Mountain School Program Instructor
North Cascades Institute

If you love teaching and being outdoors come join our energetic and professional Instructor Team.

The Learning Center is on the edge of Diablo Lake in the heart of the North Cascades National Park.


Mountain School Program Instructor

North Cascades Institute
$15.50 - $15.75 / hour
Some experience required
Start Date:
Starts in about 2 months. (Aug 23, 2022)

Based out of the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center in North Cascades National Park, the Program Instructor position functions as a professional member of our instructional team. This position primarily supports the Mountain School program in the fall and assists with other Institute programming throughout the 4-month Fall season. The ideal candidate is a creative, energetic, professional, motivated, cooperative team player willing to work hard, have fun and make a difference. They possess a strong motivation to grow professionally as an outdoor education instructor and as a key staff member of a mission-driven organization. There are multiple Mountain School Instructor positions available.


Required Qualifications:

  • Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ages
  • Enthusiasm for learning and teaching about the natural world
  • Previous experience in teaching roles, group leadership and facilitation
  • Good judgment, flexibility and ability to work independently and reliably
  • Current Wilderness First Aid (minimum) or a more advanced certification (WAFA, WFR, etc.) 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

Preferred Qualifications and Competencies:

  • Working collaboratively with individuals from different identity groups, including historically excluded groups
  • Teaching and/or leading 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 and identifying safe learning environments
  • Experiential based teaching and learning
  • Bachelor’s degree or Associate’s in related field, or related experience
  • 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 with no reckless driving, DUI, or other serious moving violations.


Program Instruction & Delivery (85%):

  • Design and Instruct lessons in natural and cultural history, science, the arts, social emotional learning and topics such as: climate change, fluvial/alluvial valleys, watersheds, decomposition, web of life, geology, microscopes, mind mapping and interconnectedness.
  • Lead program participants on trail hikes with groups ranging from 8-13 participants. Hikes range from 0.25-4 miles across rugged North Cascades trails and terrain.
  • Lead Mountain School student arrival orientations
  • Create a safe and transformative learning environment for youth and adults
  • Assist with maintenance and management of program inventory and materials
  • Hold Camptender rotations to assist with Mountain School logistics and program needs
  • Assist in other Learning Center program areas as needed

Administration (10%):

  • Regularly report on programming activities and field issues/concerns to appropriate Program Coordinator
  • Participate in all scheduled program trainings including weekly check-ins with supervisor
  • Report any risk management incidents
  • Engage in self-guided research into relevant natural history topics

General (5%):

  • 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 a personal equity, diversity, and inclusion related goal(s) and track progress towards your goal(s) with your supervisor.
  • Participate in Learning Center staff meetings and weekly community work parties
  • Provide ELC facilities, housekeeping, and kitchen staff with occasional light duty support
  • Support marketing and registration to promote enrollment
  • Other duties as assigned


This is a temporary/seasonal, full-time, non-exempt position. The wage is $15.50-$15.75 per hour (depending on experience). Benefits include sick leave and holiday pay.


Shared rental housing may be available for the duration of the position, either at the Learning Center or in the neighboring town of Marblemount. Meals are provided when programs are in session; otherwise, instructors are responsible for providing their own food. Employees are responsible for their own health insurance and transportation (which is strongly encouraged). Smoking is not allowed in housing, during programs, or on the Institute’s campus. Pets are not allowed on the Institute’s campus.

Start Date: August 23, 2022

Job Duration: August 23 - December 14, 2022

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 the North Cascades Institute

North Cascades Institute requires all employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and to provide proof of inoculation unless a reasonable accommodation is approved. All new hires are expected to comply with these requirements upon employment.

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.

How to Apply

Please apply online on our website. 

Complete the online application and upload a cover letter and resume.

Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted through June 24, 2022



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