Learning Center Director
North Cascades Institute

Learning Center Director position available in beautiful North Cascades National Park!

Stunning mountains, lakes, and trails to enjoy right outside your front door!


Learning Center Director

North Cascades Institute
$75,000.00 / year
Previous experience required
Start Date:
Starts in about 1 month. (Sep 15, 2021)


North Cascades Institute is seeking a dynamic, energetic leader to be its new Learning Center Director. Candidates must have a strong connection to, and passion for, the Institute’s mission “to inspire environmental stewardship through transformative learning experiences in nature.” This is a unique opportunity to join North Cascades Institute at a time of growth and transition.

Based at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center (Learning Center), the Learning Center Director has overall responsibility for the Learning Center campus and Institute housing, its operations and maintenance, facility systems, vehicles, grounds and food services in support of all programs based at the Learning Center. This position develops, implements and evaluates program-specific and Institute-wide risk management procedures. Additionally, this position provides emergency response, overnight, and all-season supervision of the campus in coordination with other staff.

We expect the Learning Center Director to build upon our strong reputation as a leading place-based educational institution, to develop a world-class organization with broad regional and national reach. The Learning Center Director is a core member of the Institutes Leadership Team, engaged in strategic planning, annual operational goals and budget objectives

Supervised by the Associate Director, this position works closely with Institute staff, partners and contractors to support a wide array of educational programs. 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.

Since 1986 the Institute has 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.


Required Ability and Experience:

  • Enthusiasm for the mission of the North Cascades Institute. 
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and motivate staff and foster a positive workplace environment.  
  • Initiative/ability to prioritize tasks with exemplary time management and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong writing and presentation skills.
  • Strong leadership skills (minimum 3 years supervisory experience).
  • Entrepreneurial attitude, and able to lead Institute growth by seeking new partnerships.
  • Ability to accommodate a varied work schedule including evenings and weekends. 
  • Wilderness First Responder or higher level of certification (or willingness to get).
  • Washington State Boaters education card (or willingness to get).
  • Valid driver's license and clean driving record.
  • Experience managing a remote camp or similar facility.
  • Computer literate and experience with spreadsheets and common software.

Preferred Ability and Experience:

  • Experience with Communities that are historically marginalized or underrepresented in the field of environmental education or with a social justice component.
  • Familiarity with the Performance Coaching model of supervision. 
  • Fluency in multiple languages, Spanish preference.
  • Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician certification.
  • Commercial driver’s license.
  • Experience in the construction industry.
  • Experience in the foodservice industry.
  • Experience in the emergency medicine industry.
  • Willingness to live on the Learning Center campus in a full or part-time capacity.  (House provided in exchange to full-time campus residency).

Other Requirements

  • Ability to comply with a smoke- and drug-free work environment.
  • Criminal history disclosure form and background check will be required.
  • Willingness to commute to and work in a remote National Park including experiencing snow-covered roads, avalanches, wildfire, smoke, wild animals, and flooding. 
  • Respond to emergencies at any hour.
  • As an exempt employee, routinely work the hours necessary to ensure the job is completed.
  • Operate powerboat in windy conditions.
  • Have the skills required to operate in avalanche terrain.
  • Ability to work in an office and at a computer screen for extended periods.
  • Ability to work outdoors in inclement weather (rain, snow, cold, heat, dark) for extended periods.
  • Ability to carry 50 lbs and hike over uneven terrain.



  • Works collaboratively with Program Director to provide leadership of the Learning Center community; nurture and coach staff to reach their full potential.
  • Maximize use of Institute Learning Center staff and facilities to achieve goals related to Learning Center audience, quality, content, enrollment and finances. 
  • Serves as a member of the Institute’s Leadership Team; sustains administrative and fundraising links to other teams and staff. 
  • Reports on Learning Center operations to Associate Director, Executive Director, Board of Directors and staff. Prepares materials to keep board and staff informed and engaged in the evaluation and evolution of Learning Center operations. 
  • Welcomes and hosts participants and guests at the Center.
  • Plays an active role in strategic planning, inter-office communications, special initiatives, and other duties as assigned by the Associate Director or Executive Director.


  • Hires, trains and supervises the Learning Center Facilities Manager who manages the maintenance, housekeeping, and vehicle fleet.
  • Hires, trains, and supervises the Learning Center Manager who manages customer service, retail sales, office equipment/supplies, library, first aid room, meals counts, and is the Salesforce database gatekeeper, and general admin support as assigned.
  • Hires, trains, and supervises the Learning Center Head Chef who manages all aspects of food service for year-round seven days a week meal service for up to one hundred guests and staff.
  • Hires, trains, and supervises the Learning Center Conferences and Retreat Manager who manages the Learning Center Conferences and Retreats program.   
  • Supervises other staff as assigned or as required in the event of a vacancy.

