Outdoor Education Specialist

Glacier Institute Columbia Falls, MT
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December 19, 2021
Glacier Institute
Columbia Falls, MT

Glacier Institute
Outdoor Education Specialist

Finding the right seasonal employment is a daunting task. You want to find a position that fulfills your goals, drives your career forward, and leaves you energized instead of drained. You risk wasting valuable time with a job that isn’t fulfilling. We are seeking individuals that share our mission to use education as the tool to connect people to the natural world. “You won’t save what you don’t love and you can’t love what you don’t know.” - Jacques Cousteau. We work hard, we work long, and we work for little pay, but the opportunity to accomplish our mission in one of the most beautiful places on the earth makes it absolutely worth it.

We are hiring Outdoor Education Specialists for our three campuses:

  • Big Creek Outdoor Education Center - Big Creek Outdoor Education Center primarily serves students ages 7-18. We are an all-inclusive site, meaning we provide lodging, meals and transportation for all of our participants. Big Creek

Education Center is located 20 miles north of Columbia Falls, Montana (our nearest town), and occupies an old Forest Service Ranger Station. Our remote, off-grid site sits along the banks of Big Creek, sandwiched between Glacier
National Park and 2.4 million acres of National Forest land. Reaching us requires traveling 7 miles of unpaved dirt road, and most of our buildings are historically designated, resulting in truly rustic accommodations.
Start date: 3/14/22 End date: 10/31/2022

  • Glacier Institute Field Camp - Our Field Camp site serves both youth and adult participants through our catalog courses, and custom programs. We are an all-inclusive site, which means we provide lodging, meals and transportation for most of our participants. Field Camp is located within Glacier National Park through the West Glacier entrance. Our campus is made up of sixteen buildings including a library/office, bathhouse, kitchen, classroom, staff cabins as well as student cabins. Some of our buildings are repurposed historic national park buildings and others are of more recent construction.

Start date: 5/2/2022 End date: 9/30/2022

  • Going-to-the-Sun Road Day Program - These programs will provide in-depth educational experiences along the Going-To-The-Sun Road corridor. We will run daily programs from our Columbia Falls office for visitors of the Flathead Valley, including optional stops at Avalanche Lake, Hidden Lake Overlook, Highline Trail, and Rising Sun / St. Mary.

Start date: 5/2/2022 End date: 9/30/2022

Job Summary:
Outdoor Education Specialists are the face of the Glacier Institute. You will be responsible for instructing field courses to a wide variety of audiences, ranging from ages 5-95. Outdoor Education Specialists will also be leading educational hikes into the backcountry of Glacier National Park, as well as the surrounding Flathead National Forest. The Glacier Institute specializes in place-based, hands-on learning of the natural sciences and cultural history, and we strive to empower students of all ages. As an Outdoor Education Specialist, you will be given the tools to grow as a naturalist, educator, and well-rounded individual!


  • On-site housing provided.
  • $1000/month stipend, with the opportunity to earn performance-based tips during custom and personalized programs
  • 2022 employee entrance pass into Glacier and Waterton National Parks.
  • Friends and family discounts for all Glacier Institute courses (subject to availability).
  • Participation in expert-led Glacier Institute catalog course as space permits.
  • Professional development as a teacher, naturalist, chef, handyperson, off-grid connoisseur, and more!


  • Lead day, overnight, and multi-day field-based outdoor education programs.
  • Manage students’ safety in unregulated outdoor environments by applying sound judgement, problem solving, and risk management skills.
  • Participate in site improvement projects as assigned by the Program and Assistant Program Directors (e.g., painting, staining, light-carpentry, rodent control, wood chopping, landscaping, etc.).
  • Administer and document first aid and appropriate emergency responses.
  • Participate in daily/weekly housekeeping and cleaning tasks as assigned by the Program and Assistant Program Directors.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem and current applicable sciences.
  • Lead multi-day backpacking trips with students.
  • Safely operate 15 passenger vans/buses to transport students down rough dirt roads, up the highly technical Going-to-the-Sun road, and along highway corridors.
  • Provide quality customer service to all guests.
  • Assist office staff and Program Director with marketing efforts, community outreach, curriculum development, and social media content.
  • Display confidence and comfort working in adverse environmental conditions (snow, rain, 0°F-100°F temperatures, mosquitoes/ticks, hazardous wildlife, etc.).
  • Assist expert instructors in conducting catalogue courses for guests (Field Camp).
  • Prepare daily meals for up to 45 guests while following Montana ServSafe regulations (no certification necessary, on the job training will be provided) (Big


  • Report to Program Director in coordinating logistics for daily operations, including guest safety, food procurement, weekend meal preparation, transportation, camp cleaning and preparation for residential groups (Field Camp).
  • Monitor students during meals and free-times, and provide overnight supervision in bunkhouses June-August on a rotating schedule, as needed (Big Creek).
  • Represent the Glacier Institute in its mission and goals.
  • All other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor's degree OR equivalent experience with a thorough knowledge of comprehensive natural/environmental processes.
  • Valid driver’s license with an insurable driving record.
  • Current Wilderness First Aid/CPR certification through the contracted dates of employment.
  • Ability to hike 12 miles with up to 3,000 feet of elevation gain over steep, rocky, and potentially snowy terrain, and carry a pack up to 50 pounds.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to efficiently work independently with little instruction or supervision.
  • Ability to work and live in remote, off-grid locations with limited cell-phone service or immediate emergency services.

At the Glacier Institute, we work hard in exchange for unbelievable access to some of the wildest, most rugged, and most scenic landscapes in the U.S. Many past staff members have enjoyed mountaineering, backpacking, fly fishing, rafting/canoeing/kayaking, mushroom collecting, skiing (there’s snow year-round!), wildlife photography, catching a glimpse at the Northern Lights, and so much more!

To Apply:
If this position sounds like the right fit, please submit a resume, contact information for 3 references, and a cover letter.
Please include the preferred campus (if you have one) you are applying for in your cover letter. We look forward to reviewing your material!

The Glacier Institute is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: From $1,000.00 per month


  • Employee discount
  • Flexible schedule


  • Day shift

Supplemental Pay:

  • Tips

Work Location:

  • Multiple locations

Work Remotely:

  • No

Work Location: Multiple Locations

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