Environment Outdoor Science Instructor
Position: Outdoor Science Instructor
Location: Opal Creek Wilderness Area, Oregon
Work year: Seasonal: March 18 to November 15, 2019
Responsible to: Program Manager; Program Director
Compensation: $80/day, plus housing, utilities, and partial board
Who We Are
The Opal Creek watershed is 35,000 acres of protected rainforest, part of the last remaining low-elevation old-growth forest left in the Pacific Northwest. Soaring trees dripping with moss, crystal-clear streams, and a diversity of old-growth-dependent species make Opal Creek a unique gem in Oregon’s crown. At its center is the historic off-grid mining town of Jawbone Flats, our base of operations since the Opal Creek Wilderness was created in 1996.
At Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, all of our work is based around one simple idea: people will protect what they care about, and they will care about what they know. Through our outdoor school, summer camps, and workshop programs, we bring kids and adults face-to-face with the outdoor places that make Oregon great—pristine mountain streams, uncut vistas, and old-growth forests.
Who You Are
• You love teaching, but with the outdoors as your classroom. You are enticed by Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center’s mission and the prospect of connecting our students, cabin renters, and workshop participants to this beautiful place.
• You are excited to spend your summer navigating the peaks and valleys of Oregon’s wilderness areas with youth.
• You enjoy hosting friends and family, and people feel good when they talk with you.
• You are always learning. You are curious and unafraid to ask questions.
• A remote residential living and working environment intrigues you. You look forward to disconnecting from distraction and forming strong bonds with staff, guests, and the wilderness in your backyard.
• You thrive in a collaborative environment, believing we are stronger together.
• Challenges motivate you; you are open to and excited by the unpredictability that comes with working in a 1929 mining town in the woods.
• You have your own unique personality. Perhaps you play a musical instrument or teach yoga or practice bird calls. You enjoy solo time in your cabin just as much as social staff barbecues.
Role Impact and Responsibility
As an Outdoor Science Instructor, you work with all of our diverse programs. Our teaching philosophy is inquiry based and hands-on, and you teach science by doing science. At a 1:15 Instructor-to-student ratio, you allow students to drive their own learning. You also provide excellent customer service to our guests who stay in Jawbone Flats, playing a vital part in making them feel welcome. This is a residential position, and you will live at Jawbone Flats in private cabin-style housing provided by the organization. Responsibilities of the position are listed under each of our four program areas:
Outdoor School (40%)
• Teach to a variety of age groups and backgrounds, including public and private elementary, middle, and high school classes, and university programs.
• Prepare lesson plans based on Opal Creek curriculum; topics include old growth forest ecology, stream ecology, geology, and cultural history.
• Take photos of students and lessons for Opal Creek social media
• Collect and process program participant contact information
Backpacking Expeditions (25%)
• Lead backpacking expeditions with students 10-18 years old in the Opal Creek, Bull of the Woods, and Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Areas
• Teach observational science and outdoor skills, including Leave No Trace principles, on trail
• Prep food and gear for a week-long expedition
• Organize and clean gear for the following expedition
• Host cabin renters, ensuring their stay is comfortable
• Drive gear shuttles; load and unload cabin rental gear
• Clean cabins to rental standards
• Staff the company store, selling merchandise to participants and the general public
• Engage with the general public as they pass through Jawbone Flats
• Assist the workshop instructor in all programming needs
• Manage logistics of workshop
• Host workshop participants, ensuring their stay is comfortable
We have a small staff and everyone is required to help in all aspects of running a remote residential facility with a diversity of programs. You may be asked to assist the kitchen and facility departments at times.
Requirements of Position
• Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in a natural science or education discipline, or equivalent experience
• Past teaching experience, formal or informal
• Field instruction, outdoor school and/or previous camp experience preferred
• Backpacking experience
• Previous hospitality experience preferred
• Able to lead youth on hikes up to 8 miles
• Able to lift heavy objects, up to 50 pounds when necessary
• Able to pass a background check
• Able to drive company vehicles
• Current driver’s license and able to qualify for coverage under our insurance
• Wilderness First Responder certification (required by time of employment)
• $80/day, with approximately 10 days worked in a two-week period
• Independent, cabin-style housing with off-grid solar electricity
• Meals from the Jawbone Kitchen when we have programs (about 75% of time)
How to ApplySend a resume and cover letter to Megan Selvig, Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be accepted until January 25th. There are two rounds of interviews for this position. We will offer the position by mid-February, with Instructors starting mid-March. Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
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