Risk Management

  • Serves as the primary incident commander in the event of an emergency. Certifies, trains, and schedules backup incident commanders to serve while off-campus. Provides overnight and off-season supervision of the campus in coordination with other staff.
  • Develops, implements and evaluates protocols for medical/facilities emergencies, evacuations, trainings, and use of equipment, vehicles and boats, both on and off-campus.
  • Works with other staff to develop program-specific and Institute-wide risk management protocols.
  • Assigns and trains rescue boat operators and develops rescue boat protocols.
  • Represents the Institute in risk management matters through cooperative relationships with the National Park Service, Seattle City Light, WSDOT and local law enforcement and all emergency medical services.
  • Ensures campus is in compliance with applicable WISHA/OSHA rules.
  • Develops and leads risk management trainings for all Institute staff. 
  • Manages the Learning Center’s radio, satellite, and other communication systems by purchasing, maintaining, licensing, programming, upgrading equipment and training staff.
  • Ensures the Learning Center’s preparedness for wildfire by maintaining Firewise certification, working with partners to maintain defensible space, and by training staff for campus evacuation. 
  • Works with partners and staff on trainings and policies related to co-existing with wildlife and maintains Wildlife Wise certification.
  • Works with partners and staff to prepare for the eventual closing of all road access to the Learning Center campus due to avalanche, flooding, or landslides.

Learning Centers Operations

  • Oversees the safe, environment-friendly maintenance and operation of campus buildings, facility systems, vehicles and grounds.
  • Is responsible for all North Cascades Institute housing including policies, procuring, maintenance, and assigning. 
  • Supports administration with troubleshooting and maintenance of campus technology (e.g., computers, server, phones).
  • Outfits facilities, vehicles, boats and grounds for year-round use; maintains service logs and inventory.
  • Develops, implements and updates written guidelines for maintenance procedures; trains staff and volunteers for safe, efficient use of facilities, tools, equipment and vehicles.
  • Leads campus-wide recycling and composting program and uses green materials and local products as appropriate; oversees maintenance workshop and recycling/compost/waste handling building.
  • Works closely with National Park Service and Seattle City Light staff to initiate and oversee major repairs and new construction; manages vendors and contractors as needed.
  • Develops and fosters partner relationships related to Learning Center operations specifically North Cascades National Park and Seattle City Light.

Other duties

  • Participates as an active member of Institute’s Leadership Team, strategic planning, inter-office communications and other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
  • Develops and manages all Learning Center-related budgets.
  • Attends FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission - related to Seattle City Light hydro license and Learning Center funding) related meetings and negotiations as requested by the Executive Director.
  • Schedules, hosts, and records minutes for the fall Learning Center Oversight Committee meetings.
  • Manages the Institute’s portion of Learning Center’s major maintenance fund.

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • Consistent with the Institute’s equity, diversity and inclusion goals, ensure that Learning Center Learning Centers are welcoming, relevant and accessible.
  • Seeks to recruit, hire and support a diverse workforce. 
  • Support equity initiatives at North Cascades Institute and actively contribute to NCI as a community of belonging that is welcoming and accessible to everyone. Develop personal equity, diversity, and inclusion-related goal(s) and track progress towards your goal(s) with your supervisor.

Compensation, Benefits and Housing

Salary range is $65,000 - $75,000 depending on experience. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position. We offer a competitive compensation package; benefits include paid time-off, medical/dental insurance, short and long-term disability, tax-deferred annuity and defined contribution retirement plans. Shared Institute housing is available for rent on campus and in Marblemount (20 miles). Pets and smoking are not allowed in Institute housing or during programs. Nearest towns to the Learning Center: Marblemount (20 mi) Concrete (40 mi).

Application Deadline

Review of applications will begin immediately. The position will remain open until filled. Preferred start date: September 15, 2021 or earlier. 

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 Learning Centers. People of Color and members of the LGBTQ+ community are strongly encouraged to apply.

About North Cascades Institute

North Cascades Institute's mission is to inspire environmental stewardship through transformative learning 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. 

North Cascades Institute is a respected leader among U.S. environmental education organizations, and we believe that sustainable communities are built on healthy environments, vibrant economies and social equity. The Institute is in sound financial health with a $4 million budget and strong reserves, and 15 four-star ratings with Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. 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, 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 and 29 staff beds.
  • 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

How to Apply

To Apply

Please apply online on our website at: http://ncascades.atsondemand.com/

Complete the online application and upload a resume and a cover letter applicable for this position. 

Contact Info