605